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The Unity label. Part 2 « DanceCrasher

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The Unity label. Part 2

UN526(1) Ranny Williams – Pepper Seed

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UN526(2) Ranny Williams – Ambitious Beggar

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Pepper Seed is an organ and percussion based version of Pat Kelly’s second big hit for Bunny Lee, If It Don’t Work Out. Credited to the Spokes on the Jamaican blank issue this is supposedly a Niney production, if so he must have begged, borrowed or stolen the rhythm track from Bunny Lee.
On Ambitious Beggar a piano shadows the the organ lead. It sounds like a Peter Tosh effort though this is unlikely as Tosh’s organ skills were exposed in the next cut on the same rhythm, Sellasie Serenade, released by Pama on Bullet.

UN527(1) Slim Smith And The Uniques – Blessed Are The Meek

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UN527(2) Slim Smith And The Uniques – My Conversation

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Blessed Are The Meek is better known as The Beatitude. These two rocksteady tunes originally came out on the Island label in the UK in 1967. My Conversation was re-released for a second time by Pama on their Escort label in 1971 using the Unity stampers.

UN528(1) The Hippy Boys – Dreams To Remember

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UN528(2) The Hippy Boys – Peace Maker

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Two big rhythms; an organ lead version of the Wet Dream/Hold You Jack rhythm and a saxophone cut to My Conversation.

UN529(1) Peter Touch – Sun Valley

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UN529(2) Headley Bennett – Drums Of Fu-Manchu

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Peter Tosh tries to play the organ over the Everybody Needs Love rhythm. Scary. Tosh said that the organ instrumentals were recorded at Randys and were more practising than recordings intended for release. Though the backing track is Bunny Lee’s it’s not clear if he had any involvement in this release.
Drums Of Fu-Manchu is another cut on the On Broadway rhythm.

UN530(1) The Reggae Boys – What You Gonna Do

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UN530(2) Headley Bennett – Hot Coffee

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A next vocal cut of the Wet Dream/Hold You Jack rhythm. This seems to be carried straight to the UK and never issued in Jamaica.
Hot Coffee. A quality jazz influenced sax solo from the Sound Dimension man, Headley Bennett. The rhythm was also used for Cherry Pink by Pat Satchmo that was released in the UK on Bullet (BU427B) and on Jackpot (JP703B), the Jackpot release credited the tune to Mr Miller.

UN531(1) Lester Sterling – Lonesome Feeling

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UN531(2) Lester Sterling – Bright As A Rose

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On Lonesome Feeling Lester Stirling blows the melody of the Righteous Brothers You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.
Bright As A Rose is probably a reissue from UN512B

UN532(1) Max Romeo – Mini Skirt Vision

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UN532(2) Max Romeo – Far Far Away

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Following on from the success of Wet Dream Max does a thing about Mini Skirts. “And if you bend bend bend, you see dem rear end…” probably another tune he would rather forget about. A UK production.
Max Romeo recorded Far Far Away twice, once in Jamaica with the Hippy Boys, released on Joanie in Jamaica and on Trojan in the UK and the Unity version that was probably recorded in the UK. Both songs are ballads but the backing tracks are very different.

UN533(1) Bunny Lee All Stars – Hook Up

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UN533(2) Bunny Lee All Stars – Full Up

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Hook Up is an organ cut of the Everybody Needs Love rhythm, possibly by Jackie Mittoo. See also UN552B.

UN534(1) Tommy McCook – Dream Boat

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UN534(2) Tommy McCook – Tommy’s Dream

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Tommy’s Dream is a version of Sunny Side Of The Sea (UN 524). Starting with an organ playing the melody of the Righteous Brothers Unchained Melody.

UN535(1) Tommy McCook – Peanut Vendor

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UN535B Tommy McCook – 100,000 Tons Of Rock

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Tommy McCook blows the Peanut Vendor melody over a Bunny Lee rhythm track. Peanut Vendor AKA The El Manisero is an old Cuban song, it’s been recorded a number of times by Jamaican artists.

UN536(1) Doreen Schaeffer – No Matter What

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UN536(2) Doreen Schaeffer – Walk Through This World

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Two solid Bunny Lee productions, issued on his Lee’s label in Jamaica.
The flip side was also issued by Trojan on the Jackpot label (JP730) with the credit going to Little Wonder.

UN537(1) Slim Smith – Keep That Light Shining On Me

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UN537(2) Slim Smith – Build My World Around You

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Keep That Light… is on the same rhythm as Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, also by Slim. Issued in Jamaica on the Jackpot label.
Build My Whole World Around You is a tough rocksteady cut actually by Slim Smith and the Uniques. This dates from 1968 and was originally issued in the UK on Island (WI 3114) and in Jamaica on Lee’s.

UN538(1) Doreen Schaeffer – How Much Is That Doggy In The Window

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UN538(2) Doreen Schaeffer – As Long As He Needs Me

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What were they thinking? Every so often Jamaican music will throw up the most inappropriate cover version, this is up there with the strangest of them. The barking “dog” is quality comedy though. Check Capone’s Revenge (UN540B) for more on the same rhythm.
As Long As He Needs Me was a hit for Shirley Bassey in 1960, written by Lionel Bart.

UN539(1) Slim Smith – Love Me Tender

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UN539(2) Slim Smith – This Feeling

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Possibly only released on a white label pre-release. Slim covers Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender for Bunny Lee.

UN540(1) Derrick Morgan – Derrick Top-The-Pop

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UN540(2) Glen Adams – Capone’s Revenge

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A version of Pop A Top using parts of the vocal of Derrick Morgan’s Fat Man which provided the first version of the rhythm. A Lynford Anderson production, this was also released by Trojan on their Duke subsidiary as Pop A Top Part 2. A reverb filled 2nd mix of Fat Man was issued on Unity a few issues later (UN546B).
Capone’s Revenge uses the same rhythm as UN538B

UN541(1) Bunny Lee All Stars – Day Dream

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UN541(2) Bunny Lee All Stars – Joy Ride

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Day Dream is another version of the Hold You Jack/Wet Dream rhythm, this time with a horns lead.
Joy Ride is a horns lead instrumental on an unidentified rhythm.

UN542(1) Slim Smith and Niney – Honey

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UN542(2) Slim Smith – There’s A Light

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Honey is a Joe Gibbs (or possibly Niney?) production issued in Jamaica on the Jogib label and on an Amalgamated pre as Honey, No Money. The UK issue credited Slim Smith and the Jamaican one Niney but there are clearly two voices present. See also the Instrumental cut Compass issued on UK Trojan.
There Is A Light is a next cut to Slim’s Everybody Needs Love (UN504A). A Bunny Lee production.

UN543(1) Lloyd Willis And Bunny Lee’s All Stars – Ivan Itler The Conquerer

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UN543(2) Lloyd Willis And Bunny Lee’s All Stars – The Spice

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Ivan Itler The Conqueror is classic Spaghetti Western inspired reggae. The rhythm was later used for Dave Barker’s Smooths And Sorts on Rhino (RNO 103) .

UN544(1) Max Romeo And The Hippy Boys – Melting Pot

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UN544(2) The Hippy Boys – Death Rides A Horse, Mixie’s (Pop A Top)

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Melting Pot is a cover version of the number 3 pop hit for Blue Mink from 1969. There seems to be a pressing or mastering fault with this as on the sample copy at least the bass drops out for a short period.
Death Rides A Horse is basically a do-over of Clint Eastwood by the Upsetters .

UN545(1) Max Romeo And The Hippy Boys – Clap Clap

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UN545(2) Max Romeo – You’ve Got Your Troubles

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UN546(1) Derrick Morgan – Return Of Jack Slade

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UN546(2) Derrick Morgan – Fat Man

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The A side is a cut on the Shocks Of Mighty rhythm that was almost certainly voiced in the UK (see also UN548B and UN556A for more on this rhythm). On the B side Derrick’s original cut of Fat Man is drenched in reverb, see also UN540A.

UN547(1) Max Romeo With The Bunny Lee All Stars – What A Cute Man

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UN547(2) Max Romeo With The Bunny Lee All Stars – Buy You A Rainbow

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What A Cute Man is a rip-off of the Maytals huge hit, Money Man.
Buy You A Rainbow is a cover of the rocksteady tune Max and the Emotions cut for Caltone.

UN548(1) John Holt – Sometimes

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UN548(2) Bunny Lee All Stars – Lash-La-Rue

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Lash La Rue is a cut on the Shocks Of Mighty rhythm, see also Derrick Morgan – The Return Of Jack Slade (UN546B) and John Holt – Gonna Give Her All The Love (UN556A).

UN549(1) John Holt – Sea Cruise

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UN549(2) Bunny Lee All Stars – Niney’s Hop

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John Holt covers Frankie Ford’s Rock’n’Roll hit from 1959, a Bunny Lee production. The intro is lifted directly from the Frankie Ford record.

UN550(1) – Not Traced
UN550(2) – Not Traced

Part 3.

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