Hopeton Lewis’s Live It Up has been pretty much the stuff of legends for many years. A next piece on the rhythm of John Holt’s classic Ali Baba that was arguably even better than the original, first issued on a blank only and in tiny quantities. So rare was this that even many seasoned reggae people didn’t know the tune or had only heard it on a handful of occasions over the years.
Live It Up
Now like a couple of proverbial buses we get two 7″ vinyl issues of this at pretty much the same time, and both apparently fully legit too.
First up we get the heavyweights from Trojan weighing in with Live It Up issued on a faithful reproduction of their original Duke Reid label. On the flip side of this issue is John Holt’s original Ali Baba segued into a dub. The dub is taken from the one originally released on the Treasure Dub LP in the mid 70’s, this track weighs in at just over four and a half minutes in total meaning neither the vocal or the dub are the full versions. Trojan issued 500 copies of this and apparently all copies are sold out already.
Next up is Live It Up issued on a rather cheap looking imitation of the Baron’s label. I’m not sure who is behind this release, it isn’t any of the established reissue companies. The flip side is an unconnected Ska tune; Smoking Ska by Baba Brooks. The good news is this issue should still be available, the bad news is at £10 a copy it’s not exactly cheap. I don’t have it so can’t comment on the quality of the press etc. but the label definitely looks on the cheap side, it’s a shame they couldn’t have made a little more effort.