Augustus Pablo & Hugh Mundell ‘AFRICA MUST BE FREE DUB’ (Rockers 1979)
This album needs no explanation on this blog…
Readers of this blog know that I am a Hugh Mundell devotee and I collect anything and everything that has his name attached to it. As a reggae collector, sometimes you just come across pure gold, and when you do, there is nothing like it in the world. I picked this rare gem up for $5.00. Those familiar with Mundell’s masterpiece debut album ‘Africa Must Be Free By 1983′ will recognize this tune as “My Mind,” the second track on the a-side. I’m assuming that this is either an earlier version (but I doubt it because the mix sounds identical) of “My Mind,” or a simple misprint. Either way, there aren’t many of these around.
The scan of the 7″ vinyl disc below and in the video is the actual copy from my collection. As you can see, it is pressed to the Pablo International label. The only other one I’ve seen has a label printed in red/pink. Who knows, there could be a bunch of these floating around. It could be an original, or maybe a repress from the eighties. Like I said, I could find nothing on this one.
It’s Sunday Midnight & time to become dreader than dread with a crucial overview of The Dub Organizer Horace Swaby aka Augustus Pablo. Joining Doug Wendt this week is Lance Linares, Pablo devotee & reggae radio pioneer who hosted his Friday night very popular prime time “Roots Rock Reggae” Pataphysical Broadcasting program on KUSP in Santa Cruz, California from the 1970s to the 2000s, the earliest longest continually running regular reggae radio show heard anywhere in the United States. Linares pulls gem after gem from his extensive Augustus vinyl collection to flood the airwaves with pulsing Prince of Dub masterworks while passing along vital background info on one of the deepest Sound Generals ever to come from Jamaica. Listen to the mystic & be transfixed via music unto Jah Jah. Burning Spear & Mikey Dread debut new material while Hugh Mundell, Tetrack & Israel Vibration join the Pablo posse just beyond this side of east of the river Nile where melodica & other keyboard devices open the doors of perception. X-Ray Music never sounded so good, so massive, and so wonderful. All aboard this version excursion!
This detail just in straight from Lance’s head: “I started in 1974 on KUSP but first iteration was Satta High which morphed into Roots Rock Reggae at some point in ’76 or ’77. Last show was Aug 29, 2008 I think. So 34 years or so….” Quite a run. Well you can’t run away from yourself seen. Would be nice to see Lance back on the beam soon, the master of the non-style style announcement school. In those early days of KUSP the Santa Crucial boss public radio station was right on the beach so the live sound of the surf could be heard whenever one opened the mic. His bitchin’ vintage tapes, reggae library, & comprehensive Augustus Pablo archive must be heard. Word.
Dreadcasting & streaming liquid musical jewels with daily 21st Century Midnight Dread programs at 12am including deja views often heard in Wendt’s Best of All Worlds slot when noon is high. Become conscious with the indigenous sounds of Native Son Rising curated by Doug everyday at 6am (all Pacific Times). Explore more Midnight Dreadness here.
Hugh Mundell’s ‘Jah Fire’ feat. Lacksley Castell (Arawak)
Recorded in 1980 when Mundell was only 18 years of age, ‘Jah Fire’ is an album that spoke to me the very first time I heard it, and it has been a favorite of mine ever since. Featuring the riddims of Mundell’s personal friend and spiritual advisor Augustus Pablo, the album was brilliantly produced at Jammy’s studio in Waterhouse by Jammy himself. While the album is credited primarily to Mundell, it is Lacksley Castell who does the heavy lifting here, singing all but 3 of the songs. I have read that when the album was recorded, Jammy recorded Mundell to the A side and Castell to the B side, intending to release it as a showcase of two young rising stars with very unique, yet similar singing styles. I don’t know what happened after that. What I DO KNOW is that this is one of the best roots reggae albums I’ve ever heard.
Hugh Mundell – ‘Jah Fire’ (1980)
Walk With Jah
King Of Israel
Be My Princess
My Woman Can
You Over There
Pablo In The Moonlight
Mixing Engineer : Prince Jammy
Producer : Prince Jammy
Vocals : Lacksley Castell & Hugh Mundell
Drums : Santa Davis & Horsemouth Wallace & Sly
Bass : Robbie & Jah Mike
Guitar : Chinna & Bo-Peep Bowen & Bingy Bunny
Piano : Keith Sterling & Gladdy Anderson
Horns : Deadly Headly & Cedric Im Brooks & Bobby Ellis
Percussions : Scully Simms & Sticky
For The Week Of April 21, 2013
This week’s album pick is one that I searched for in vinyl for several years but could never find for less than a mortgage payment. So a few months ago I walk into my local record shop and I;m flipping through the reggae vinyl like a mental patient, hoping they got something, anything I might be interested in. I flip right past this double album and don’t even realize it for a few seconds. I back it up and there it is in near mint condition. The 2004 collection of Mundell’s many masterpieces between 1978-1981 pressed by the Makasound label, Paris, France. Although I have many grievances with the way this album was compiled, I have no complaints regarding the sound quality, which is epic.
“Hugh Mundell’s tragic life story — he was a promising young roots reggae singer who, at age 21, was senselessly killed during an argument over a refrigerator — has always overshadowed any examination of his actual vocal skill, which was impressive enough when he began his career as a young teen but did not have time to mature into anything more exciting than that. His songwriting talent was similarly middling overall, but remarkable in someone so young. Most American reggae listeners, if they know his work at all, are familiar with the album Africa Must Be Free by 1983, recorded under the supervision of producer Augustus Pablo between 1975-1977; Blessed Youth brings together selections from his subsequent three albums, which were recorded at a variety of studios between 1978 and his death in 1981. The music is a bit uneven, but there are moments of real brilliance, among them the powerful “Time & Place” and the repatriation anthem “Time Has Come.” Mundell’s mediocre singing on “Oh How I Love H.I.M.” is saved by a nice cameo on the part of DJ Jah Bull, and he is charmingly diffident on the love song “Don’t Stay Away.” The best introduction to Mundell’s art is still Africa Must Be Free by 1983 (which includes the album’s dubwise counterpart on the CD reissue), but anyone who is left wanting more will enjoy this collection just as much.”
- Rick Anderson, AllMusic
I have included my own high quality digitized audio as well as an article from The Beat wherein Junior Reid, who was sitting next to Mundell in the car when he was murdered, recounts the story.
Hugh Mundell & Max Edwards – Oh How I Love H.I.M.
Hugh Mundell & Jah Bull – Blackman’s Foundation
Time Has Come
Don’t Stay Away
Live In Love
Time And Place
Feeling Allright (Extended Version)
Stop Them Jah (Extended)
Can’t Pop No Style
Hugh Mundell & Max Edwards – Hey Mr Richman
One Jah, One Aim, One Destiny
Producer : Hugh Mundell
Vocals : Hugh Mundell
Drums : Horsemouth Wallace & Santa Davis & Albert Malawi
Bass : Junior Dan & Michael Taylor & Fully Fullwood
Guitar : Tony Chin & Fazal Prendergast & Chinna & Sowell
Keyboards : Augustus Pablo & Pablove Black
Flute : Theodore Benji
Horns : Deadly Headly
Percussions : Scully Simms & Ras Menilik Dacosta
Melodica : Augustus Pablo
Recording : Channel One (Kingston, JA)
Mixing : King Tubby’s (Kingston, JA) & Harry J (Kingston, JA)