Few would argue that there are many better re-issue companies than Pressure Sounds these days. For vinyl only you can talk about Deeper Knowledge/Digikiller and Dubstore, for CD and vinyl Universal/Trojan maybe run them close but Pressure Sounds continue to lead the way with quality CD’s/LP’s alongside vinyl singles all put together with a style and attention to detail that makes them hard to resist.
The latest addition to their catalogue is a collection of tunes from Blondel Kalneck’s Caltone group of labels on CD/double LP plus four seven inch singles that take tunes that showcase the best of the compilation alongside four others that didn’t quite make the fit.
Honey Boy Martin – Dreader Than Dread
The CD/double LP titled Listen To The Music: Caltone’s Jamaican 45’s 1966-69 contains 21 tracks that span the late ska to early reggae eras with the emphasis being on rocksteady. There are a few ballad and soul tunes in the mix, most notably the two offerings from the Uniques. Any disappointment that these aren’t classic rocksteady is quickly forgotten due to the pure beauty of Slim Smiths vocals on these, as the sleeve notes so accurately comment he would have been an exceptional singer in any genre.
01. Peter Austin & The Clarendonians with The Ernie Ranglin All Stars – I’m Sorry
02. Lloyd & the Groovers With Tommy McCook and the Supersonics – Listen To The Music
03. Tommy McCook & The Supersonics- Killer Joe
04. Devon and The Tartans – Making Love
05. Alva Lewis with Lynn Taitt and his Band – Return Home
06. Chuck Jaques & with Lynn Taitt and the Comets – Dial 609
07. The Uniques with Tommy McCook & The Supersonics – The Journey
08. The Kingstonians – Why Wipe The Smile From Your Face
09. The Clarendonians – I’ll Never Try
10. Tommy McCook & The Supersonics – Smooth Sailing
11. The Kingstonians – Love Is The Greatest Science
12. The Clarendonians with The Aubrey Adams All Stars – Lonely Heartaches
13. The Cool Cats – Hold Your Love
14. The Uniques With The Caltone Studio Orchestra – Do Me Good
15. The Diplomats With Tommy McCook & The Supersonics – Going Along
16. Lloyd and the Groovers with Lynn Taitt & his Band- My Heart And Soul
17. Chuck Jaques & The Supersonics – Now That You’ve Gone
18. Eric ‘Monty’ Morris – Hear Them Say
19. Honey Boy Martin & The Voices with Tommy McCook and the Supersonics – Dreader Than Dread
20. King Rocky & The Willows with the Super Sonics – You Are The One
21. The Emotions with The Lynn Taitt Band – Gypsy
The Clarendonians – I’m Sorry
There are just too many great tunes here but if pressed to pick out the very best it would have to be two of the Clarendonians tunes; I’m Sorry and Lonely Heartaches, two rocksteady classics that have been hard to find for far too long.
For those with deeper pockets there is a limited run of 150 copies of the LP with a silk screened sleeve. The only complaint is that not all of the tunes are of pristine sound quality, unfortunately when older tunes are involved and master tapes are not available this is frequently a problem.
The four singles all come on replica Caltone (two with the UK type and one with the more basic Jamaican version) or Jontom labels and come in printed or stamped die cut sleeves. None of the B sides feature on the LP/CD release. It’s a little curious that some of these never made the LP/CD as they are every bit as good, if not better, than some of the tunes that are on the long player. Take for example It’s Alright by The Tartans, a next vocal on the rhythm for Honey Boy Martin’s Dreader Than Dread.
The Tartans – It’s Aright
- Chuck Jaques – Dial 609/Lynn Tait & The Jets – The Brush (Caltone label)
- The Clarendonians – I’m Sorry/The Tartans – It’s Alright (Caltone label)
- Lloyd & The Groovers – Listen To The Music/The Emotions – I Can’t Do No More (Caltone label)
- Tommy McCook – Smooth Sailing/Jerk Time (Jontom label)
Taken with their earlier issue of Caltone related Phil Pratt productions, Safe Travel, Pressure Sounds have well and truly cornered the market for Caltone rocksteady. Yes we at DanceCrasher may be biased but this is essential stuff.