Various artists album review
Old To The New
VP Records-Walboomers Music
06 - 10 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. JC Lodge & Junior Kelly-Love You Like That
  2. Culture & Anthony B-Two Sevens Clash
  3. Sean Paul & Sasha-I'm Still In Love With You
  4. Mighty Diamonds & Luciano-Identity
  5. Barrington Levy & Cecile-My Woman
  6. Beres Hammond & U Roy-Ain't That Loving You
  7. Culture-I'm Not Ashamed
  8. Mykal Rose-Rent Man
  9. Richie Stephens-How Could I Leave
  10. Freddie McGregor-Should I
  11. George Nooks-Left With A Broken Heart
  12. Glen Washington-Money In My Pocket
  13. Barrington Levy-My Woman
  14. JC Lodge-Someone Loves You Honey
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4

When Steely & Clevie recorded an album of Studio One recreations using several veteran artists who’d helped producer Coxsone Dodd celebrate thirty-five years of his famous label in 1992, the results would reverberate throughout the entire reggae industry. Leading sound-systems began searching out long-forgotten artists to voice specials, and revival shows proliferated in Jamaica, where history is traditionally measured in weeks, and only rarely decades. The sessions for this same album also yielded the re-cut version of Dawn Penn’s ‘No, No, No’ that would subsequently prove a worldwide hit two years later, surprising everyone who’d thought a classic rub-a-dub tune stood no chance amidst competition from younger dancehall stars like Shabba Ranks or Buju Banton.
VP Records’ A&R director Murray Elias approached the duo to reinterpret some classic Joe Gibbs’ tracks in late 1999, having already chosen every track and listed his favorite artists before recording began in the fall of 2000. The remarkable career of Joe Gibbs stretches back to the 1960’s in the early beginnings of rocksteady music. Working with artists like Lee "Scratch" Perry, the Heptones, Dennis Brown, Mr. Gibbs would become one of the most important producers in pioneering reggae music. Hits like "Money In My Pocket" by Dennis Brown, Culture’s "Two Sevens Clash," and Barrington Levy’s "My Woman" are just a few examples of his musical genius.
In "Old To The New : A Steely & Clevie Tribute to Joe Gibbs Classics," compilation, the respected duo show their respect towards the producer, Joe Gibbs as the project takes the 'old' Joe Gibbs classic tunes from the 70’s – 80’s and gives them a modern 'new' spin with current artists like Sean Paul, Anthony B, Beres Hammond and more. The selection of new classic songs on this album is only surpassed by the array of talented vocalists. The line up features both the original recording artists on remakes of their earlier hits and combinations or solo outings by both the original artists as well many of contemporary reggae’s biggest stars.
The album kicks off with JC Lodge's worldwide hit Someone Love You Honey, here renamed to Love You Like That, alongside deejay Junior Kelly. The song was a hit for black C&W singer Charlie Pride, and marked the end of Joe Gibbs' activities as a costly legal battle concerning unpaid royalties over the song finally brought an end to recordings from Joe Gibbs. The combination Culture and Anthony sounds great on the seminal Two Sevens Clash. Sweet lovers rock by Sean Paul and Sasha in I'm Still In Love With You, an Alton Ellis song that delivered the riddim for many hit tunes. Highlight of the album is the combination Luciano and Mighty Diamonds. They take up the hit Identity, a strong cultural tune that hasn't lost any of his impact. From 1980 comes My Woman by Barrington Levy, here done with Cecile. Beres' and U Roy's interpretation of Alton Ellis' Ain't That Loving You is strong and Joseph Hill, one of reggae's greatest roots singers, does an updated version of the 1977 song I'm Not Ashamed. Mykal Rose's haunting vocals and the powerful reality lyrics make Rent Man one of Black Uhuru's finest tunes, while Freddie does an excellent job re-creating Dennis' Should I. The Motwon soul band, The Four Tops, had a hit with Left With A Broken Heart and many Jamaican versions followed. Here George Nooks, aka Prince Mohammed, delivers decent version. Glen 'Rockers Nuh Crackers' Washington brings a fine rendition of Dennis Browns best known tune Money In My Pocket. The disc closes with two alternate solo versions of Barrington Levy's My Woman and JC Lodge's Someone Loves You Honey.
An excellent 'must have' album !

Teacher & Mr. T.