Bunny Lee compilations are a dime a dozen these days and you have to be kind of careful since a lot of them just recycle a lot of already reissued material.
Good News is the third and latest release from UK label King Spinna and is compared to several other recently released Bunny Lee compilations full of nuggets and is solid as a rock with its 17 tracks from nine beloved Jamaican singers – Cornell Campbell, Derrick Morgan, Joy White, Ronnie Davis, John Holt, Jackie Edwards, Johnny Clarke, Owen Gray and Leroy Smart.
This all-singing affair is the vocal counterpart to King Spinna’s debut release Dub Will Change Your Mind, which collected all the B-side versions from this set, and the tracks included were originally released between 1975 and 1978. Lyrically and thematically they range from love songs to socially aware roots with all the singers proving themselves equally at ease with different styles.
Many of the tracks included are hard to come by and haven’t been included on any compilations or albums. For example Cornell Campbell’s excellent Gorgon A the Ginegog, Derrick Morgan’s Rasta No Fear, the next cut to his popular Tougher Than Tough, or Owen Gray’s I Man Naah Run. Included is also John Holt’s popular Up Park Camp, a tuned reissued and versioned to death.
Bunny Lee has during his many years in the production business worked with virtually every Jamaican artist of note and this compilation showcases some of the best talents Jamaica has to offer, but it also gives a nice taste of the flying cymbals and rockers sound.
Good News is now available on CD and digital platforms.
In the press material for the first release on the newly established King Spinna label – founded by Bob Harding and Dom Sotgiu from the legendary Blood and Fire Records – it is stated that the market is saturated with albums of Bunny Lee produced dubs from King Tubby’s studio. That’s no exaggeration to say the least.
And that is why it is a sheer joy to listen to King Spinna’s Dub will Change Your Mind. Here is an album with genuine rarities never compiled on album before.
The cornerstone is dub versions of four little-known Derrick Morgan tracks. Included are also vocals from Bunny Lee’s favorites Johnny Clarke and Cornell Campbell, but also Ronnie Davis, Jackie Edwards, John Holt and Joy White.
It is concentrated around the period 1974 to 1978 and highlights the funky flying cymbals style pioneered by drummer Carlton “Santa” Davis. Throughout, the tough riddims supplied by The Agrovators are superbly rearranged with echo, reverb and delay by the talented engineer(s) at King Tubby’s studio.
King Spinna certainly follows in the great Blood and Fire tradition and offers sublime music that many people didn’t even know existed until now. Almost not Bunny Lee himself as stated in the press material.
Dub will Change Your Mind is initially released on vinyl in a pressing limited to 1,000 copies. Subject to demand a CD issue will follow featuring three bonus tracks. All tracks are currently also available for download from via the King Spinna website.