Tag Archives: Studio One

Rare Studio One albums scheduled for reissue

utre_WailingWailersCOVER_1Reissues of albums and singles from legendary Jamaican studio and label Studio One have surfaced over the years on labels such as Soul Jazz and Heartbeat. And now another label joins the reissue game.

Many of the label’s essential albums have been out of print for decades and now Studio One, in conjunction with the Yep Roc Music Group, will re-release titles from its catalog in their original formats, with track listings and album artwork intact, as well as new additions to the catalogue.

“We are excited for the opportunity to re-launch the Studio One brand and thankful for the trust that Carol Dodd and her team has afforded us. Through reissues of classic titles as well as new collections, we want our releases to reflect the history and legacy of Jamaica’s most iconic label. Here’s to the next 60 years!,” says Billy Maupin, GM of Yep Roc Music Group, in a press release.

The release schedule kicks off on May 27 with The Wailers’ debut album The Wailing Wailers. The reissue includes the original 1965 Jamaican masters and cover. The original LP version of the album has been out of print for decades, fetching huge sums from collectors, and the album has never before been released on CD with the original track listing and artwork.

The next release is a reissue of a compilation titled Money Maker, which has also been remastered from the original session tapes. It features a selection of cuts from acts like The Heptones, Burning Spear, The Wailing Souls and John Holt. The album is set for release on August 5.

Future 2016 releases from Studio One include the Studio One Radio Show taken from two 1970’s shows featuring the legendary host Winston “The Whip” Williams and a Don Drummond collection compiled by Clement Dodd himself before his passing in 2004 along with a box set to celebrate the label’s over 60 years of existence.

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Soul Jazz showcases Studio One in the 70s

Layout 1Last year UK reissue label Soul Jazz released the three disc album Coxsone’s Music, a 46 track compilation covering a lesser known side of pioneering Jamaican producer Clement “Coxsone” Dodd. It focused on his early days in the late 50s and early 60s.

Now the same label has turned to a significantly better known part of this music giant’s career – the 70s, a time when Coxsone Dodd started to reinvent his recordings and reversion classics from the 60s.

Coxsone Dodd and his main rival Duke Reid ruled the Jamaican music scene in the days of ska and rocksteady, but when new technology arrived and reggae took the island by storm in the late 60s both producers were challenged by eager and youthful producers like Joe Gibbs, Lee Perry and Bunny Lee. It was a challenging time for Coxsone Dodd and after the success with artists like Bob Marley & The Wailers, The Skatalites, Burning Spear and The Heptones his career was starting to decline.

But challenges and increased competition drive creativeness. And this was the case with Coxsone Dodd. He refused to be beat down and embraced changes. When the new players started to relick, or maybe copy is more accurate, many of the timeless riddims recorded at Studio One in the 60s, Coxsone Dodd answered and reinvented his own riddims in a contemporary style and fashion.

Studio One Showcase brings together a mighty fine selection of tracks from this period – the 70s and early 80s. A great number of Jamaica’s premier singers, harmony groups, instrumentalists and deejays show their skills. We’re talking Horace Andy, Freddie McGregor, Johnny Osbourne, Lone Ranger, Sugar Minott, Jennifer Lara, Cedric Brooks, The Gladiators, The Heptones and Wailing Souls along with a few more.

Several of these recorded at Studio One already in the 60s, but came back when Coxsone Dodd called. Others were rising stars keen to work with the man and the myth himself. Together they reinvigorated the label. They stripped the riddims and reshaped them and explored new musical horizons. This manifested a new era in reggae and marked the dawn of dancehall.

The story is well-put in the thorough liner-notes provided by Soul Jazz head honcho Stuart Baker, who also provides a track-by-track run-down. Excellent stuff.

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Soul Jazz portrays the birth of a sound on Studio One Jump-Up

unnamedThe latest Studio One compilation from UK reissue giant Soul Jazz adds something new to their huge catalogue. It’s the first time they issue a compilation focusing on the bona-fide roots of reggae and the earliest sounds coming from Studio One and Clement “Coxsone” Dodd.

Studio One Jump-Up – The Birth of a Sound: Jump-Up Jamaican R&B, Jazz and Early Ska serves up a total of 20 tunes in many styles; from shuffle and R&B to ska and jazz.

This compilation starts from the beginning in the formative era. In the mid to late 50s Jamaicans were exposed to lots of U.S. R&B and producers like Clement Dodd merged these shuffling sounds with his own musical strains; calypso from Trinidad & Tobago and mento, a form of Jamaican folk music.

On this album you’ll find the roots of Studio One and a early R&B aficionado will probably recognize influences from aces like Louis Jordan and Fats Domino. But included is also cuts that adds something new, that adds something fresh to the rocking sounds. Count Ossie’s Another Moses is such a track, Don Drummond & Roland Alphonso’s Heaven and Earth is another. These two cuts are haunting and conscious and provided the foundation for what was about to come many years later – roots reggae.

This compilation is however mostly about party-starters and frenetic tempos. If you have a bad heart you might want to skip the joyous ska excitement of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ Go Jimmy Go or the volcanic horns on Roland Alphonso’s Bongo Tango.

Studio One Jump-Up portrays a side of reggae that is sometimes overlooked – even though labels like Fantastic Voyage and Sunrise Records have done their fair share of reissues in this genre. “You have to know the past to understand the present” is an expression coined by U.S. astronomer Carl Sagan and it’s something Jamaican musicians might want to focus on now that they aim to reclaim global dominance in reggae.

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SoulJazz nice up the dance with new Studio One compilation

401060SoulJazz – a premier reissue label from the UK – have for the past ten years or so put out about 30 albums focusing on one of Jamaica’s most well-known and influential producers – Clement “Coxsone” Dodd and his various labels.

The latest instalment – Studio One Dancehall – Sir Coxsone in the Dance: The Foundation Sound – is SoulJazz’ first reissue from the mighty vaults of Coxsone Dodd to focus solely on dancehall.

When dancehall started to emerge at the dawn of the 70s Coxsone Dodd noticed that several of the young and upcoming producers had their artists performing over re-played classic Studio One riddims. Naturally he also wanted a piece of the pie and brought forward emerging artists to record over his own riddims. The success was instant with acclaimed albums and singles from Freddie McGregor, Johnny Osbourne, Lone Ranger and Sugar Minott, just to name a few.

And this new compilation focuses on that period, a period when Coxsone had singers and deejays riding classic Studio One riddims originally recorded in the 60s. It explores dancehall from a Studio One perspective, which is something rather different from, say, Junjo Lawes slick and polished productions.

Studio One Dancehall has the usual full, warm and organic sound, and it’s far from polished. It’s rough and raw, but at the same time innovative and creative. Lots of rare cuts, some in their extended version, are included – Green Tea & Chassy’s Getto Girl, Field Marshall Haye’s Roots and Herb Style, DJ Dawn & The Ranking Queens’ Peace Truce Thing and Brentford Disco Set’s Rebel Disco, are a few that at least I haven’t come across before.

This is yet another successful release from the SoulJazz camp and it comes as CD, digital download and triple LP.

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Pure quality on new Studio One compilation

Layout 1The latest Studio One compilation on one of the world’s premier reissue labels – Soul Jazz Records – is all about pure quality and as usual with these compilations an an all-star selection of artists is featured – Ken Boothe, Marcia Griffiths, John Holt, Dennis Brown and more. Sure, a number of these lovely tunes have been reissued plenty of times before, for example The Eternals’ Stars, The Heptones’ Party Time and The Gaylads’ Joy in the Morning.

The title – Studio One Rocksteady – doesn’t tell the whole truth though. It surely includes lots of rocksteady, but also early reggae, like Alton Ellis’ Hurting Me, Jackie Mittoo’s Our Thing and Duke Morgan’s Lick it Back.

The sounds are gorgeous, bouncy and optimistic, but also moody and melancholic as in Cecile Campbell’s Whisper to Me and Ken Boothe’s When I Fall in Love.

Studio One may not have been a rival to Duke Reid’s Tresure Isle when it comes to putting out beautiful rocksteady, but Coxsone Dodd had two aces up his sleeve – master organist Jackie Mittoo and bass virtuoso Leroy Sibbles. Together this trio created countless of classics, and several of these are collected on this essential album, an album with excellent sleevenotes by Lloyd Bradley, author of the classic book Bass Culture – When Reggae Was King.

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Pure quality on new Studio One compilation

95d501d1210767b4cbd33cde61b2c34e.image.250x235Japanese label Rock A Shacka/Drum & Bass Records is a reliable source for quality reissues, and their latest compilation is no exception.

Sugar & Spice – 14 Studio 1 Rock Steady Sure Shots collects several hard to find sweet rock steady gems from groups such as The Kingstonians, The Viceroys, The Invaders, The Termites, The Wrigglers and The Octaves as well as artists like organ maestro Jackie Mittoo and melodica player Joe White.

These soulful cuts were recorded in the late 60s and includes the original versions of Freddie McGregor’s Bandulo and Need More Love in the Ghetto.

It’s a mix of instrumentals and vocal versions and it’s definitely not a hit and miss affair. All 14 tracks are killers. No fillers accepted.

British revive label Soul Jazz has reigned the Studio One reissue business for years, even though there have been a number of quality releases from Japan, mostly on 7”. So this high quality album is a very welcome addition.

Sugar & Spice is only released on vinyl and comes complete with interesting sleeve notes – track by track – by Chris Lane.

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Blistering ska on new Studio One compilation

Studio One Ska Fever! LP slveReissue giants SoulJazz Records have once again opened the mighty Studio One music vaults. This time for a second ska compilation.

The first compilation – put out in 2004 – was titled Studio One Ska and featured classic vocal and instrumental tracks from The Skatalites, Bob Marley and The Wailers, Delroy Wilson alongside rare tracks from the likes of Ken Boothe and The Maytals.

Studio One Ska Fever! is a slightly different affair. It still features a mix of vocal cuts and instrumentals, but it collects less classic tracks and a heavier dose of obscurities, for example gems like Jackie Opel’s Old Rocking Chair and the Soul Brothers’ take on The Skatalites’ classic Freedom Sounds.

The tempo and the quality of the songs are of course high throughout the 18 tracks recorded between 1964 and 1967. It’s upbeat and joyous, just listen to the Bob Marley lead Climb the Ladder with its gospel-tinged chorus or The Clarendonians’ Rudie Bam Bam with honking horns and memorable piano. But it is also funky, as in Jackie Mittoo’s organ instrumental Jump For Joy, recorded when he hadn’t turned 20 yet.

Ska Fever! comes with a 24 page booklet containing extensive sleeve-notes from Studio One historian Rob Chapman, with information on musicians, tracks, label scans and more.

This is yet another strong release from SoulJazz and Studio One and it shows the sheer brilliance of the elite musicians that were The Skatalites. For a period of about two years their sounds ruled Jamaica and Ska Fever! shows why.

 

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Studio One Ironsides has breadth and depth

studio-one-ironsidesWhen browsing the track list of the new Studio One compilation Studio One Ironsides on SoulJazz Records the title might be confusing for serious collectors, since it’s not entirely based on the output from legendary producer Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s imprint Ironside. A number of the cuts are taken from that particular label, but the bulk of the songs come from other imprints, such as Bongo Man, Money Disc, London and Coxsone.

Clement Dodd had a big number of labels and according to the excellent liner notes written by reggae historian Noel Hawks this might have been a way to trick radio DJ’s into playing his records, since radio DJ’s usually aren’t keen on playing too much music from the same source.

As with the previous Studio One compilation – the excellent Studio One Sound – SoulJazz have dug deep into the mighty archives of Studio One and the Ironsides album collects an incredible line-up of performers ranging from well-known singers and deejays such as Freddie McGregor, Alton Ellis and Lone Ranger to the obscure vocal groups The Stingers and The Soul Sisters.

The 18 tracks on this eclectic compilation are sheer and warm brilliance and, as the liner notes states, shows the breadth and depth of one of the most important labels in the history of reggae.

Studio One Ironsides hits the streets on January 21 in CD- jewel case with 24-page booklet with card slipcase as well as a heavyweight double-vinyl edition in deluxe strong gatefold sleeve (with full sleeve notes) and also as a digital download.

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The great sounds of Studio One

The fruitful collaboration between UK’s Soul Jazz Records and the legendary Studio One label has resulted in yet another fine compilation, this one with a rather generic title though.

Studio One Sound is a fresh collection of 18 tunes recorded between 1964 and 1979 compiled by reggae specialist Oxman with sleeve notes by Rob Chapman, author of titles such as Never Grow Old: Studio One Singles & Rhythm Directory.

This genre spanning album gathers several hard to find gems in the rocksteady, ska, dub and roots mood with singers and groups such as Rita Marley, Slim Smith and the Wailing Souls handling microphone duties.

With Studio One Sound you’ll get your hands on Anthony “Rocky” Ellis’ Double Minded Man, one of four songs he recorded for Studio One, The Martinis’ cover of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ I Second That Emotion and Ras Michael & The Sons of Negus’ funky Good People without paying a visit to your bank.

The warm and distinctive sound of the Brentford Road studio is carefully mastered and the sound quality is excellent throughout. Studio One Sound is a must have and gives a good overview of the label’s extraordinary output.

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The story of Soul Jazz Records and Studio One

Soul Jazz Records is one of the best reissue labels around, focusing not only on reggae, but also on soul, hip-hip, funk and many other genres.

One of the many highlights of the label’s output is the reissues of material from Jamaican foundation label Studio One. A few years back Soul Jazz stopped issuing Studio One releases, but since November last year they’re back on track.

I’ve talked to Soul Jazz founder Stuart Baker about the relationship with Studio One and the label’s future. Check the full interview over at United Reggae.

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