Author Topic: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music  (Read 1258 times)

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« on: December 14, 2018, 03:09:55 AM »
Studio One was the greatest record label in the history of popular music in terms of the amount of brilliant music produced, and even the description 'the Motown of Jamaican music' doesn't do it justice. It started producing recordings around 1963 and on into the '80s, but the peak years were around '63 to '73, with a brief revival in the late 70s-early 80s.

The rhythms, arrangements, singing and general musicianship were just exceptional, and it's a crime that the music isn't more widely heard.

The Heptones were probably the most prominent of all the groups to record at Studio One, and were unusual in that the main singer, Leroy Sibbles, was also a bassist and arranger at the studio. This is one of their ultimate recordings, a cover of Curtis Mayfield's 'Choice of Colours' from 1970:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUVHlP8zXPE

This is a later recording, from 1975, of a totally obscure singer who recorded the one single and seemingly was never heard of again. Maybe he just had something to say and he said it. It's still an absolute beauty.

L. Crosdale - Set Me Free:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxEuOcM5JxM

More to come, please post your favourites.

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2018, 01:59:47 AM »
The Wailing Souls were a four piece vocal group, as opposed to the more usual three, and you can hear it to advantage on this, beautiful passionate singing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEVCZ6g5CEw

Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2018, 01:45:06 PM »
El Bang Bang by Jackie Mittoo has the studio's address on the label:

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2s6tyv

oooft

  • Sliced bread, I'm like, wtf?
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2018, 03:29:30 PM »
I've actually just filled my phone up with old reggae tracks from Bunny Wailer, Burning Spear and Marley and co.. from the 70's and it's great to take a walk back down memory lane. I forgot how great these sounds were from my youth and how powerful and influential they were. Jamaican music is spiritual music no matter the genre, it's medicine, Yes I!!

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2018, 11:59:53 PM »
El Bang Bang by Jackie Mittoo has the studio's address on the label:

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2s6tyv

Yes, Jackie Mittoo is of course a revered figure in the history of Jamaican music. He was the chief musical arranger at Studio One for much of the 60s as well as keyboard player. This is him in the rocksteady style, a few years later than the above, with a version of a Beatles song from a couple of years before. The nyabinghi playing on this makes it all the more wonderful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsdbZOOZVGw

Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2018, 03:37:09 AM »
He also did the backing track for the 1967 version of 'You Don't Love Me' by Dawn Penn

"You Don’t Love Me (No No No) was our first recording and I remember standing next to Jackie Mittoo, the keyboard player from the Skatalites, following his chords as I sang about lost love. In church, we used to sing this old gospel thing, “Yes, yes, yes, Jesus loves me”, so I sang, “No, no, no.” People said: “It’s too negative. It’ll never sell.” But it was a big hit in Jamaica."

https://www.madeleinebyrne.com/in-praise-of/2017/1/29/you-dont-love-me-no-no-no-original-studio-one-rockers-1967

Here's Penn's 1967 version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6IcJPsNjn0

And Mittoo's track redone for Macka Fat. You can hear that it's identical:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDX2A0gxMjM
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 03:47:38 AM by Satchmo Distel »

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2018, 04:31:45 AM »
For twenty years I only knew that song/rhythm as the basis for Big Youth's 'Screaming Target'. Dawn Penn's version has such an easy rocksteady swing to it but it's interesting to hear the subtle rearrangement into the reggae style. I don't know which I prefer.

Big Youth (not Studio One obv):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X9RVfCULe4

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2018, 11:30:02 PM »
Early reggae from Alton Ellis on Studio One from 1970 - Hurting Me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rug79gdruGM

Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2018, 01:04:53 PM »
"Lay It On" by The Melodians, an early Rocksteady record

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOFoE_bpDzw

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2018, 02:44:00 PM »
"Lay It On" by The Melodians, an early Rocksteady record

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOFoE_bpDzw

Wow I love that, thanks! Never heard it before - I rely too much on compilations and I don't think it's on one. I hadn't realised The Melodians had recorded for Coxsone - I see he used that as a b-side to 'I've Got to Go Back Home' by Bob Andy after Island had released it. 

Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2018, 11:57:00 PM »
I rely too much on compilations

When it comes to Studio One, compilations aren't to be sniffed at for finding the gems. Coxsone was pretty keen on banging them out back when. Heartbeat and the more recent Soul Jazz comps are of course chock full of bangers. I love the Coxsone Records comps with the dodgy segues into the dubs.

This is my Studio One tune of the moment. Alton Ellis - You Said It Again
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5tmXO5Urfs

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2018, 01:22:39 AM »
This is my Studio One tune of the moment. Alton Ellis - You Said It Again
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5tmXO5Urfs

These suggestions are great. That's absolutely brilliant and I've never heard it before either- I don't know whether I've heard him sing better than that. I wonder when it was recorded - guess maybe 1967.

A Cornell Campbell extended dancehall mix from 1977, no dodgy segue, celestial singing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI2D9SGqb-A

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2018, 02:34:25 AM »
From 1977, Sugar Minott: Jahovia

On an original rhythm I believe, which was unusual for Studio One by that time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5J16FQqUtk

Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2018, 10:38:08 PM »
Cornell Campbell extended dancehall mix from 1977, no dodgy segue, celestial singing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI2D9SGqb-A

Aw man, that voice!

Here's another to be going on with - Delroy Wilson - I'm not a king
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzdeXLhX7es

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2018, 12:22:42 AM »
Aw man, that voice!

Here's another to be going on with - Delroy Wilson - I'm not a king
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzdeXLhX7es

Love that LP. One of the few great original rocksteady albums.

Obviously this one by Bob Andy is a well-known classic, but the short interview with him about how he came to write it is as fascinating an explanation of the genesis and meaning of a song as I've ever heard. I could listen to him talk for hours.

I've Got to Go Back Home:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZntxQaE7sI

The interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7mJSJaRD5U

Bennett Brauer

  • I'm not "likeable"
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2018, 01:32:43 AM »
<tag>An t Saoi Ing</tag>

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2018, 03:15:09 AM »
There are certainly claims of an Irish influence on Jamaican patois.

There must be a deep relationship between the Jamaican language and the music. I love them both, I am the Top Ranking milky bar rasta. The question of the relationship between the language of any culture and its music needs investigation I say. Somebody do it and report back please.

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2018, 02:49:19 AM »
Della Humphrey with a 1972 version of Bunny Wailer's Dreamland that's even better than his own:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SgJs38mYJk

Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2018, 10:51:44 AM »
Love that LP. One of the few great original rocksteady albums.

Obviously this one by Bob Andy is a well-known classic, but the short interview with him about how he came to write it is as fascinating an explanation of the genesis and meaning of a song as I've ever heard. I could listen to him talk for hours.

I've Got to Go Back Home:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZntxQaE7sI

The interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7mJSJaRD5U

This thread is right up my street. 'Songbook' would be in my top ten albums of any genre. I'll save that interview to watch when I need to escape from the in-laws xmas telly choices.
I found a couple of nice Studio One megamixes years ago on a file sharing site. Think I'll look them out for blasting in the kitchen, alongside Heptones 'On Top', Johnny Osbourne 'Truth and Rights' and that Lone Ranger one.

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2018, 12:51:15 AM »
and that Lone Ranger one.

The Lone Ranger! Maybe my favourite DJ, along with Clint Eastwood and General Saint.

Here he is having being as upful as ever with 'The Answer':

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edrvQiDiaWE

Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2018, 04:21:45 PM »
Marcia Griffiths did a great version of Dreamland

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=drL-vC098xI

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2018, 02:52:02 AM »
Classic funky reggae instrumental from Cedric Brooks - Mun-Dun-Gu:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuqhVsSVpPk

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2018, 02:48:16 AM »
Zoot Simms - Small Garden from 1972.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4GLvLfoXGE

Simms was a percussionist and singer who, like many important Jamaican musicians (including several Skatalites), was educated at Alpha Boys School, a catholic boarding school for boys who their parents couldn't look after for one reason or another. It was known for being strict and for concentrating on teaching the boys a trade, and especially skills in music.

Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2018, 11:54:12 PM »
Merry Christmas!

Half Pint - Christmas Vibes (the best track on a pretty patchy xmas comp)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW3lMKJFsEk

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2018, 12:50:38 AM »
Xmas! I have a Half Pint LP because Peel went mad for it in 1983 and I liked his name.

This is an upful combination of mento, calypso and reggae from 1972. Prince Francis - African Skank:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOtj_yX8eJg

Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #25 on: December 25, 2018, 10:32:46 PM »
Arise Blackman  - Alton Ellis

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6h5p9EkDK48

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2018, 02:47:51 AM »
Horace Andy's best work was with Studio One: Every Tongue Shall Tell:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o77zFG8VmME

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2018, 02:42:34 AM »
Alton and Hortense Ellis: Breaking Up is Hard to Do, definitely the best version of this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1W9JUZFmvs


manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2018, 02:11:05 AM »
The original version recorded at Studio One of one of the most important songs in the history of reggae. This is slightly better than the version they did for the LP: The Abyssinians - Satta Massa Gana:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6cNkAuDMYs

manticore

  • 'nut with really wacky opinions'
Re: Studio One - The Heart of Jamaican Music
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2018, 01:44:14 AM »
The Eternals' 'Queen of the Minstrels' all stripped down in a dancehall style and chatted over by Prince Jazzbo. Heavy sound:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xAt5DuDDPA