Various artists album review
Socking Good Time
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4||Sound quality : 4||Sleeve : 4|
Socking Good Times takes you back to the days of old, in fact to the years 1967 and 1968 when the "rocksteady" genre dominated Jamaican music. Throughout the decades that followed we could witness the release of many compilation albums on which the compilers mostly included the renown artists and hits from the rocksteady era. Of course, there were so much more great songs and noteworthy artists, but the scale of productivity during this period was so immense that many potential hits and talented artists were simply lost within the deluge of releases flooding the market. It's not that often that we get an album that gathers that many examples of the latter, although some well known songs and artists - like The Sensations, The Gladiators and The Viceroys, three of Jamaica's most distinguished vocal groups - are included as well.|
Let's first talk about the groups included on this album.
The "sensational" Sensations are represented with three excellent soulful rocksteady songs, all recorded for W.I.R.L. Records. Especially their interpretation of Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions' Right On Time is awesome. The Gladiators - at that time consisting of Albert Griffiths, Clinton Fearon and David Webber - achieved major international success in the late seventies. Their contributions are notable rocksteady pieces that were issued on producer Leebert Robinson's "Rob's Records" imprint. Besides that it is extremely likely that they also recorded the songs Pretty Face Girl and She Said She Loved Me, which Robinson actually issued as being by The Sealmates. Furthermore this set includes a Derrick Morgan produced rare but truly excellent cut from The Viceroys. The Hot Tops have only recorded one tune - also for producer Derrick Morgan - and it's very probable they were in fact an amalgation of singers who happened to be in the studio at the time of recording. Another fine Derrick Morgan production included is Give Me Loving from The Black Brothers. Later on they also recorded some notable sides for ace producers Duke Reid and Coxsone Dodd. Solid rocksteady songs are also delivered by The Untouchables. Their tracks were produced by Enos McLeod, who also appears to have sung the lead vocal.
Speaking of Enos McLeod we can switch over to the solo artists and the duets, because other Enos McLeod produced tracks on this album are his decent solo effort, his nice duet with Sheila and veteran singer Lloyd Clarke's rendition of Cliff Richard's "The Young Ones" retitled as Young Lover. With That Girl the short-lived vocal duo Lloyd & Glen (Glen Brown and Lloyd Robinson) deliver a notable contribution to this compilation set. Glen Brown's solo efforts were produced by Charles Ross and both recorded at Studio One with the Soul Vendors as the backing band. Although Keith & Tex scored some huge hits - including Leaving On That Train - with producer Derrick Harriott they abruptly ended their musical career in the early seventies. Other Derrick Harriott-produced tracks are the two instrumentals on this album - great efforts from guitarist Lyn Taitt and trumpeter Bobby Ellis - both of which were included on the highly sought-after "Rocksteady Party" album of 1967. Little is known of the remaining vocal acts on this compilation, but their tunes are certainly well worth to be included.
This album contains many precious moments from way back, so it's obvious that we are truly delighted with this fine compilation set of mainly "forgotten gems".