The 100 greatest tunes released by Pama Records (80-71)

Lloyd Terell (AKA Lloyd Charmers) – Oh Me Oh My
Label: Bullet / Year of Release: 1970

Another great cover version of a contemporary pop song, this time Oh Me Oh My, originally recorded by Lulu at the Muscle Shoals studios in Alabama. Lloyd Charmers got great mileage out of rhythm for this one; with organ, piano and guitar cuts and a next vocal, Africa Is Paradise by the Conscious Minds (featuring BB Seaton and Lloyd Charmers). The various cuts continue to impact on popular music with them being sampled at least a couple of times, check Nightmares On Wax – Flip Ya Lid and Shy FX featuring Liam Bailey – Soon Come.

Pat Kelly – Striving For the Right
Label: Gas / Year of Release: 1970

This is an update of Out Of Many which Pat Kelly recorded with the Techniques at Treasure Isle in 1968. Though I’m a sucker for great vocal harmony groups this self production pips the Techniques cut as Kelly’s wonderful falsetto is brought to the fore and it’s nothing short of superb. A self production this was released in Jamaica on a HAK (Kelly’s own label) stamped blank.

Alton Ellis – Some Talk (AKA English Talk)
Label: Pama/Gas / Year of Release: 1968/1969

Alton Ellis in the mood for a bit of fun on this one. This was originally issued on Pama as Some Talk in 1968 and reissued on Gas in 1969 as English Talk. It must be one of the very first self productions by Alton, working alongside Johnny Moore, which was the result of a deal done with with Palmer brothers when he toured the UK with Ken Boothe and the Soul Vendors in 1967. This was issued in Jamaica on a blank 7″.

West Indians – Strange Whispering
Label: Camel / Year of Release: 1969

The West Indians were a trio comprising of Hector Brooks, Leslie Burke with Eric Donaldson on lead vocals, they weren’t around for long but they left their mark with some fine recordings first for Sir JJ and then for Lee Perry who produced this one. Donaldson was a huge talent which is evidenced on his early recordings and he went on to be a highly successful solo artist in the 1970’s.

Martin Riley (AKA Jimmy Riley) – Walking Proud
Label: Gas / Year of Release: 1969

An upbeat and defiant message from Martin Riley. Riley started out as a member of the Sensations before joining the Uniques in 1967, by the end of the decade he was starting out on a solo career that lasted more than 30 years. This is the second Winston Lowe production on this list (see also number 98).

Ernest Ranglin – Heartbeat
Label: Pama / Year of Release: 1968

A fine instrumental produced by Clancy Eccles and released in Jamaica on a blank label 7″ only. There is an equally great and very rare vocal cut of this by Hemsley Morris called You Think I’m A Fool (this was originally issued on a Jamaican blank only) but the rhythm is perhaps best known for the slightly later classic Studio One piece Hot Milk by Jackie Mittoo.

The Meditators – Look Who A Bust Style
Label: Success / Year of Release: 1969

The very first release on Pama’s Success label that was dedicated solely to Rupie Edwards productions. This one used to show up most frequently of all releases on the label so I’ve always assumed it sold pretty well, this isn’t surprising as though it’s pretty generic it’s a superb fun piece of uptempo 1969 reggae. This was released in Jamaica on a blank only as far as i know.

The Concords – Don’t Let Me Suffer
Label: Success / Year of Release: 1970

A next piece on the same rhythm as Look Who A Bust style, this time with The Concords featuring Gregory Isaacs on lead, this is a more measured vocal that still uses the rhythm to great effect. The Concords broke up after only a few recordings and Gregory Isaacs started his solo career, the rest is history. Don’t Let Me Suffer was released in Jamaica on Rupie’s Success imprint.

The Eathopians (The Ethiopians) – I’m A King
Label: Crab / Year of Release: 1969

Another powerhouse vocal by one of the most consistently great vocal groups of the era, The Ethiopians lead by Leonard “Sparrow” Dillon. This is the third Ethiopians tune on this list (see numbers 95 and 84) will there be more? It’s a shame Pama struggled so much with the spelling of the groups name, they were credited as The Eathopians on at least five separate releases!

John Holt – My Heart Is Gone
Label: Punch /Year of Release: 1970

What a difference a year makes. By 1970 the sound of reggae at the cutting edge had changed significantly from the sounds that had emerged out of rocksteady. The slower more evenly paced rhythm perfectly complements this tale of heartbreak. This was a Phil Pratt production however Holt also recorded the song at Studio One for Coxsone Dodd, as did Ken Boothe. This particular version was also issued in the UK by Trojan on their Smash imprint.

The 100 Greatest Tunes released By Pama Records:
Introduction & Credits > 100-91 > 90-81 > 80-71 > 70-61 > 60-51 > 50-41 > 40-31

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