Mar 27, 2012

RhoDeo 1213 Roots

Hello, we're still on that island with a huge place in the global music catalogue, Jamaica. A production hothouse and they say the Weed makes you slow and lazy-go figure. Without the ganja driven reggae music Jamaica would have remained a Caribbean backwater and dare i say would never have given us Bolt, the fastest man in the world.

Can't get enough of that dub music ? Planning a reggae party ? ... Last week it was Volume 2 & 4 and because there was plenty of 'party people' this week it's Vol 1 & 3 in all 5 hours of steaming Kingston dancehall.

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Born in Montego Bay in 1945, Gibbs' sojourn as a producer began after he spent some time in the United States qualifying to be an electronics engineer. Upon returning to Jamaica, Gibbs set up his own TV repair shop at 32 Beeston Street, Kingston and eventually began selling records there as a sideline. The fast growth of the local music scene encouraged him to get more involved in the music business, and in 1967 he started to record some artists in the back of his shop with a two-track tape machine, working with Lee Perry who had just ended his association with Clement "Coxsone" Dodd. In 1968, with the help of Bunny Lee, he launched his Amalgamated record label, and had his first success with one of the earliest rocksteady songs, Roy Shirley's "Hold Them"

When Perry decided to leave to start his own record label, Upsetter, Gibbs enrolled the young Winston "Niney" Holness (later known as Niney The Observer) who helped Gibbs maintain his productions at the top of the charts. During the rocksteady period until 1970, he had hit records with numerous artists including The Pioneers, Errol Dunkley, and Ken Parker. He also worked with backing bands such as Lynn Taitt and the Jets (including the organist Ansel Collins, and horns players Tommy McCook, Johnny "Dizzy" Moore, Bobby Ellis and Vin Gordon), or The Hippy Boys (featuring the Barrett brothers as the rhythm section).

He concentrated exclusively on the production of the then new reggae sound after his first international success "Love of the Common People" by Nicky Thomas (#9 in the UK , summer 1970). Gibbs still recorded the rock-steady artists that he had initially worked with; artists like The Ethiopians, Delroy Wilson, and The Heptones. The two volumes of his singles compilations The Heptones and Friends were bestsellers in Jamaica. During this period, he launched three new labels —Jogib, Shock, and Pressure Beat.

In 1972, after having moved his studio in the Duhaney Park district, he set up a new one at Retirement Crescent and started to work with sound engineer Errol Thompson. Together they were known as "The Mighty Two", and along with his studio band The Professionals (including bassist Robbie Shakespeare, drummer Sly Dunbar and guitarist Earl "Chinna" Smith), they produced hundreds of singles, including the hits "Money In My Pocket" by Dennis Brown, "Ah So We Stay" by Big Youth and "Eviction" by Black Uhuru. The duo worked on over 100 Jamaican number one hits.

In 1975, he set up his new 16-track studio and record pressing plant and kept producing Jamaican artists under numerous label names (Crazy Joe, Reflections, Belmont, Town & Country). He had success again with roots reggae, rockers, lovers rock and Dub music artists including: Dennis Brown, Jacob Miller, Sylford Walker, The Mighty Diamonds, Gregory Isaacs, Prince Alla and Junior Byles.

The 1977 Culture album Two Sevens Clash was a major influence on the then emerging punk scene and an internationally acclaimed production. The album was cited by punk rock band The Clash. Other successful artists produced by the Mighty Two during the end of the 1970s include: Marcia Aitken, Althea & Donna, John Holt, Barrington Levy, Cornell Campbell, Dean Fraser, Delroy Wilson, Beres Hammond, Ranking Joe, Prince Jazzbo, Prince Mohammed, Dillinger, Trinity, Prince Far I, Clint Eastwood and I-Roy.

Gibbs also continued releasing instrumentals, in addition to some very fine dub sides. Along with his '70s band, the Professionals Gibbs and Thompson put out such classics as the State of Emergency album and the four volumes of the African Dub series. Aside from many Studio One and Treasure Isle rhythms, these instrumental and dub sides also featured many tracks Gibbs used for his own vocal hits.

In the 1980s, Gibbs had an international hit with J.C. Lodge's "Someone Loves You Honey" and again in the 1990s–2000s teamed up with Errol Thompson, and Sydney "Luddy" Crooks of The Pioneers, to produce some new music way into the new millennium. Before his death, Gibbs also went into business with Chris Chin of VP Records, which was one of his last business ventures.

He was not married when he died of a heart attack on 21 February 2008 and is survived by his 12 children.

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In late 70's Jamaica, spurred on by the advent of Disco in the USA, major producers like the mighty Joe Gibbs started providing extended mixes of their biggest hits. Often these tracks would just be a protracted version of the original tune made for the 12" disco spinners, but in Jamaica they did it with their own twist, often combining two vocals onto the same groove. Pure party gold!


VA - Joe Gibbs - Reggae Discomix Showcase, Vol. 1 (flac 484mb)

01 Ruddy Thomas & Trinity – Feeling Soul 7:14
02 Marcia Aitken & Trinity – My Man / Blouse & Skirt 6:11
03 Dennis Brown & Prince Mohammed – How Can I Leave You / Bubbling Love 8:40
04 The Mighty Diamonds & Ranking Joe – Just Like A River 6:09
05 Enos McLeod & Killer Brown – Hello Carol / Yapa Yah 6:45
06 Leo Graham & I-Roy – A Win Them / News Carrier 7:48
07 George Nooks & Welton Irie – Riding For A Fall / Gi Me One A Fi Yuh Girl Friend 8:17
08 Madoo & Kojak – Yuh Jamming So / Green Bay Killing 5:39
09 Beverley Bailey & I-Roy – I Was In Love / I Pray Thee 5:53
10 Junior Murvin / Welton Irie & Prince Weedy – Cool Out Son / Nice Up The Party 7:48
11 Michael Black & Ranking Joe – Natty Contractor / Drunken Master 7:05

VA - Joe Gibbs - Reggae Discomix Showcase, Vol. 1 (ogg 184mb)

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Like the first three volumes, released last November, these two CDs each contain eleven 12" singles originally released in the seventies, when producer Joe Gibbs was at the height of his powers. The tracks all clock in between six and seven minutes long, with the first half being the original version, which transitions to a deejay or dub version for the second half.

Having the original and deejay version back to back demonstrates how versatile and resourceful the Jamaican musicians were. They could take the same riddim and rework it into dozens and sometimes hundreds of different versions, each offering a different take on the backing track. The deejay versions give legs to good songs, and sharp-tongued toaster can redeem a weak song.

As with volumes 1-3, the deejay versions make the 12" Reggae Discomix Showcase Vol. 4 and 5 must-haves. Each disc provides over 70 minutes of smooth, soulful reggae, and having the 12" version of the song is the closest you are going to get to being in a sweaty Kingston dancehall in 1979.


VA - Joe Gibbs - Reggae Discomix Showcase, Vol. 3 (flac 491mb)

01 Marcia Aitken & Trinity – I'm Not A Queen / Duck Boy 7:23
02 Ruddy Thomas & Trinity – Every Day Is Just A Holiday / Natty Dread On The Go 7:36
03 Ruddy Thomas & Trinity – Windy Day / What A Windy Day 7:01
04 Daovan Chambers & Trinity – On The Mountain Top / Can't Keep A Good Man Down 6:58
05 Sammy Dread & Lee Van Cliff – My Princess / Get Up And Skank 7:22
06 Cornell Campbell & Lee Van Cliff – Boxing Around / Look How She Fat 7:39
07 Barry Brown & U-Mike – Tourist Season / Island In The Sun 8:07
08 Eek-A-Mouse & Lui Lepkie – Virgin Girl / Lovers Take Over 6:14
09 Danny Mangaroo & Lui Lepkie – Dancehall Stylee / Step Mother 6:36
10 George Nooks & Papa Tullo – Sadie / Fe Mi Time Now 6:43
11 Freddie McGregor & Shorty The President – First Sight Loving / Hugging And Kissing 6:55

VA - Joe Gibbs - Reggae Discomix Showcase, Vol. 3 (ogg 196mb)

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5 comments:

Skip said...

Great Reggae stuff over the past couple of months... I prefer the older stuff trending Ska & Rock Steady... so I'm delighted.... I see that many years ago you posted the "King" Kong compilation... which is now lost in the dead zone formerly known as Multi-Upload... any chance you can bring it back to the sunlight?

Rho said...

Hwllo Skip, glad you like my Jamaican run as for Kong I just re-upped it.

Best Wishes, Rho

Skip said...

Molto Grazie

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh! I'd love to see these two Joe Gibbs compilations (Vol. 1 and 3) uploaded again. Thanks for everything, Rho!

- 313

/mc said...

Lots of good stuff, any chance you could re-up Vol. 3? Thanks