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 60’s. Obviously Jo Jo Bennett’s masterful horns lead is the main event here but there is also a great piano line running through this, the occasional vocal call dropped in to the mix also helps build to the crescendo without ever being over done.

Cantelope Rock was originally issued on the Fugitive label in Jamaica and on Doctor Bird in the UK. It is currently available on seven inch vinyl on the Moodisc label (with an added intro).

3 comments to The 100 greatest Rocksteady tunes #27

  • Prince

    About the added intro, is this just a alternative cut or something that was added many years later? I really prefer the intro on the Moodisc reissue.

  • Tim P

    Hi Prince

    I’m really glad you brought this up – I’ve just listened to both versions (on youtube – I don’t have the repress). Most interestingly even without the intro the repress is quite a bit longer than the Fugitive issue (over 20 seconds), therefore assuming the Doctor Bird issue isn’t also longer which I doubt but can’t check at the moment, then the Moodisc reissue definitely comes from the mastertape and i’d have to say it’s fairly likely that the intro is also on there too.

    This is all conjecture of course but I’m really glad to have spotted that the repress is longer – I’ll have to go out and buy it now.


  • Prince

    And I’m glad somebody else wonder about these things.. The only thing that speaks for owning the orginal press is that the Fugitive label is so much better looking than the Moodisc repress. And of course that the orginal lick of the Lecturer-riddim is on the other side. Swap my repress for the original? ;D

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