Here is an EXCLUSIVE that you will only find here at the MIDNIGHT RAVER BLOG! As I have said before, Bim Sherman may be the best singer to ever emerge from Jamaica in my generation. His voice is so haunting and delicate that it brings a whole new vibe to any recording he appears on. Since his death nearly 15 years ago, obtaining authentic Bim Sherman first press vinyl, or even represses for that matter, is nearly as difficult as finding authentic Yabby You recordings. This stuff is gold among collectors, and justifiably so. So if you ever see a Bim Sherman on the Sun Dew, Century, Scorpio, or even On-U Sound labels, snatch it up if you can. It’s value will never diminish, and it will most assuredly increase in value as the years roll on.
I think these demos are significant because you can clearly listen to his voice and hear how delicate it really is. It’s raw, but it exposes one of the greatest instruments you will ever hear: the voice of Bim Sherman.
As we continue to highlight the many crucial contributions to reggae and dub made by our friends in the UK, I have some great news. Fred “Reggaelover” P has worked his magic yet again, and I am preparing for an interview this week with Mr. Steve Barrow, British reggae historian, writer and producer. Don’t worry, it’s OK if you’ve never heard of him. I mean, what has he done really? Let’s take a look:
Co-wrote The Rough Guide to Reggae with Peter Dalton, 1997 for the first edition, Rough Guides Limited Co-wrote The Rough Guide Reggae: 100 Essential Cds, 1999, Rough Guides Limited Co-wrote King Jammy’s, with Beth Lesser, 2002, ECW Press, UK Co-founded Blood and Fire, a UK based record label specialized in reissuing older Jamaican music (A&R Director) Co-founded another reggae reissue label, Hot Pot Music. Co-wrote Reggae Soundsystem: Album Cover Art published by Soul Jazz, 2012 Co-wrote Reggae Soundsystem: The Label Art of Jamaican Singles published by Soul Jazz, 2012 Owns one of the largest single reggae record collections in the world exceeding 22,000
…so as you can see, this one is a real blessing and I give thanks to Fred and to Mr. Barrow for showing MR some love.
So here is a little treat that follows on the heels of my album pick this week.
Dub Syndicate is a dub band, formed by Adrian Sherwood, and it became a showcase for Adrian Sherwood’s collaboration with Style Scott, former ace drummer with the Roots Radics and Creation Rebel.
Dub Syndicate initially evolved out of Creation Rebel and had a classic dub sound until the third album, Tunes From The Missing Channel (1985), where Dub Syndicate gave birth to a highly experimental more technological dub sound. Dub Syndicate’s new sound centered around the interaction of Scott, Sherwood, and members of Tackhead, Skip McDonald, Keith LeBlanc, and Doug Wimbish.
Dub Syndicate has collaborated with many other artists including Lee “Scratch” Perry, Bim Sherman (vocals), Deadly Headley (saxophone) and Dr. Pablo (melodica), (N.B. Dr. Pablo is not Augustus Pablo).
Most of the band’s output has appeared on On-U Sound Records, and has been produced by the label’s owner Adrian Sherwood. Recently Dub Syndicate content has been released on Style Scott’s own Lion & Roots record label and production duties have been split between Adrian Sherwood, Scientist, and Style Scott himself. More recently Dub Syndicate has worked with Dancehall artists such as Luciano, Capleton, and Jr. Reid.
1 Dub Syndicate – Ravi Shankar 6:40 2 Dub Syndicate – No Alternative 6:22 3 Dub Syndicate – Stampede 4:55 4 Dub Syndicate – Stoned Immaculate 6:10 5 Dub Syndicate – Secret Laboratory Dub 5:50 6 Dub Syndicate – Slummy Ghetto 7:05 7 Dub Syndicate – Cuss Cuss 6:20 8 Dub Syndicate – Too Hot To Handle 5:43 9 Dub Syndicate – Simple Life 5:05 10 Dub Syndicate – Walking On The Edge
Bass – Junior Moses Drums, Percussion – Style Scott Guitar [Lead] – Skip McDonald Guitar [Rhythm] – Renford Bailey Mixed By, Effects [Samples] – Adrian Sherwood Other [Linernotes] – Steve Barker Percussion – Talvin Singh Piano – Carl Gentles Vocals – Barbara Grossett, Bim Sherman, Valerie Skeete, Vyris Edgehill*
This week’s pick is ‘Lovers Leap Showcase’ by Bim Sherman, my favorite Jamaican singer, hands down. The album, released in 1979, is a stunning listen! Not only do you have the vocal stylings of Bim Sherman, but also on this album you have the Soul Syndicate and the Roots Radics laying down the riddims.
Babylon feel ‘dis one all week long!
Bim Sherman Lovers Leap Showcase Record date : 1979 Album style : roots, solo vocal
Playlist : My Woman My Woman Part 2 Lovers Leap Lovers Leap Part 2 My Brethren My Brethren Part 2 It Is Raining It Is Raining Part 2 Chancery Lane Chancery Lane Part 2
Engineer : Prince Jammy
Producer : Bim Sherman
Vocals : Bim Sherman Backing Band : The Soul Syndicate & The Roots Radics Drums : Santa Davis Bass : Fully Fullwood & Errol Flabba Holt Guitar : Chinna & Bingy Bunny
Studios : Channel One (Kingston, JA) & King Tubby’s (Kingston, JA) & Randy’s (Kingston, JA)
Here is another Bim Sherman classic, which I uploaded last year. It is a high quality vinyl rip of my own copy of “In A Rub-A-Dub Style.”
Bim Sherman of Dub Syndicate ranks at the top of my list of favorite reggae vocalists. His name should be mentioned with names like Ellis, Brown, Carlos, Castell, Mundell, Andy, and Dennis. I would try to explain, but it’s probably best for you to listen. Hopefully you hear something that will stick with you for a while.
Along with a killer “Love Forever” version mini-mix from the Pressure Sounds re-press of Tribulation, I have included the Miracle album demos, which I recently received in a trade. Towards the end of his life, Bim Sherman took a whole new musical direction. He went to India and re-recorded his classic 70s roots tunes alongside a full Indian classical orchestra in Bombay, creating his masterpiece LP, the highly acclaimed Miracle.
1. “Love Forever” (Vocal Version) 2. “Love in the Ghetto”3. “Love Forever” Dub
1995 / unreleased mixes
1. ‘Life’ (became ‘Simple Life’) [Rhythm 48] 2. ‘Golden Locks’ [Rhythm 62] 3. ‘Over The Rainbow’ [Rhythm B27] 4. Original acoustic versions that later developed into tracks on LP67 [Bim Sherman - 'Miracle', 1996]