Masterpiece ~ Created By David Rodigan
Ministry Of Sound
March 15, 2014
Disc 1: Hey Youthman
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
For over 30 years David Rodigan has been the top dog in the ganja-scented, bass heavy-atmosphere of Britain’s reggae dance-halls. The key to his success has been an unsinkable passion for reggae music, which first took a hold of him as a schoolboy when he heard ska music in the early ’60s. He has stated that his passion for Jamaican music was initiated when he watched Jamaican schoolgirl Millie Small sing "My Boy Lollipop" on Top of the Pops. He developed an obsession with the music of Jamaica that generated an encyclopedic knowledge of the island’s every artist, every song and every rhythm track.
His earliest experience of deejaying was during lunch breaks once a week in the gym at Gosford Hill School in Kidlington, Oxford. On leaving school he landed a place at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in 1971, where he spent three years studying to become an actor. He worked extensively in repertory theater and appeared in a number of television productions such as ‘Doctor Who’ (BBC) and ‘Shackleton’ (BBC); he also performed his one-man show ‘Zima Junction’ at literature festivals and theaters in the 1970s; a dramatization of the poem by the Russian writer Yevtushenko.
Rodigan began his reggae broadcasting career in 1978 on BBC Radio London. He moved to Capital Radio in 1979 and remained there for eleven years broadcasting his legendary ‘Roots Rockers’ show every Saturday night. His credibility was ensured when he began clashing with Jamaica’s champion DJ, Barry G on JBC Radio in Jamaica. He then went on to clash with all the top Jamaican sound systems in the West Indies, the USA and England and in 2012 he won the ultimate clash victory when he took the Champion Trophy at World Clash Reset in New York.
In 1984 he joined BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Corp) where broadcast his weekly reggae show for 25 years until 2009. In 1990 he joined the newly legalized Kiss 100 where he presented a variety of daytime shows for 10 years before kicking back to his weekly reggae show, which he broadcast for another 12 years until 2012. Having seen his show reduced from 2 hours to 1 hour in 2011 he resigned in protest at the marginalizing of reggae music when the show was re-scheduled into the twi-light zone of broadcasting, midnight – 1am in November 2012.
In February 2013 he joined the BBC to present a new weekly reggae show on Radio 1Xtra on Sundays between 7 and 9pm and also a summer season of classic ska, rock steady and reggae on BBC Radio 2. In 2005 he was inducted into the Sony Radio Academy Hall Of Fame and has also won three highly coveted Sony Radio Academy Gold Awards; The Music Broadcaster Of The Year. (Kiss 100 – 2004), The Specialist Music Broadcaster Of The Year (Kiss 100 – 2009), The Specialist Music Broadcaster Of The Year (BBC Radio 2 – 2012), and in 2012 he was awarded the MBE for “services to broadcasting” at Buckingham Palace. At Easter in 2012 he won the highest honour in reggae sound system culture by winning the World Clash Re-Set contest in New York against opponents, Bass Odyssey, Black Kat, Tony Matterhorn, Fire Links, Earth Ruler and Poison Dart.
He plays his unique collection of customized dub plates and classic recordings extensively across Europe, especially in Italy and Germany, and in North America and the West Indies, to loyal reggae fans worldwide.
The sympathetic UK based record company MOS (Ministry Of Sound) created the "Masterpiece series" which is a concept fronted by artists and DJs of the highest calibre. It’s an opportunity for these pioneering acts to curate a three disc musical journey that depicts their own influences and inspirations which they can share with their fans. With predecessors including Andrew Weatherall, Fabio & Grooverider and Giles Peterson, the level of reputation and irrefutable standing of acts selected for "Masterpiece" in the past is a given. Rodigan has been selected to front the next album in the 'Masterpiece' series because of his impressive reputation and a host of prestigious accolades under his belt. The digipack is a delicious journey from the UK's swinging 60's to Jamaica and beyond.
Disc One is a mixed set of 100% pop/rock classics and vintage reggae stuff. One of the UK's heaviest 60's groups The Kinks start this compilation with You Really Got Me, followed by the classic For Your Love by The Yardbirds. R&B comes next as Marvin Gaye's sings Ain't That Peculiar. The songs of Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions were inspirational for countless young vocalists in Jamaica during the 60's, listen to Gypsy Woman and you'll know why. The 1962 instrumental Telstar was the first record Rodigan bought when he was 11 years old. Anyway, the first reggae tune here comes from the immortal Justin Hinds & The Dominoes. His most notable song Carry Go Bring Come was recorded in late 1963, went to number one in Jamaica. He recorded seventy singles between 1964 and 1966, and was the most popular artist on Duke Reid's Treasure Isle record label. Alton Ellis' roots tune Black Man's Pride was produced by Sydney Crooks and is regarded as one of the singer's best tunes ever.
Disc Two brings us more pop tunes, with two exceptional originals. First there's Garnet Mimms & The Enchanters with A Quiet Place. The song was moderate US hit in 1964, but it became a massive scorcher in Jamaica when Winston Francis recorded the tune for Coxsone Dodd. Later on Yellowman and The Rolands did equally impressive versions of the riddim. Sitting in the Park is a 1965 song written and performed by Billy Stewart. The single was Stewart's fourth and most successful entry on the soul chart in the United States. In Jamaica artists such as Alton Ellis, Hortense Ellis, Dr. Alimentado and Junior Reid recorded the tune in fine reggae fashion.
Here you'll find massive hits like Freddie McGregor's Big Ship, Bob Andy's superb Life and Dennis Brown's My Time, but also lesser know quality tunes like The Abyssinians with Poor Jason Whyte. This early 70's tune is about a true story of a youth named Jason Whyte who got stranded at sea for over two weeks. Superb outing by Lloyd Charmers here. Colour Him Father is a awesome conscious tune by the man who is known for explicit lyrics in songs such as "Bang Bang Lulu", "Birth Control" and "Yum Yum Pussy" to name a few. A young Johnny Osbourne with the The Sensations delivers the early reggae roots classic See And Blind.
Disc Three opens in fine 'Scratch' style with Black Panta from the infamous Lee Perry, but the disc has some more dub specialties. Knock Out Punch is a rare dub outing by King Tubby with vocal interjections from Johnny Clarke. Strong rootical outing from dancehall superstar Busy Signal! Modern Day Slavery is one of the hardest tunes on the "Reggae Music Again" album from 2012. Marcia Griffiths shines on her roots anthem Stepping Out Of Babylon, while Luciano delivers the thrilling title track from his upcoming Ariwa album "Deliverance". Genre-busting beatmaster and club DJ extraordinare Riva Starr has brilliantly sampled Bob's vocal from his 1973 composition "Learning Things About You" on The Care Song.