Almost 30 years after his untimely death only 38 years old, the one and only Keith Hudson is perhaps hotter than ever before.
Greensleeves has recently reissued a deluxe two CD version of his Rasta Communication album and Sunspot has reissued his first album Furnace.
On top of this Vincent Ellis and Jean Scrivener have published an illustrated Keith Hudson discography in the form of pdf files on a DVD-ROM. It contains a comprehensive listing of albums, singles, compilations, riddims and productions of other artists as well as cover art and additional information.
Keith Hudson is a key artist in the development of reggae and a producer, songwriter and arranger with a uniquely deep and atmospheric style. His first hit song was Ken Boothe’s excellent Old Fashion Way released in 1968, and Keith Hudson was also the producer who provided Big Youth with his breakthrough hit – the Honda motorbike tribute S. 90 Skank.
Furnace was originally issued in 1972 on Hudson’s own Inbidimts label and includes twelve tracks with riddims supplied by relentless Soul Syndicate band and vocals courtesy of Dennis Alcapone, U Roy Junior and Keith Hudson himself, who has an unorthodox and non melodic singing style, not to everybody’s taste.
The exquisite sleeve notes to Furnace, provided by the aforementioned Vincent Ellis, give a detailed overview of the album and a comment to each of the twelve tunes.
Five years after the release of Furnace Keith Hudson dropped the dub album Brand, also known as The Joint. It was oddly enough released a year before its vocal counterpart Rasta Communication. Both of these albums are now put out in a deluxe two CD package complete with several hard to find bonus cuts and extended versions, including the previously unreleased dub version to I Broke the Comb.
The riddims on Rasta Communication are sparse and strained, and uses only guitar, bass, drums and keys. The vocals are solely handled by Keith Hudson, and the mixes on Rasta Communication in Dub are edgy and grim.
Keith Hudson’s music may not be for everyone, but these albums show an artist and a producer with an individual style and many years ahead of his time.