Reggae Anthology: Winston Riley - Quintessential Techniques
November 18, 2009
Disc 1 (Quintessential Foundation 1967-82)
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 4/5||Sleeve : 5|
Winston Riley is one of the most successful producers coming out of Jamaica, and is the only Jamaican producer ever to have #1 hits in the 1960's, 70's, 80's & 90's. He has produced numerous reggae classics in his 40 plus years in the business.
Born in 1946, Kingston native Winston Riley began his career in 1962 when he and three other young lads from Kingston formed The Techniques. Success arrived in 1965 when the group was introduced to Duke Reid. They scored with ska hits like 'Little Did You Know' and 'When You Are Wrong'. In the Rocksteady period Slim Smith left the group and was replaced by Pat Kelly. Their popularity soared with hits like You Don't Care, 'Queen Majesty', 'My Girl' and 'Love Is Not A Gamble'. Most of their tunes at Treasure Isle were actually produced by Winston Riley himself.
After leaving the Treasure Isle camp he and his brother formed Techniques Records on 85 West Street in Kingston. In 1971 the duo Dave Barker and Ansel Collins enjoyed international chart success with Double Barrel. Ansel Collins was also responsible for the instrumental cut 'Stalag 17'. It became one of the most important dancehall riddims. This collection tragically omits the original cut, but includes two early versions of the riddim. In 1979 General Echo scored with Arleen, but Sister Nancy overruled him with her classic interpretation of the riddim. Implementing the melody and lyrics of Toots & The Maytals original 'Bam Bam' she took the dancehall by storm, although she never recorded any more full length albums in the 1980s other than 'One Two' with Techniques. Three more essential cuts of the riddim are also available here. First there's the awesome soundclash tune by Super Beagle called Dust A Sound Boy. It includes a special introduction by legendary soundsystem mc Fuzzy Jones. Tenor Saw's 1985 Ring The Alarm would become another trademark 'Stalag' song that would give way to worldwide recognition to the riddim and the artist Tenor Saw. Finally Professor Nuts lets off a nice bag of sexual politics with his tune Crazy Glue.
After they migrated to its famous location of 2 Chancery Lane in Kingston, the Techniques popularity grew and an impressive line-up of artists had their best times with producer Winston Riley. Kevin Jackson, better known as Sanchez, had his first hit - Loneliness - with his memorable spicy reconstruction of the Techniques' hit 'I'm In The Mood For Love' in 1988. Courtney Melody scored big in 1986 with Bad Boy, a tune that still remains a well celebrated club favourite today. Anthony Malvo and deejay Tiger created a harmonic treasure in 1990 with Come Back To Me, a wicked piece of music. During the 80s dancehall era Admiral Tibbet was one of the few consistent voices of consciousness. Here he delivers two fine pieces of music, Terrorist and the immensely popular Leave People Business, a recut of the Wailing Souls' 'Things and Time' classic. A young Yami Bolo follows with his lick of the riddim called Jah Made Them All.
Spinning disc one the listener gets to hear exceptional fine tunes such as Who You Gonna Run To by The Shades, an offshoot of The Techniques, led predominantly by Bruce Ruffin. And what a scorcher from Johnny Osbourne! Come Back Darling, is a raw and foot stomping tune about a love gone by. A second cut - Ready Or Not - by Johnny Osbourne sounds far more cultivated and well structured. But THE scorcher here has to be Jackie Paris and Ranking Trevor with Run For Your Life, a reworking of Delroy Wilson's original Studio One hit tune. This strange but very carefully and sweetly orchestrated tune became more popular than the original tune.
This double cd is a true 'no fillers, strictly killers' selection and comes with a very nice booklet featuring rare photos and extensive liner notes by Daddy Lion Chandell. Get it!!