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The Unity label. Part 1 « DanceCrasher

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The Unity label. Part 1

UN500A Slim Smith – On Broadway
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/onbroadway-slimsmith.mp3]
UN500B Lester Sterling – Unity Is Strength
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/unityisstrength.mp3]
This first issue was only put out as printed label and blank pre-releases. On Broadway had a proper release on Unity UN510 whereas Unity Is Strength was issued as the flip side to Rescue Me by The Reggae Girls on Nu Beat where it was credited to the Soul Mates and D.A.Leigh (Donald Lee) as a Unity Records Production.

UN501A Stranger Cole And Tommy McCook – Last Flight To Reggie City
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/lastflighttoreggaecity.mp3]
UN501B Junior – Watch Dem Go
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/watchdemgo.mp3]
The A side is a Lloyd Charmers production issued on the Carifta label in Jamaica in 1968. The bass line is similar to, if not the same as, Just Like A River by Stranger & Glady a Joe Gibbs production from the same year.
The B side is a UK production by Roy Smith.

UN502A Stranger Cole And Lester Sterling – Bangarang
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/bsangarang.mp3]
UN502B Stranger Cole – If We Should Ever Meet
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/ifweshouldevermeet.mp3]
Bangarang was a big hit in both the UK and Jamaica, it was recorded in October 1968 and alongside Lester Sterlings saxophone and Stangers vocal features the organ début of Glen Adams. In Jamaica this tune appeared on both the Lee’s and Carifta labels. Pama released the Bangarang LP on the strength of this. See also UN517B for a version.
UN502B Is a late Rocksteady tune. There is a second male vocal in the mix, apparently Gladstone Anderson. Both sides are credited as Derrick Morgan productions on the Unity issue though Bangarang was produced by Bunny Lee. The B side production is unclear though it was probably Stranger Cole himself.

UN503-1 Max Romeo – Wet Dream
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/wetdream.mp3]
UN503-2 Max Romeo – She’s But A Little Girl
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/shesbutalittlegirl.mp3]
Wet Dream was massive hit in the UK reaching number 10 in the pop charts in May of 1969. The success was based partly on the sheer catchiness of the tune and partially on the risqué nature of the lyrics. Max has spent virtually entire career trying to live this one down, or pretending too anyway. Produced by Bunny Lee this utilised the rhythm first used for Derrick Morgan’s Hold You Jack . There were numerous other versions of this rhythm; see UN528, UN530, UN541. Plus Wet Version by Dave Barker and Wet Vision by U Roy. On the strength of this track Pama released the A Dream With Max Romeo LP.

UN504A Slim Smith – Everybody Needs Love
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/everybodyneedslove.mp3]
UN504B Junior Smith – Come Back Girl
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/comebackgirl.mp3]
Everybody Needs Love was a big hit for Slim Smith and a big rhythm for producer Bunny Lee, he used it for a number of other recordings including a second outing for Slim Smith – There Is A Light (UN542), plus cuts by Jeff Barnes (1,000 Tons Of Version), Winston Williams (Love Version) Peter Tosh (Sun Valley- UN529), The Bunny Lee All Stars (Hook Up- UN533). Plus a couple of mid 70’s cuts, Ital Girl by Dennis Alcapone and A Standing Ovation by Jackie Mittoo. Slim’s album for Pama was also named after the track. The Jamaican issue came out on Sonia Pottingers High Note label using the UK metal stampers. The original Slim Smith cut was also used by producer Prince Tony for a DJ cut by Winston Scotland called Quick And Slick in the early 70’s. The B side is a UK effort, the second tune on the label by Junior Smith, produced by Roy Smith.

UN505A Lester Sterling – Reggae On Broadway
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/reggayonbroadway.mp3]
UN505B The Clique – Love Can Be Wonderful
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/lovecanbewonderful.mp3]
An instrumental version of the classic Drifters tune, there were two vocal cuts of On Broadway issued on Unity, by Dave Barker and Slim Smith and two more instrumentals UN509(1) and UN529(2). Most likely another Bunny Lee production though in Jamaica this was issued on the flip side of Everybody Needs Love on High Note.
Who were the Clique?

UN506A Tommy McCook – The Avengers
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/theavengers.mp3]
UN506B Laurel Aitken – Donkey Man
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/donkeyman.mp3]
The Avengers took it’s name from the TV programme (check the writers credit to J.Steed!) this is a next version of the Bangarang rhythm.
Donkey Man was a UK production. The matrix of this shows a crossed out NB024B which would indicate that it was originally slated for release on the Nu Beat label (the official NB024B release was Mr Soul, also by Laurel Aitken). Donkey Man is a caustic attack on Dandy Livingston with a typical UK (Rudies?) rhythm.

UN507A Max Romeo – Belly Woman
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/bellywoman.mp3]
UN507B Paulette And The Lovers – Please Stay
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/pleasestay.mp3]
Belly Woman was by Derrick Morgan and not Max Romeo as indicated on the label. Most probably a Bunny Lee production.
Please Stay by Paulette Morgan And The Lovers is a cover of the Drifters classic.

UN508A Slim Smith – For Once In My Life
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/foronceinmylife.mp3]
UN508B Slim Smith – Burning Desire
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/burningdesire.mp3]
Two Bunny Lee productions. Burning Desire was re-issued by Pama on the Bullet label (BU523B).

UN509-1 Lester Sterling – Spoogy
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/spoogy.mp3]
UN509-2 Tommy McCook – Monkey Fiddle
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/monkeyfiddle.mp3]
Spoogy sees Lester Stirling playing saxaphone over the On Broadway rhythm together with dubbed on crowd applause. The Jamaican issue of this used a Pama stamper marked NB025-A indicating either an error at the cutting stage or that the tune had originally been slated for release on Nu Beat.

UN510-1 Slim Smith – Zip-Pa-Di-Do-Dah
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/zippadidodah.mp3]
UN510-2 Slim Smith – On Broadway
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/onbroadway.mp3]
Zip-Pa-Di-Do-Dah was originally composed by Ray Gilbert for Walt Disney’s animated classic Song Of The South. The Jamaican issue came out on Carifta backed by Love & Devotion.
UN510(2) is probably the first cut on the On Broadway rhythm. This was originally slated for UN500A which never saw full release. See UN505A and UN509A for two instrumental versions

UN511-1 Max Romeo – Twelfth Of Never
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/twelfthofnever.mp3]
UN511-2 The Tartans – Solid As A Rock
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/solidasarock.mp3]
Twelfth Of Never was incorrectly credited to Max Romeo on the label but is actually by Pat Kelly. This Johnny Mathis tune had originally been released by Bunny Lee in 1968 in a Rocksteady style, this 1969 release sounds suspiciously like the original vocal track had been dubbed onto a more up to date Reggae rhythm.
Solid As A Rock is a Ken Lack, Caltone rocksteady production from a couple of years before.

UN512-1 Lester Sterling – Regina
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/regina.mp3]
UN512-2 Lester Sterling – Bright As A Rose
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/brightasarose.mp3]
Two saxophone lead instrumentals over the same rhythm track. Bright As A Rose was released for a second time on UN531. The rhythm track was used for a third Lester Stirling tune, Danger Man. Both tunes were on the Bangarang LP.

UN513-1 Slim And Paulette – Let It Be Me
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/letitbeme.mp3]
UN513-2 Slim And Paulette – Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/lovemakesmedofoolishthings.mp3]
Paulette is either Paulette Williams from the Ebony Sisters or Paulette Morgan. The writers credits on Let It Be Me are given to Jerry Butler & Betty Everett presumably because they had a hit with Let It Be Me in 1964. The song had actually first been recorded by Jill Corey in 1958 and was written by Mann Curtis and Gilbert Becaud.
Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things is a cover of the Holland, Dozier, Holland composition for Motown. Both sides of this release saw issue in Jamaica on Carifta.

UN514-1 Stranger Cole – When I Get My Freedom
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/whenigetmyfreedom.mp3]
UN514-2 Stranger Cole – Life Can Be Beautiful
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/lifecanbebeautiful.mp3]
The only Jamaican issues of this release I’ve seen, on a blank and on Carib-Dis-Co, used the UK Unity stampers. Both sides are apparently Stranger Cole productions. The rhythm for When I Get My Freedom was used for Death Rides A Horse by Roy Richards (issued in the UK on Crab CRAB28). Life Can Be Beautiful is a very similar rhythm to the A side. Some rhythm swapping went on as Bunny Lee used it two different songs by John Holt, I’ll Be Yours and for A Little Tear , the latter was issued on Unity (UN561) and by Trojan on their Jackpot label. There were also two instrumental cut’s an unnamed cut featuring Lester Stirling and a cut called Secret Weapon by the Black Pearls.

UN515-1 Slim Smith – Somebody To Love
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/somebodytolove.mp3]
UN515-2 Slim Smith – Confusion
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/confusion.mp3]
Slim tackles Solomon Burke’s classic, he only knew some of the lyrics though. Confusingly this was released on the Jamaican Unity label as Everybody Needs Somebody. Peter Tosh cut an organ version called The Crimson Pirate. Ain’t Too Proud To Beg by Slim Smith & the Uniques was also assigned the UN515-B number (see below) though on the UK issue the record was issued on Gas 117 with the Unity matrix being crossed out. Bunny Lee did however use one of these Unity stampers for the Jamaican issue.

UN515-1 Slim Smith – Somebody To Love
UN515-2 The Uniques – Ain’t Too Proud To Beg
This is the paring that was issued in Jamaica (see above) there may be blank UK issues but this is not confirmed.

UN516-1 Max Romeo – Wine Her Goosie
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/winehergoosie.mp3]
UN516-2 King Cannon – Fire Ball
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/fireball.mp3]
Wine Her Goosie is a version of the old mento tune Miss Goosey, perhaps Max Romeo hoped to repeat the sucess of Wet Dream with some more risque lyrics. Max recut this tune on UN521B on a different rhythm. This issue was released on the Jamaican Unity imprint by Bunny Lee. The rhythm was also used for a Lester Stirling instrumental; Man At The Door (UN518B) and for Zapatoo The Tiger, by Rolo Poley issued on UK Jackpot (JP704). There are a number of versions of Miss Goosey in Jamaican music including a Lee Perry produced cut called Goosey apparently by Pat Satchmo.
Fire Ball is a saxophone lead instrumental by Carl Bryan on the same rhythm as the Ethiopians – Not Me , the Ethiopians tune is a Lee Perry production whereas the Jamaican pressing of Fire Ball credits the Bunny Lee All Stars so maybe some more rhythm swapping went on between Bunny and Scratch. This was issued in Jamaica on the Carifta label using the UK Unity stamper.

UN517-1 Lester Sterling – 1,000 Tons Of Megaton
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/10000tonsofmegaton.mp3]
UN517-2 King Cannon – Five Card Stud
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/fivecardstud.mp3]
This was almost certainly pressed up by Pama as a blank pre-release only.
1,000 Tons Of Megaton was released in Jamaica credited to the Bunny Lee All Stars as El Sombrero on the Carifta label. It is a version of Pat Kelley’s How Long Will It Take. Confusingly enough the similarly named 1,000,000 Tons Of TNT that was issued on Lester Stirling’s Bangarang album on Pama was a completely different tune. And a second tune named 1,000 Tons Of Megaton this time by Roland Alphonso was issued on Unity in Jamaica and Gas in the UK, this is different again (and is a version of Slim Smith’s Everybody Needs Love (UN504)).
Five Card Stud is a vocal cut on the Bangarang rhythm.

UN518-1 Lester Sterling – Man About Town
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/manabouttown.mp3]
UN518-2 Lester Sterling – Man At The Door
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/manatthedoor.mp3]
On the same rhythm as Max Romeo’s Wine Her Goosie (UN516B)

UN519-2 D Tony Lee – Peyton Place
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/peytonplace.mp3]
UN519-2 D Tony Lee – Red Gal Ring
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/redgalring.mp3]
Two cuts on the rhythm of Pat Kelly’s huge How Long (Will It Take). Peyton Place is named after the UK TV series. D.Tony Lee is Bunny Lee’s brother Donald, the DJ on both tracks is Jeff Barnes. On Red Gal Ring Barnes name checks Roland Alphonso who then gives a blistering saxaphone solo.

UN520-1 Slim Smith – Slip Away
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/slipaway.mp3]
UN520-2 Slim Smith – Spanish Harlem
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/spanishharlem.mp3]
Slip Away is a Bunny Lee production. Lester Stirling also cut an instrumental version of the rhythm called Slip Up (UN562A) but the most successful version was when Lee Perry took the rhythm track to Randy’s and voiced Dave Barker singing Prisoner Of Love.
Slim’s take on the Ben E King classic Spanish Harlem. Pama re-released both sides of the single on the Camel label in 1971 (CA81) with Spanish Harlem elevated to the A side.

UN521-1 Max Romeo – Wine Her Goosie
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/winehergoosie.mp3]
UN521-2 Max Romeo – I Don’t Want To Lose Your Love
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/idontwanttoloseyourlove.mp3]
Probably release on a blank label only. This was the second cut of Wine Her Goosie and is on a differnet rhythm with slightly different vocals to UN616A. This second cut was recorded in the UK, originally for inclusion on the A Dream LP.

UN522-1 Prince Buster And The All Stars – Thirty Pieces Of Silver
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/30piecesofsilver.mp3]
UN522-2 Prince Buster And The All Stars – Everybody Ska
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/everybodyska.mp3]
Both sides were originally issued back to back on Stateside in the UK and Amy in America in 1964. Pama licensed a lot of Soul product from the Amy label, this release came via that route. Confusingly there was a release with exactly the same titles on Blue Beat (BB248), on this Thirty Pieces Of Silver was a re-cut of the Amy/Stateside/Unity song but Everybody Ska was a completely different tune.

UN523-1 – Slim Smith – The New Boss
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/thenewboss.mp3]
UN523-2 – Slim Smith – Love Power
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/lovepower.mp3]
Two Bunny Lee productions that were released on a blank label only. The New Boss is a recut of Slim Smith’s late Ska cut for Coxsone. Love Power is also known as Let Love Be Strong, it was also released on Jackpot by Trojan (credited to Wonder Boy) and in Jamaica, inexplicably, on Prince Tony’s High School label where it was titled Love His Strong. There are two instrumental versions of Love Power: Tommy McCook – 100,000 Tons Of Rock (UN535B) and Lennox Mood (as issued on UK Punch) AKA Q Club (UN525B).

UN524-1 Slim Smith – Sunny Side Of The Sea
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/sunnysideofthesea.mp3]
UN524-2 Slim Smith – Place In The Sun
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/aplaceinthesun.mp3]
Anther two sides sides with Bunny Lee at the controls. These were also released on the Jamaican Unity label. Sunny Side Of The Sea was later re-issued by Trojan on their Explosion label in 1973 (crediting Slim alongside Dennis Alcapone but it was the original cut without the DJ).
Place In the Sun is Slim’s take on Stevie Wonder’s Motown hit from 1967. Apparently using the same rhythm track that first saw issue on David Issac’s cut for Lee Perry. The Palmer Brothers must have liked this tune as they issued it another two times with releases on Bullet (BU523A) and Pama Supreme (PS373A) alongside the first outing on Unity.

UN525-1 Peter Touch – The Return Of Al Capone
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/returnofalcapone.mp3]
UN525-2 Lenex Brown – The Q Club
[audio:http://www.dancecrasher.co.uk/pama/unity/qclub.mp3]
Peter Tosh always seems to turn up as Peter Touch on Pama releases. The Return Of Al Capone was one of his more listenable organ instrumentals, he was no Jackie Mittoo though. The producer on this is unclear though it could be Bunny or even Tosh himself.
Q Club is by Lennox Brown and not Lenex Brown as it’s clumsily credited on the label. This tune takes it’s title from Count Suckle’s West London night club of the same name. It was also issued in a slightly shorter version on Punch (PH21B) titled Lennox Mood. See UN523B and UN535B for two different versions.

Part 2.

2 comments to The Unity label. Part 1

  • John Bailey

    Do you know who owns the copyright to PAMA labels.

  • admin

    Hi John

    Most of the music seems to have reverted to the individual producers – Pama turned into JetStar but with a few limited exceptions they were never a big reissue company like Trojan.

    Tim

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