The 100 greatest tunes released by Pama Records (100-91)

Rupie Edwards – Uncertain Love
Label: Crab / Year of Release: 1969

Rupie Edwards does the vocal and produces this one and it’s a fine demonstration that he could sing as well as produce the hits. Edwards had first recorded for Simeon Smith (of the Smith’s label, Hi-Lite Music Store and Little Wonder Sound System) circa 1962. He returned to the music business with his own Success record shop and label in 1968 after a stint as a motor mechanic. Uncertain Love was released on his Success label in Jamaica. Look out for Oh Lord by The Itals on the same rhythm.

Eric Barnett – The Horse (actually Soul Rhythm – Debo)
Label: Gas / Year of Release: 1968

This is quite a jump from the Rocksteady sounds of less than a year before, a wonderful driving instrumental take on Rhythm Hips by Ronald Russell with great horns down in the mix.
This was an Enid Barnett production that was released as Debo on her Deltone label in Jamaica. Pama released a significant number of Deltone productions in and around 1968. The Eric Barnett credit is wrong and is probably a misreading of Enid.

The Melodians (actually Lloyd Robinson) – Trouble Trouble
Label: Gas / Year of Release: 1969

Credited to the Melodians on the Gas issue but actually by Lloyd Robinson. This was probably an attempt to follow up on the success of his Cuss Cuss hit.
Produced by Winston Lowe who ran the Tramp label in Jamaica from around 1968 he was one of the growing legion of independent producers and label owners who became involved in the music business at the dawn of reggae. Lloyd Charmers is also mixed up with this (see the writing credit) Charmers both produced and recorded for Lowe/Tramp.

Niney And The Observers – Everybody Bowling (actually Dennis Alcapone And Lizzy – Everybody Bawling)
Label: Camel / Year of Release: 1970

A take on the Melodians Treasure Isle hit from 1969. Dennis Alcapone and Lizzy combine on an unambiguous sufferers tune; “Everybody bawling, bawling for mercy, everybody asking, why time so hard”.
This is an early Winston Holness – Niney The Observer production, it was issued in Jamaica on a blank pre-release only.

The Sensations – I’ll Always Love You
Label: Gas / Year of Release: 1969

A cover of The Spinners 1965 Motown hit over a typical ’69 chugging rhythm that certainly doesn’t have the sophistication of the soul original but the vocal harmonies that hark back to Rocksteady are still superb. Produced by Winston Riley who was responsible for a number of great sides with the Sensations at the beginning of his long career as a producer that spanned four decades.

Rupie Edwards All Stars (actually by The Ethiopians) – Solid As A Rock
Label: Punch / Year of Release: 1971

More from Rupie Edwards and the first from the Ethiopians (maybe not the last though…). By ’71 the sounds have slowed right down but the mighty Ethiopians carry the swing with ease, a great great recording. This was issued on Success in Jamaica and was also issued on the Big label, a Trojan subsidiary, in the UK. There was a deejay cut featuring Sir Harry – Mr Parkers Daughter.

The Termites – Push It Up
Label: Pama / Year of Release: 1968

A superb Rocksteady recording released on the Olympic label (producer unknown) in Jamaica, the Termites were Lloyd Parks and Wentworth Vernal. They were hardly the most prolific duo though they were consistently great and were around long enough to feature on the long player, Do The Rocksteady for Studio One. Lloyd Parks went on to forge a highly successful career as a producer, bassist and leader of the We The People Band.

Roland Alphonso – 1000 Tons Of Megaton
Label: Gas / Year of Release: 1969

By 1969 the idea of cutting different versions on a rhythm was firmly established with organ cuts, horns cuts and dj versions were all over the place. Like any musical innovation there are bad examples and great ones, this is definitely one of the latter. A fine saxophone lead cut of Slim Smith’s Everybody Needs Love rhythm. This is a Bunny Lee production – ignore the Derrick Morgan credit on the label, most likely this had nothing to do with him.

Leroy Samuel (actually Leroy Smart) Trying To Wreck My Life
Label: Punch / Year of Release: 1972

This is most notable as the blueprint for Leroy’s 1977 Bunny Lee produced cut with the same lyrics. This first version, on a completely different rhythm, was issued in Jamaica on the Tramp label. It doesn’t reach the heights of the later version but it’s still a fine tune.
Alpha Boys School graduate Leroy Smart went on to have a hugely successful singing career throughout the 70’s and 80’s.

Slim Smith – Honey (actually Slim Smith And Niney – Honey, No Money)
Label: Unity / Year of Release: 1970

Issued in Jamaica on the Jogib label this most likely had Niney in the producers seat, Trojan also issued this on their Pressue Beat subsidiary. The Jamaican issue (and the UK Pressure Beat) just credited Niney And The Destroyers but Slim Smith is clearly there as well so this is a rare occasion where the Pama issue gets something right that the Jamaican issue didn’t. Trojan also issued a great instrumental cut, Compass by the Destroyers.

The 100 Greatest Tunes released By Pama Records:
Introduction & Credits > 100-91 > 90-81 > 80-71 > 70-61 > 60-51 > 50-41

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