Funkier-than-a-mosquito’s-tweeter glimpse of the couple of years it took this group to invent reggae, as the Studio One house-band from 1967 till the decade turned. And there’s a second volume coming.
As usual, killer rarities and certified classics in good proportion.
Chipper instrumental of The Melodians’ famous chart-buster about slavery, loss and displacement — backed with a rocking, hurting Alcapone and Ken Boothe, tearing away homeward in the mind.
A masterful, sublime cover of the Young Holt by the newly-formed combo; backed with Roy Richards’ classic harmonica version of Summertime.
Unmissable next cut of Love Land, featuring an uncredited Delroy Wilson, dub-plate style. Plus a nuts Peenie Wallie from Mittoo and Dennis Alcapone. ‘News as it happens…. Three crows on the coffin.’ RIP Mr Brown.
Ranging over time and styles, and never less than brilliant. Watch out for a young Prince Far I, Prince Francis doing his best Alcapone impression over Ethiopia, and Jazzbo on a discomix of Skylarking.
A different approach to the first volume. This is more like a selection of versions — all except the last three tracks here are the B-sides of sevens — and may be stronger for it.
Isaac Hayes, Booker T, Stevie Wonder and James Brown are in the house. Some of the unreleased cuts — the Jackie Mittoo spaghetti, The Sharks’ dread techno — are amazing.
Black harmony killers every one, an embarrassment of riches — all graduates of Sunday morning auditions at the Studio One HQ in Brentford Road — from unknowns like The Consummates to masters like the Wailing Souls.