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100 greatest rocksteady tunes « DanceCrasher

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February 19, 2011, at 1:59 pm

The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #20

Bus Dem Shut – The Wailers (Wailers Production)

What a tune! Released in the summer of 1967 this shows that the Wailers were every bit as good as the Uniques or the Sensations on their day.

Before starting their Wail N Soul M label the Wailers had recorded exclusively for Coxsone Dodd, though many artists were dabbling with self productions in the rocksteady era few made as much of a go of it as the … continue reading…

February 15, 2011, at 10:18 pm

The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #21

Little Things – Hemsley Morris (Phil Pratt Production)

A delicate haunting vocal that seems absolutely perfect for the rhythm. Apparently Phil Pratt is providing the harmonies on this but it’s definitely the Hemsley Morris show. The lyrics are based on Kitty Kallen’s 1954 pop hit Little Things Mean A Lot though they are far from identical and this is alot more than a cover version.

Producer Phil Pratt had a link with Ken Lack of … continue reading…

January 12, 2011, at 12:32 pm

The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #22

Big Mistake – The Basses (Coxsone Dodd Production)

A minor key masterpiece from Brentford Road. The jury is out on if this ever came out on a seven inch, most say not but it’s pretty much impossible to be certain. It did appear however on the Coxsone LP Get Ready Rocksteady and made a great album even better. The Basses AKA The Bassies were Clifford Morrison, George Blake and Richard Smith, this wasn’t their biggest … continue reading…

October 31, 2010, at 1:44 pm

The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #23

Do I Worry – Derrick Harriott (Derrick Harriott Production)

Derrick Harriott proves once again that he was a fine singer as well as a top notch producer. Do I Worry was originally by the Ink Spots, their version (released in 1940) was fine but Derrick’s is masterful and proves once again that a cover version can often be better than the original.

Harriott had been singing and producing since the start of the 60’s but … continue reading…

October 30, 2010, at 11:23 am

The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #24

It’s Hard To Confess – The Gaylads (Sonia Pottinger Production)

A real anthem here from the Gaylads. In their long and succesful career the trio only cut a handful of sides for Sonia Pottinger, this one was the best.

Vocal harmonies are a constant factor in some of the greatest rocksteady tunes (and therefore a regular theme in this top 100) but it would be impossible to talk about this tune without mentioning them once … continue reading…

August 15, 2010, at 12:51 am

The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #25

Sounds And Pressure – Hopeton Lewis (Sam Mitchell and Keith Scott production)

Perhaps the biggest Merritone rocksteady tune of them all and certainly one of Hopeton Lewis’s greatest records. This was recorded in 1966 at Federal studio’s in a session financed by the Khouri brothers (who owned the studio) but run by Keith Scott and Sam Mitchell. Scott explained the circumstances of the session where this was recorded in an interview published in the Beat … continue reading…

August 10, 2010, at 8:41 pm

The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #26

Message Of Old – Joe Higgs & Ken Boothe (Studio One Production)

Ken Boothe is a giant of Jamaican music and one of it’s greatest ever voices though on this tune it’s hard not to think that it’s Joe Higgs who carries it. Higgs has a pedigree in the Jamaican music industry that is almost second to none, alongside Roy Wilson in the duo Higgs And Wilson he was one of the first hit makers … continue reading…

August 9, 2010, at 8:37 pm

The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #27

Cantelope Rock – Jo Jo Bennett And The Fugitives (Jo Jo Bennett Production)

There is something about Cantelope Rock that gets right under your skin, even people who don’t know or like Jamaican music will tap their feet to this.

Cantelope Rock is a version of Herbie Hancock’s jazz classic Canteloupe Island written in 1964, though the original Jamaican label gives the writers credit to Hugh Masekela who also recorded the tune in the mid … continue reading…

June 2, 2010, at 12:27 am

The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #28

Afred Hitchcock – Bobby Ellis And The Crystalites (Derrick Harriott Production)

Yet more from Derrick Harriott, this time an instrumental. It’s hard to top a rocksteady instrumental with Derrick Harriott in the producers chair, and with Bobby Ellis at the fore with a wonderfully mournful horns lead you realy can’t go wrong…this is sublime stuff.

Bobby Ellis, a product of the Alpha Boys School, played with the Mighty Vikings in the early 60’s. This connection … continue reading…

April 16, 2010, at 12:04 pm

The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #29

Chatty Chatty AKA Glendevon Special – Junior Soul (Derrick Harriott Production) A second side from Junior Soul AKA Junior Murvin, real name Murvin Smith Junior, in the top 100 (see also Miss Cushie at number 78). Murvin cut something less than a dozen sides in the latter part of the 60’s, these recordings were made for two producers; Sonia Pottinger, and Derrick Harriot who released this tune. It was issued on a blank label pre-release … continue reading…