Thursday, 26 February 2015
A pretty bizarre reactivation of Tighten Up, using the original rhythm with added motorcycle effects and general nonsensical chatter including "Satta Pillion" which I like...always good to hear Tighten Up in any shape or form though and this is a pretty hard to find, obscure release circa 1975.
I feel a bit sorry for George Dekker aka Johnny Melody; he did some cracking duets with Derrick Morgan in 1968 but doesn't seem to get a credit on any of them. I'm thinking Me Nah Give Up for a start...and this one...his higher harmonies really compliment Derrick's gruffer lead vocals. Anyway, Copy Cat is a classic Skinhead Reggae tune, apparently a Leslie Kong production (doesn't sound like it) and is a nice rarity, tucked away on the B side of a very mediocre instrumental from Ansel Collins entitled Night Of Love.
Wednesday, 25 February 2015
Tuesday, 17 February 2015
Rare as hen's teeth nowadays this one. I got my first copy, a no centre demo, for £20 back in 1990. Moved it on for £25. Didn't get another until 2007, that cost me £400. This one cost way, way more than that, but it was for a customer who was happy to pay it so I was happy to source it.
I'd class this among the best 5 UK Northern Soul records ever. It's a totally blistering version of an Ashford and Simpson composition (available in a Val Simpson to those in the know on a publishers acetate, but that is so inferior to this). An incredible, action packed 3 minutes of sheer delight. And as a bonus, another A & S composition on the official A side, A Rose Growing In The Ruins (known by The Rivingtons).
I know that Mick Smith sold his last copy of this to John Andrews himself, I think the man was living in Kent at the time. I've recently found out that John's group featured Mitch Mitchell, later of the Jimmy Hendrix Experience, and issued a private press 45 in 1964 or 65 - wish I'd written down the info. I do know that issue copies of It's Just Love carry a Lonely Ones credit.
Probably better known as "Walk The Streets", a superb 1967 Rocksteady tune by the great Derrick Harriott, this tune seems to have quite a complicated history, the original is said to be by The Tams, but I was under the impression that it was written and recorded first by American singer Tommy Roe (came out on UK HMV). This is an excellent UK cover version by Brian Epstein managed Tommy Quickly, Tommy never quite broke through but did have a minor hit with Wild Side Of Life in 1964. You Might As Well Forget Him is an excellent Popcorn dancer with Spanish guitar and castanets in abundance.
The Migil 5 are best known for their mock-Blue Beat single Mockingbird Hill, but this not hit from a year or so later is a very underated record. Firmly in the Stand By Me mould, it's an excellent UK Beat Ballad, well worth checking out. Took me quite a while to find as well. This quote from Wikipedia will tell you the rest.
The Migil Five were an improbable outfit on the early-'60s London rock music scene. Five guys who were already in their late '20s and skilled in jazz, R&B, blues, folk, and pop, Lambert was balding and sported a beard and the others looked more like veterans of the '50s trad jazz scene. Watson brought a harder R&B sound that made them more appealing to teenagers, but they all looked more like music teachers than rock & rollers.
Nothing particularly amazing about this 1975 release but behind the title lies a little DJ effort over the backing track of the original Shocks Of Mighty rhythm!
A singer also known as Jimmy Riley, this is a pleasant if not that exciting Reggae adaption of The Temptations hit It's Growing, by the former member of (amongst others) The Uniques.
A slightly confusing one here, firstly I have featured this record before but for the other side, Royal Cord by The Jaylads (Gaylads), this side pictured above is a classic, typical 1969 style fast Reggae instrumental which appears on quite a few singles, I remember having on on a US Randys repress for a start, and is better known as In The Spirit, Feel The Spirit or Soul Beat! The artist is Lloyd Charmers but again, I have seen it credited to The Hippy Boys. Cracking record though.
Apologies for featuring this record twice - it appears elsewhere on the site on the Pyramid label, but as you can see, it also came out on the J.J. label, as did several other Pyramid singles such as Israelites for instance, and also some Doctor Bird releases appear on J.J. with DB catalogue numbers (Rise And Fall, people Funny Boy, That's Life). Anyway, this is the first time I've ever owned this on J.J. and as I no longer have my Pyramid copy, I think it deserves inclusion. Terrific 1968 style early Reggae.
You know those sort of records whch start out so good that you think "YES!!!" but after a few seconds that feeling evaporates and you realise that only the first 30 seconds are any good? Well here's one of those. Kicking off with the instantly recognisable intro to Lloyd & The Groovers' Do It To Me Baby, in comes a DJ with various ad-libs over the classic Caltone backing track, and all is fine until he decides to tell some ridiculous story about a Boll Weevil - I kid you not - and the disc never recovers from this - I'm presuming this is Dandy doing his own DJing, well move over D. Tony Lee and Jeff Dixon, you have a new rival in the worst ever DJ record stakes. B side is another monster Rocksteady backing track (Ewan & Jerry's Get On The Right Track) but with an equally shocking DJ vocal over the top. Shame.
A very, very obscure UK release, wrong title and wrong artist credit as well. This is Dave "Collins" Barker and the song is his very nice version of The Uniques classic Out Of Love. I say very nice, that's about it really because Dave shows quite a lot of restraint on this one when he could have been giving it a bit more oomph. I had this on a Jamaican blank and searched for many years for a UK copy, no wonder I couldn't find one given the artist credit. Eventually cost me over 75% less than my highest bid!
Not a great deal to say about this one because it's simply an instrumental Ska masterpiece from The Skatalites with some great vocal effects too. I was torn whether to include this side or it's equally fab A side, Dance Crasher by Alton Ellis & The Flames, but as the other side had a large Jamaican postage stamp stuck on the label, I went with this one.
Somewhat of a lesser known disc from the brilliant Mr. Hinds, or Hines, the labels never seem to be able to make their mines or minds up. I swear I don't think I actually knew this, so to my total surprise instead of being a slower rootsy type tune, it's an uptempo Skinhead style blaster! Pretty scarce I think. Nice, familiar Tommy McCook tin whistle instrumental on the B side.
This record is doing my head in. The last time I had one of these, which was maybe 4 years ago, I swear it played a different track! The last one played Jumping Jack by Carl Cannonball Bryan! This one doesn't. I can only presume that the other one I had was a freak mispressing, which is a shame because it was actually that track which I wanted, good as The Hippys Are Here is anyway. OH and of course, you do get the classic a side, Them A Laugh And A Ki Ki by The Soulmates (Pioneers). Does anyone know what that title actually means?
Can't say as I really like this much but basically if I see a mint Treasure Isle single for under £20 I'll buy it - especially one I've never had before. A pretty poor DJ effort from one of my favourites, Dennis Alcapone, over a very good Hopeton Lewis vocal, it's just that by 1972, Reggae was boring and this one illustrates that fact perfectly. Organ version on the B side.
Simply beautiful Treasure Isle music of the highest quality. Again, featured once before, but it's in it's disguise as Vic Taylor - When It Comes To Loving I'm Alright. Here's the rare Trojan release from 1967. Utterly brilliant.
This is one I had on tape but didn't know what it was - I could tell the vocalist was Derrick Morgan, but it appeared to be (and was) yet another version of My Conversation, so I thought I've got to get that eventually. Once I found out what was on the A side - some mumbo jumbo from Ranking Dread - the rest was easy and I hot it for about £6 I think. I'd guess that this release is from around 1976. I think that must be about 12 version of Conversation I now have on 45's. Don't ask!
If you've always wanted an instrumental version of The Silvertones' Midnight Hour - your wish has come true! Another scarce Treasure Isle number. Nothing to get the pulse racing hear though, especially with the mundane Rocksteady of Clive & Doreen on the B side.
Amazed that I've never featured this one before. A classic featured on the epic Club Ska 67 album. Late Ska with a great vocal mistake when one of the guy's comes in with a "It was..." when he's not meant to do so in the first verse.
Sounds like a middle of the road composition but Roland and the boys turn this into a nice, very late Ska instrumental.
Two early Matador productions, top side certainly is The Viceroys but the flip, although credited to The Viceroys, is actually The Paragons with You Mean So Much To Me. Two really good slices of '69 Reggae.
Quite an unusual release this, tucked away on a 1974 B side is 1969's classic What Am I To Do (The Techniques), with added horns, guitar and keyboard overdubbed. Well worth picking up though, lots on Discogs for under a tenner despite it going for over £20 on eBay recently.
Nice Rocksteady instrumental version of the Al Martino number. Very cool indeed. Listen to that fantastic bassline for a start.
The Mexicano is Eddy Grant's brother, Rudy Grant (I think) and he had a very near chart hit with a number called Move Up Starsky in 1978 (a DJ version of I'm Still Waiting) anyway I guess you wouldn't hold out much hope for his version of Double Barrel but it's actually pretty good - having the original rhythm helps, so we have a spoken intro then a fair DJ performance over the classic Double Barrel tune and a "Vulcans" type synthesiser on top. By no means essential but a good one to throw in when nobody is expecting it! Harder to find than you'd think too..
Good things do eventually come to those who wait, must be a good 15 years since I started to look for a copy of this, again, a mix up in titles and artists doesn't help. It's on a Trojan cd as "It Ain't" by Lloyd & Randolph so my search for that was naturally always going to be fruitless (probably only on a jamaican blank as that maybe?) Anyway a couple of weeks back I clicked on a website to see if anything new had been added and lo and behold, it had gone on that minute, £75, buy it now. I bought it now. Wow, just wow. I'd need £400 at least to let this one go.