Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Album Review: “Reggae Golden Jubilee”

First came ska, that wonderful marriage of Caribbean mento, calypso, jazz and R&B characterized by a walking bass line accented with rhythms on the upbeat. In the early 1960s, ska was the dominant music genre of Jamaica and found wide recognition in British mod bands. Ska morphed into Rocksteady around 1966 made popular by vocal harmony groups such as The Gaylads, The Maytals and The Paragons. Johnny Nash, the American soul singer had an international smash hit in 1968 with "Hold Me Tight".

Reggae Golden Jubilee

Reggae as a musical term first appeared in print with the 1968 rocksteady hit "Do the Reggay" by The Maytals. While owing obvious debts to both ska and rocksteady, reggae, the music itself, was faster than rocksteady, but tighter and more complex than ska. Reggae is most easily recognized by the rhythmic accents on the off-beat, usually played by guitar or piano (or both), known as the skank. This pattern accents the second and fourth beat in each bar (or the "and"s of each beat depending on how the music is counted) and combines with the drums emphasis on beat three to create a unique feel and sense of phrasing in contrast to most other popular genres focus on beat one, the "downbeat".

“Easy Snappin’” Theo Beckford
This slower tempo and the use of syncopated, melodic bass lines that differentiates reggae from other music make it a music form that is totally original, yet familiar in sound. As Edward Seaga, the Jamaican prime minister said, “Jamaican popular music demonstrated a triumph of creativity by borrowing nothing to build something.”

The word “Reggae” itself is open to a few interpretations. Reggae artist Derrick Morgan stated: “We didn't like the name rock steady, so I tried a different version of 'Fat Man'. It changed the beat again, it used the organ to creep. Bunny Lee, the producer, liked that. He created the sound with the organ and the rhythm guitar. It sounded like 'reggae, reggae' and that name just took off.

“Independent Jamaica” by Lord Creator
Reggae historian Steve Barrow credits Clancy Eccles of The Dynamites with altering the Jamaican patois word streggae (loose woman) into reggae. However, Toots Hibbert said, “There's a word we used to use in Jamaica called 'streggae'. If a gal is walking and the guys look at her and say 'Man, she's streggae' it means she don't dress well, she look raggedy. The girls would say that about the men too. This one morning me and my two friends were playing and I said, 'OK man, let's do the reggay.' It was just something that came out of my mouth. So we just start singing 'Do the reggay, do the reggay' and created a beat. People tell me later that we had given the sound its name. Before that people had called it blue-beat and all kind of other things. And no reference would be complete without consulting Bob Marley, who claimed that the word reggae came from a Spanish term for "the king's music". The liner notes of To the King, a compilation of Christian gospel reggae, suggest that the word reggae was derived from the Latin regi meaning "to the king".

Whatever the origins of the word, the music has significantly shaped the political, social and economic DNA of Jamaica. As 2012 marks the island's 50th year of independence, and  Reggae Golden Jubilee: Origins Of Jamaican Music is one of the most definitive collections ever compiled.

“Rock Steady” by Alton Ellis
VP Records has assembled extensive liner notes, Deluxe Packaging & 100 of the Island's Most Celebrated Hits From Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff,  Bob Marley, Yellowman, Shaggy, Buju Banton, Sean Paul and so many more. Whats more, each song was hand picked by Edward Seaga, who is the longest serving member of Jamaica's Parliament and the only surviving member of the legislature that drafted Jamaica's Constitution in 1962. He has hand picked 100 of the most significant songs to emerge from the country to celebrate the island's half-century turn of liberation. As a former record company owner and producer, Mr. Seaga was a major pioneering force in the birth and development of the Jamaican music industry, especially the ska movement in the 1960s.
“It’s Alright” Bob Marley & The Wailers (1970)

To accompany the music, Seaga has written extensive liner notes and track-by-track notations in the box set's 64-page booklet. The commemorative 6" x 12" songbook package also includes iconic photographs from Jamaica's
first fifty years, a preface from VP Records President Christopher Chin and a foreword from radio personality Dermot Hussey and reggae historian John Masouri.

There are songs here that you’ll probably remember. There are songs here you SHOULD remember and there are a lot of songs that even the ardent music collector will hear for the first time. Pick it up, you won’t regret it, mon.

Here’s the track listings:


Disc One
1. Easy Snapping (Original Version) -- Theophilus Beckford
2. Dumplings -- Byron Lee & The Dragonaires
3. Manny Oh -- Higgs & Wilson
4. Oh Carolina -- The Folkes Brothers
5. They Got To Go -- Prince Buster
6. Independent Jamaica -- Lord Creator
7. Black Head Chinaman -- Price Buster

“Israelites” Desmond Dekker 1969

8. Blazing Fire -- Derrick Morgan
9. Wash Wash -- Prince Buster
10. Sammy Dead -- Eric 'Monty' Morris
11. My Boy Lollipop -- Millie Smalls
12. Carry Go Bring Come -- Justin Hinds & The Dominoes
13. Occupation -- Don Drummond & The Skatalites
14. Little Did You Know - The Techniques
15. Dancing Mood -- Delroy Wilson
16. Rough And Tough -- Stranger Cole
17. Take It Easy -- Hopeton Lewis
18. Every Night -- Chuck & Joe White
19. Rock Steady -- Alton Ellis
20. Tougher Than Tough (Rudie In Court) -- Derrick Morgan with
Desmond Dekker & The Aces
21. No More Heartaches -- The Beltones
22. The Tide Is High -- The Paragons
23. Trench Town Rock -- Bob Marley & The Wailers
24. Israelites (a.k.a. Poor Me Israelites) -- Desmond Dekker & The Aces
25. Sweet And Dandy -- The Maytals
26. Everything Crash -- The Ethiopians
27. Satta Massa Gana -- The Abyssinians
28. Fire Corner -- King Stitt
29. Java Dub -- Impact All Stars
30. Hypocrite -- The Heptones
“Marcus Garvey” by Winston 'Burning Spear' Rodney
Disc 2
31. Wear You To The Ball -- U- Roy & The Paragons
32. Cherry Oh Baby -- Eric Donaldson
33. 54-46 Was My Number (Stick It Up Mister) -- Toots & The Maytals
34. Them A Fi Get A Beatin' -- Peter Tosh
35. Many Rivers To Cross -- Jimmy Cliff
36. The Sun Shines For Me -- Bob Andy
37. Marcus Garvey -- Winston 'Burning Spear' Rodney
38. Fade Away -- Junior Byles
39. Lady With The Star Light -- Ken Boothe
40. Right Time -- Mighty Diamonds
41. Police And Thieves -- Junior Murvin
42. Ram Goat Liver -- Pluto Shervington
43. We De People/ The Power And The Glory -- Ernie Smith
44. Two Sevens Clash -- Culture
45. It's Alright -- Bob Marley
46. Forward Ever -- Jacob Miller
“Push Comes To Shove” Freddie McGregor

47. My Number One -- Gregory Isaacs
48. Money In My Pocket -- Dennis Brown
49. Kaya -- Bob Marley
50. Rub-A-Dub Style -- Michigan & Smiley
51. Uptown Top Ranking -- Althea & Donna
52. Land Of My Birth -- Eric Donaldson
53. Silly Games -- Janet Kay
54. Someone Loves You Honey -- June 'J.C.' Lodge
55. Guess Who's Coming To Dinner -- Black Uhuru
56. Arlene -- General Echo
“You Don't Love Me (No, No, No)” Dawn Penn

Disc 3

57. Over Me -- Yellowman
58. One Two -- Sister Nancy
59. Pass The Dutchie -- Musical Youth
60. I'm Getting Married In The Morning -- Yellowman
61. Try Jah Love -- Third World
62. Push Comes To Shove -- Freddie McGregor
63. Love Has Found Its Way -- Dennis Brown
64. Cottage In Negril -- Tyrone Taylor
65. Every Time A Ear De Soun' -- Mutabaruka
66. Electric Boogie -- Marcia Griffiths
67. Under Me Sleng Teng -- Wayne Smith
68. Greetings -- Half Pint
69. No Way Better Than Yard -- Admiral Bailey
70. Wild World -- Maxi Priest
71. Cover Me -- Tinga Stewart & Ninjaman
72. Wild Gilbert -- Lovindeer
73. Pocomania Day -- Lovindeer & Chalice

“Wild World” by Maxi Priest

74. Good Thing Going -- Sugar Minott
75. One Blood -- Junior Reid
76. Twice My Age -- Shabba Ranks & Krystal
77. Hello Africa -- Garnett Silk
78. Murder She Wrote -- Chaka Demus & Pliers

Disc 4
79. Putting Up A Resistance -- Beres Hammond
80. You Don't Love Me (No, No, No) -- Dawn Penn
81. Murderer -- Buju Banton
82. Tour -- Capleton
83. Lord Give Me Strength -- Luciano
84. Untold Stories -- Buju Banton
85. Fed Up -- Rodney ' Bounty Killer' Price
86. Sycamore Tree -- Lady Saw
87. Black Woman & Child -- Sizzla
88. Who Am I (Sim Simma) -- Beenie Man

“Black Woman And Child” by Sizzla

89. Down By The River -- Morgan Heritage
90. Virtuous Woman -- Warrior King
91. Gimme The Light -- Sean Paul
92. Pon De River, Pon De Bank -- Elephant Man
93. Welcome To Jamrock -- Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley
94. She's Royal -- Tarrus Riley
95. True Reflections -- Jah Cure
96. Roots -- Etana
97. Boombastic -- Shaggy
98. Lioness On The Rise -- Queen Ifrica
99. On The Rock -- Mavado
100. The Harder They Come -- Jimmy Cliff

  • Audio CD (November 6, 2012) Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 4 Format: Box set Label: V.P. Records
  • ASIN: B0096HQFYI

The Dirty Lowdown

Copyright © 2012 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved

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