Tokyo’s Dub Store Records have just announced a series of reissues of Studio One Ska and Rocksteady tunes on 7″ vinyl. Something like this had been expected for a while so it’s great to see the first singles appear. Less good new is some of these issues appear to duplicate releases put out from Dreum & Bass/Rock A Shacka, more of that later.
Expect around 20 singles in coming months, they boast that most come direct from the master tapes and there will be a number of previously unreleased tunes. The first batch (if not all) come in a great looking replica of an early 60′s Coxsone sleeve.
Soul Brothers – Freedom Sounds/Soul Brothers – Freedom Sounds Take 2
Two previously unissued early Rocksteady cuts of the Skatalites Ska classic. Released on a replica blue and silver early Studio One label.
Monty And The Cyclones – Summertime/Monty And The Cyclones – Dog It
Originally recorded around 1960/61 this was the first of a number of cuts of the standard that were recorded for Dodd over the years. The original on the Teen label is the stuff of legends and this reissue on a replica label is more than welcome.
The Wailers – Rock Sweet Rock (AKA Sweetest Rocker)/The Wailers – Jerk In Time (AKA Jerking Time)
Two classic late Ska Wailers tunes issued on a replica Coxsone label like their first issue circa 1966.
Roland Alphonso – From Russia With Love/Roland Alphonso – Cleopatra
Two great tunes but these are already available on a Rock A Shacka repress from 2012.
Forthcoming releases to look forward to in the series include a previously unreleased second take of Last Call by Don Drummond, James Bond Girl by the Soul Bros and Ice Water by Jack Sparrow (Leonard Dillon).
On a less positive note many tracks that were already issued by Rock A Shacka on 7″ single in the last eighteen months are also slated for re-release, these include Chain Gang by the Jamaicans, Give Me A Little Sign by Owen Grey, People Get Ready by the Minstrels and Summertime by Roy Richards. The reason for these duplicate reissues is probably because of the feud Dub Store had with Rock A Shacka over alleged bootleg recordings a couple of years ago (Dancecrasher wrote about it here). That said Dub Store have previously duplicated re-issues from New York based Deadly Dragon as well, this prompted a furious attack on the Japanese company via youtube. This seeming lack of concern about the potential harm their activeness can have on other record labels makes it hard to really respect Dub Store regardless of how great records they put out.
Many thanks to Marcus on the Pama forum for the heads up on this… Just up on youtube an edition of the London Weekend Show from January 1976 that looks at reggae. A lovely little feature with Carl Gayle, Junior Lincoln and Steve Barnard plus the mighty Fat Man Soundsystem – great stuff!
Over the last few years the Sunrise label, a subsidiary of Secret Records, has been busy issuing a series of CD’s featuring all of the 7″ singles from the very earliest years of the legendary Blue Beat label. There was one double CD for 1960, two for 1962 and now three for 1963. Unfortunately this will be the final year of this remarkable series as the copyright for recordings was extended from 50 years to 70 in 2011 and as this ruling comes into effect we’re going to have to wait another twenty years for the reissue of vintage recordings such as these. You can read about the change here.
Higgs & Wilson – Mighty Man
This last batch of three double CD’s gathers together the releases for 1962 in chronological order with the A sides on the first CD and the B sides on the second. The first side on the Part 1 CD is Million Dollar Baby by Shenley (Duffus) & Annette (Clarke) originally issued on Blue Beat catalogue number BB72, the last A side on part three is Busty & Cool – Mr Policeman originally issues on BB177. There are also a handful of bonus tracks on each CD featuring recordings released on other Melodisc subsidiaries such as Dice and Chek. Another bonus is the extensive and informative sleeve notes by Mike Atherton, these help place the music in context and show that Sunrise are serious about releasing a quality product.
Count Ossie & His Warrikas – First Gone
There is a mix of musical styles here from Shuffle sounds and the emerging Ska beat, raucous Rhythm & Blues, sentimental Ballads and almost everything in between. Not everything is great of course, there is the odd painfully off key voice that will leave you wishing that auto tune had existed at the start of the sixties and some muddy sound tracks that betray the very basic recording facilities that existed around this time. Fortunately for each weak tune there is a strong one and artists like the Blues Busters, Higgs & Wilson, Eric Morris, Derrick Harriot and many more, guarantee that there is quality on every CD on each of the three parts.
Prince Buster – Time Longer Than Rope
The sound quality is mixed which is hardly surprising given as most of the recordings must have been sourced from old 45′s but over all it’s pretty good and given the vintage you’d be hard pressed to find cleaner copies of many of these titles.
It’s hard to listen to more than one of these CD’s in a single sitting, but as a document that charts the early years of the Jamaican music industry these are essential. Sunrise could have compiled just one single/double CD of the very best tracks but the attraction just wouldn’t be the same.
Parts one and two are available now, part three is released on the 20 May.
The Sensations – Long Time Me No See You Girl (Bunny Lee Production)
I first heard Long Time Me No See You Girl around 1989 when it was included on the Trojan album Jumping With Mr Lee, one of the producers series LP’s compiled by Steve Barrow. The first tune on that collection it was breathtaking then and it still sounds every bit as good now.
The Sensations started recording for Duke Reid in 1966 and by the time they had linked up with Bunny Lee in 1967 they were already at the top of their game. Though the line up changed several times they remained one of the best Jamaican vocal groups throughout the remainder of the 60′s.
Long Time… is a simple enough song with only a few lines that are repeated but it’s the performance that matters, the beautiful harmonies tell a story all of their own aided by a superb rhythm that features one of the greatest horn lines of the rocksteady era.
Long Time Me No See You Girl has appeared on many compilations over the years but seems to be unavailable at the present time.
Deeper Knowledge/Digikiller have tended to focus more on 70′s sounds in recent months so it’s nice to see a selection of 80′s reissues – especially when they’re as tough as these! This time round they’ve returned to the Tasha and Leggo Sounds labels for a selection of 10″ and 7″ reissues and unreleased cuts.
First up on the Tasha label and presented on two 10″ singles three cuts of the original Dem A Lick Shot rhythm.
DKR-145 – Michael Palmer – Dem a Lick Shot/Version//Steve Knight – See Dem a Come/Version
Michael Palmer had a big hit when he voiced Dem A Lick Shot at Powerhouse but this is the first cut from 1984. The Steve Knight cut was originally issued on LP only this is a different mix. Both sides have different dubs.
DKR-144 – Midnight Riders – Cross the Border/Border Dub
A fine previously unreleased cut on the same rhythm. DKR love the Midnight Riders and it’s not hard to see why.
And two 7″ singles produced by Trevor Douglas on the Leggo Sounds imprint.
BE-011 – The Hax – Gimme The Wuk/Version
Originally issued on both 7″ and 12″, the latter under The Hax’s real name of Carlton Lafters.
BE-012 – The Hax – Nah Fatten No Roach Fe Fowl/Version
Originally issued (and in demand!) on Leggo Sounds 7″. The labels on the DKR represses are very good copies of the originals.
Spring Hill records return after over a year off with a new 7″ reissue featuring Michael Palmer – She Sexy.
The rhythm was recorded with the Roots Radics at Channel One around 1981 and was originally used for Freddie McKay’s Another Weekend (issued on a Greensleeves 12″). Michael Palmer’s cut only saw issue on the Dancefloor label LP, Michael Palmer Meets Kelly Ranks issued in 1985, the lyric is kind of lightweight but the rhythm (and don’t forget the dub!) is anything but.
Mistah Brown and I from the Tighten Up Crew joined Keith Lawrence for his Thursday night Reggae show on www.mi-soul.com radio this week to play some tunes. The show is up on Mixcloud so check it out, we’re on from around 1:09:00.
If you like what you hear then you need to be in London on Saturday 4 May for the next Tighten Up session where we are joined by selectors like Bigfoot and Chucky Downbeat. Full details are here. Don’t miss!
Jammy’s E20 is one of the finest digital rhythms of the late 80′s. Surprisingly, it wasn’t re-cut by other producers as often as some of the other classics of this period, but one producer who did pick it up was New York based Whitfield “Witty” Henry. Several fine cuts were released on Witty label 12″s back in the day and it’s great to see that these have been picked up by a reactivated Goldshop label out of New York for reissue on 7″ singles.
Sammy Dread – Warrior
Robert Ffrench – Don’t Let Me Down
Louie Lepke – Bank Robbery
(Originally issued on the flip side of the above Robert Ffrench side on 12″).
These releases are distributed by Bond Export and should be available through most sellers shortly.