Various artists album review
Rare Reggae Grooves From Studio One
08 - 01 - 2000
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 4||Sleeve : 4/5|
Producer from as far back as 1959 Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd can be regarded as the founder of Reggae music and his "Studio One" imprint as the most legendary record label in the history of Reggae. In search of a cultural dance beat for Jamaica his studio musicians created Ska. When the beat slowed down it became Rocksteady, then evolving into militant rock called Reggae. Excellent musicians like the late great Jackie Mittoo (who can be credited for providing a complete legacy of "riddims" still going strong today and enjoyed by many Reggae lovers all over the world), Don Drummond, Count Ossie, Leroy Sibbles, Roland Alphonso and Ernest Ranglin laid riddims for singers and vocal groups like The Wailing Wailers, Delroy Wilson, The Viceroys, Wailing Souls, Sugar Minott, Horace Andy, Freddie McGregor, Dennis Brown, Burning Spear, to name but a few. During the seventies in Jamaica the 12" mix of popular songs became the vogue. The vocals and dubs were mated for a musical extravaganza. As a result of the popularity of these 12" singles Coxsone Dodd compiled and released three "Showcase" albums.|
Now the Cambridge, Massachusetts U.S.A. based Heartbeat Records has issued "Rare Reggae Grooves From Studio One" which was originally released as "Studio One Showcase Volume 2". Many of the songs on the album were originally released in the late sixties and re-released in their extended version ten years later. All the tracks were overdubbed from their two track origins and then remixed and released.
The album opens with Lloyd Robinson's classic late seventies rocker Cuss Cuss. He recorded many sides for Coxsone, starting in 1963, before teaming up with several other Jamaican producers such as Duke Reid ab Harry J. Rootsman Peter Broggs recorded only one song for the Studio One label, but his Sing A New Song is a scorcher anchored by a taut bassline and crisp harmony.
The Gaylads recorded a staggering eighty-six tunes for producer Coxsone Dodd, and also cut two fine albums -"Soul Beat" and "Sunshine Is Golden"- for Studio One. The group comprised of B.B. Seaton, Delano Stewart and Maurice Roberts. They also did background vocals for a series of Studio One artists such as Peter Tosh and Slim Smith. For female producer Sonia Pottinger they scored well with the rocksteady tunes "Hard To Confess" and "ABC Rocksteady".
The Silvertones -Delroy Denton, Keith Coley and Gilmore Grant- cut their first tune for Duke Reid, moved to Lee Perry for whom they cut the "Silver Bullets' album and as of September 1999, the group was at Studio One singing harmonies and doing fresh material. Their tune Take A Little Love is soulful lovers tune. Vocalist Ken Boothe needs no introduction, just last year HeartBeat released the excellent compilation set A Man And His Hits. Come Running Back is a late ska rocker, originally released in 1966 on the Supreme label.
The Martinis recorded the rocksteady tune My Baby in 1966 before going back to college and moving into their chosen profession, which wasn't music. Arthur Robinson is better known as Bunny of Bunny and Scully, who started recording for Studio One in 1959. His track -Moments dates from 1968. The album closes beautifully with vocalist Winston 'Mr. Fix It' Francis who recorded some thirty songs for the label, many found on his two Studio One albums "Mr. Fix It" and "California Dreaming". The roots tune Going To Zion was originally released on a Music Lab 10" in the early eighties.
Rare Reggae Grooves From Studio One aka "Studio One Showcase Volume 2" features mostly lesser known songs from the foundation studio, but the beautiful musicianship, great vocal deliveries and fine harmonies make this album well worth checking out.