King Tubby's Fast Car
King Tubby's Music
July 9, 2016
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
Around 1969 Kingston-based producers started to issue singles with instrumental "versions" on the flipside of vocal releases, which were actually the basic riddim tracks. To these "versions" one could add further instrumentation or deejay accompaniment. Pioneering sound engineer and sound system operator Osbourne Ruddock did more than any other to popularize and develop the sound. He explored the possibilities of sound from his small studio, located at the back of his home, at 18 Drumilly Avenue, Kingston 11.
King Tubby's productions are invariably linked with his stunning '70s output. However during the 1980s Tubby had far from given up. He rebuilt his studio and continued to keep it right in the heart of the Kingston ghetto. The Waterhouse area of Kingston had earned its reputation as a catalyst for innovation and produced many of Jamaica's finest vocalists. It also had a reputation for violence hence the residents referred to it as 'Firehouse'. Tubby now put his energies towards building up the studio. While not being as 'hands on' as he had been in the past, he encouraged some of the younger talented Waterhouse youths to the forefront of his studio's output guiding them through there engineering duties. After King Jammy put out Wayne Smith's epochal "Under Mi Sleng Teng" it wasn't long before his former employer, the late great King Tubby, consolidated the revolution with an even more radical tune: Anthony Red Rose's brooding "Tempo" (or "Tempa" as he sings it). In 1985 he set up the Firehouse, Waterhouse en Taurus labels and started releasing tunes, ranging from brilliant to extremely weak. Perhaps his finest effort is Gregory Isaacs' album "Warning", that surfaced after the murder of Tubbs on 6th February 1989. The combination set "Two Big Bull Inna Pen" by Red Rose and King Kong is also quite enjoyable. Being responsible for numerous heavyweight dubplates, specials used during soundsystem clashes, he released two sets of "King Tubby Presents Soundclash Dubplate Style Volumes 1 + 2", where the atmosphere of a clash is demonstrated, complete with hilarious intros by soundman Fuzzy Jones.
The various artists album "King Tubby's Fast Car" came out in 1989 and is now being re-issued in digital form by a new label called King Tubby's Music. Check out the remarkable cover! Riddims are done by The Firehouse Crew and the album opens in full force with Gregory's "One A Man" , a tune also featured on the "Warning" album. Superb cut! Johnny Osbourne's "My Heart Is In Danger" is underpinned by a wicked digital riddim, but lyrically it's a weak performance. The track comes from his album "Nuh Dis (Come Ya Fe Drink Milk)". Wayne Wonder does a better job with his uptempo do-over of Tracy Chapman's hit "Fast Car". Veteran Johnny Clarke delivers two tunes, the roots tune "Teach Them The Right" aka "Teach The Youths Right", not his best effort and the lovers tune "Loverman" which definitely makes a better impression. Banana Man & Derek Irie with "Tight Clothes" bring us nuff dancehall excitement! Deejay Lyrical delivers the jumpy "Cock up An Ride", a tune he also did for the Kesta Label of Kesta Pearson inna different version. Thriller U & Ella Star sing "Tell Me Why" , and trust us....it's best to skip this awful ballad. Album closer Little Robert covers Ritchie Valens' hit "La Bamba", totally ridiculous, but extremely danceable!