Apr 28, 2009

Celebrate, World 1 Prince Buster

Hello, Around The World is celebrated not by 1 or 2 but by 3 posts, this nicely mirrors the kinda of musics that were posted on the Rhotations. First up the Godfather of Ska, Rude boy no 1 Prince Buster, i had him on in the Sunshine series, a direct link to that post is available here. Considering the second world, King Sunny Ade..two weeks ago i got a request for this album, which i had once but no more, a few days later i was at a sec. hand cd shop browsing..there it was..amazing synchronicity, Synchro System indeed..no contest then what to post from Africa. Thirdly, Mediæval Bæbes, they neatly combine the folk and mediæval music i posted...

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Prince Buster - Fabulous Greatest Hits (67 ^ 80mb)

Cecil Bustamente Campbell as a youth became interested in boxing and spent many hours sparring in local gyms. He had much promise as a boxer and won a good number of his fights. He also became interested in music which lead to him playing in a band. In 1961 he became a security man for Clement "Coxsone" Dodd who owned the Downbeat sound system, working with him on the open-air concerts. The "Trojan" Duke Reid and Sir Coxsone were battling it out in the sound system competitions. Buster did some DJ work with Coxone and took part in many fights that competition between sound systems and their devoted fans "rude boys" would bring. This fighting on numerous occasions earned him the title' Prince'.

By 1962 after recording himself on the Starlite label, Prince Buster released a production of the Folkes Brothers "Oh Carolina" , shortly followed a hit by Eric Morris with "Humpty Dumpty". These records were released on Emil Shalit's Melodisc record company which he formed in the 1940's. Due to the growth of Jamaican music and the new R & B sound, Shalit saw the need for a new label to concentrate on the new sound, the Blue Beat record label was born in 1960. The new sound that developed into Ska was sometimes referred to as Blue Beat because it mostly appeared on that label. Prince Buster either produced or recorded hundreds of records over the coming years.

Buster was an instant success and his records sold well, his early material was distinct from other music of that period, having an up tempo style with highly charged horny ska riffs dominated by cymbals. Prince Buster toured Europe & Britain regularly between 1962 and 1967 and appeared on the popular TV show Ready Steady Go in 1964, having just broken all records with a sell-out concert at Brixton Town Hall. He also toured the USA in 1967 with great success. Al Capone was the first Jamaican recorded song to enter the U.K top 20. By 67 he had released Fabulous Greatest Hits, testament to his large output, just 12 tracks hardly does him justice but the sixties vinyl could hardly accomodate more then 20 min per side....

By the 1970s Buster had slowed down his career as a musician to focus on his business ventures. The ska sound was not as popular as it once was, but its influence was clearly felt in its descendants: rocksteady, which was slower than ska and more influenced by gospel and soul, and by rocksteady's better-known successor, reggae. In contrast, in 73 Prince Buster - Big Five was released which must rank among the sauciest albums ever released by an established artist.By the late 1970s, Buster was in serious financial trouble. His business ventures were all posting losses or low profits, and the loans he had taken out to start them were catching up. Fortunately for him, ska was experiencing a revival in the United Kingdom. In 1979, the band Madness released its first record, a tribute to Buster called "The Prince", which urged ska fans to remember "the man who set the beat", stating "So I'll leave it up to you out there / To get him back on his feet." Interest in Buster soared during this time; he received royalties when his songs were covered by bands like The Specials, The (English) Beat, and Madness, and his old records were reissued and sold well. Between these boons, The Prince was indeed able to "get back on his feet."In the late seventies and early eighties he became an inspiration to the Two Tone bands. Prince Buster is today living in Miami, Florida, USA, concentrating on his business interests.He still occasionaly performs.

01 - Earthquake (3:22)
02 - Texas Hold-Up (2:54)
03 - Freezing Up Orange Street (2:47)
04 - Free Love (3:30)
05 - Julie (2:59)
06 - Take It Easy (3:32)
07 - Judge Dread (3:38)
08 - Too Hot (2:59)
09 - Ghost Dance (2:20)
10 - Ten Commandments (3:29)
11 - Al Capone (2:57)
12 - Barrister Pardon (3:32)


waiwaimusic said...

Thanks for sharing, and nice to see you back in action, you run one of my favourite blogs :)

Gerard said...


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