I’ve been listening to Burning Spear for almost my entire life. The first reggae song I ever heard was Spear’s “Door Peep.” It stunned me. His voice and the vibe of that song just shook me to my core. I have been a fan ever since and several of his albums, namely “Resistance” and “Mek We Dweet” still remain my favorite reggae albums ever. What is interesting to note is that some of his best known songs were actually initially recorded by Coxsone at Studio One.
Here are two of his classics featuring that golden sound of Studio One. On the riddim track is the Studio One house band “The Soul Dimensions” led by keyboard king Jackie Mittoo. Mittoo, of course, would go on to be one of the most influential Jamaican musicians in history before his death in 1990 at age 42.
Among Mittoo’s contributions in the mid to late 1960s were “Darker Shade of Black” (the basis for Frankie Paul’s “Pass the Tu Sheng Peng”), Freddie McGregor’s “Bobby Babylon”, Alton Ellis’ “I’m Still in Love with You”, The Cables’ rocksteady anthem “Baby Why” and Marcia Griffiths’ first hit, “Feel Like Jumping”. He played for Lloyd “Matador” Daley in 1968 and 1969. In 1970, his song “Peanie Wallie” was versioned by The Wailers, becoming the hit “Duppy Conqueror.”
The riddim tracks, or versions, here are really phenomenal pieces of music.
A great piece by Vivien Goldman which appeared in the February 28, 1981 issue of NME.
Studio One records are hard to come by. Collectors snatch these up quick because of the “fat” sound that Studio One produced. One could say that Studio One records have the best, most authentic, classic reggae sound. I was lucky enough to find this one in near mint condition, which is unusual for Studio One records. Most are haggard sounding because they are so old and they’ve been kicked around from person to person before finding their way onto your turntable.
Note that fat, deep, truly authentic Studio One sound…
Horace Andy is one of the foundation rocksteady voices of Jamaica and a personal favorite of mine. I have tons of his stuff in my collection. Here is a fantastic repress of his classic rendition of “Every Tongue Shall Tell,” recorded at Jamaica Recording Studio 13 Brenford Rd Kingston Jamaica and distributed by Coxones Music City.
“Every Tongue Shall Tell” is on Horace Andy’s (1969) ‘Skylarking’ album on Studio One for Coxsone Dodd. The term ’skylarking’ refers to people not taking things seriously, something that Horace Andy is not guilty of on this record.
Sound Dimension is responsible for the brilliant riddim. Sound Dimension was Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd’s studio band led by Jackie Mitoo. Formerly named The Soul Vendors.
Babylon feel dis one….
Here is a great article on Horace Andy from The Beat, 1997:
Here is a rare interview with the late Coxsone Dodd, owner of the legendary Studio One label. The interview was published in the June 1993 issue of the Reggae Directory. Many thanks to Doctor Dread for this contribution.
CLICK HERE to read in the digital library.
One of the very best…ever.
One likkle note. Notice the similarity between “Rich Man Poor Man” (“Don’t cry my brothers…CRY!”) and Burning Spear’s “Call On You (The Sun).” Don’t know if any similarity is intended, however, both groups emerge out of Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One in the mid-1970s.
Wickedest bass line on this one too.