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Author: Subject: Reggae Diggings

Universal Peach





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  posted on 5/27/2016 at 05:23 PM
Changed thread title to Reggae Diggings, as it has morphed into a good reference for reggae archaeology, some valuable Dead Sea Scrolls listed below...

Not many reggae threads here, but if any interest, here are some stellar offerings. Have been on a reggae blast of late, unearthed some great sounds, all of the rocksteady late 60's thru 70's variety, the two standouts are:
heard.

Heptones - Night Food,

Truly amazing record, learned about these fellows from a Bob Weir interview, where he cited the Heptones as a huge influence. This is probably the best reggae record I've ever heard. This title was recommended to me by one of the managers at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch.

Gregory Isaacs ,

phenomenal singer, His recording engineers are magicians, a lot of his stuff is easily the finest sounding reggae recording I have run across, one of best sounding records of any music. Stunning clarity, bass, separation, just freaky good.

realizing I missed out on a lot of great reggae when the few reggae giants walked the earth in the 70s and 80s.




[Edited on 6/1/2016 by BrerRabbit]

 
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Peach Master



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  posted on 5/27/2016 at 09:09 PM
There really is some great reggae music from that era and I am surprised there aren't more threads given the general good taste in music on this site.

If you haven't, give a listen to a few of my faves:

Soundtrack to The Harder They Come
Marley - Natty Dread
Tosh - Equal Rights (maybe 90's in this one)
Steel Pulse - Earth Crisis
Augustus Pablo - Dub, Reggae and Roots from the Melodica King

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 5/28/2016 at 10:50 AM
cool. thx for the leads. Am hip to all except the Augustus Pablo, looking forward to checking it out.

Here are a couple more I found, again the rocksteady, earlier sound:

The Maytones - Very cool, old school, 1960's proto-rocksteady, tracked these guys off the soundtrack to the film "Rockers" (which is required viewing for Reggae 101, second only to The Harder They Come!), their song on Rockers is "Money Worries", great harmony, Everly Brothers-ish,

The Mighty Diamonds - more great vox harmony.

Gregory Isaacs I found by accident, at a used record shop, had a quick listen and decided to buy it after about 10 seconds. Turns out he was hugely popular in Jamaica, where he was known as "Cool Ruler". Just phenomenal.

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 5/28/2016 at 01:12 PM
Thanks for the suggestions back - I would give the Augustus Pablo a shot. That album in particular is very good background music if not a fav for concentrated listening.

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 5/28/2016 at 09:48 PM
Mike solo mentioned Bob Marley' s Natty Dread. That's my favorite by him. Any DTB fans should check out Charlie Hunter' s version; Hunter is a fusion cat who did an instrumental version of the Natty Dread album that is in the DTB zone. Good stuff.

Ya rock so, you rock so

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 5/29/2016 at 10:49 AM
Would absolutely recommend two groups:

1)The Congos
2)The Abyssinians

Some of the best reggae/dub from its "golden" era.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 5/29/2016 at 10:59 AM
Thx man! will seek out The Congos!

And yes the Abyssinians are top ranking, their record Satta Massagana is essential reggae.

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 6/1/2016 at 09:48 AM
I used to listen to a lot of Reggae. Even saw some of the greats (Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, etc). Here's some of my faves that haven't been mentioned:

Culture (2 7's Clash is a classic)
Burning Spear
Mighty Diamonds
Linton Kwesi Johnson (Bass Culture is one of the best albums)
Mutabaruka
Black Uhuru
Eekamouse

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 6/1/2016 at 03:38 PM
Lots of great names listed above. Here are a few tunes on my Reggae Playlist I'd like to share:

10 Ft. Ganja Plant & John Brown's Body ( yes that's the group's name )
--- 100 lb weight
--- Wide Open
--- Hillside Airstrip

Stick Figure
--- We get High
--- Ballz Deep

Morgan Heritage
--- Strictly Roots

Guinney Pepper
--- Lick the Chalice

The Ethiopians
--- Train to Skaville
--- Reggae Hit the Town
--- Israel Want to be Free

Passafire
--- Fix Again
--- Ghost Man

Easy All Stars
--- Speak to Me / Breathe ( Pink Floyd cover )
--- Any Colour You Like ( PF cover )



 

Peach Head



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  posted on 6/1/2016 at 04:39 PM
quote:
Thx man! will seek out The Congos!


Heart Of The Congos is a sensational album, worth getting the Blood And Fire version if you can find it.


 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/1/2016 at 04:45 PM

quote:
Heart Of The Congos is a sensational album, worth getting the Blood And Fire version if you can find it.



inside info thx. Blood and Fire is a song on that version? Not sure what to look for. Great suggestions folks, merci beaucoup all around. Ought to keep me busy for a while

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 6/1/2016 at 07:16 PM
quote:
cool. thx for the leads. Am hip to all except the Augustus Pablo, looking forward to checking it out.

Here are a couple more I found, again the rocksteady, earlier sound:

The Maytones - Very cool, old school, 1960's proto-rocksteady, tracked these guys off the soundtrack to the film "Rockers" (which is required viewing for Reggae 101, second only to The Harder They Come!), their song on Rockers is "Money Worries", great harmony, Everly Brothers-ish,

The Mighty Diamonds - more great vox harmony.

Gregory Isaacs I found by accident, at a used record shop, had a quick listen and decided to buy it after about 10 seconds. Turns out he was hugely popular in Jamaica, where he was known as "Cool Ruler". Just phenomenal.


i am listening to the maytones on youtube. brown girl in ring. sweet.

 

Peach Head



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  posted on 6/2/2016 at 05:10 PM
quote:

quote:
Heart Of The Congos is a sensational album, worth getting the Blood And Fire version if you can find it.



inside info thx. Blood and Fire is a song on that version? Not sure what to look for. Great suggestions folks, merci beaucoup all around. Ought to keep me busy for a while


Blood and Fire was a British reggae reissue label that existed from the mid 1990s until it folded in 2006. Their stated mission was to reissue 70s reggae with the same attention to quality and detail that was afforded to the best blues and jazz reissues. I think they put out around 40 releases during their existence, most of which are well worth checking out although several of them are pretty hard to find now. Heart Of The Congos had been unavailable since the 1970s until they reissued it, beautifully remastered, with full length tracks, extra tracks and dub versions, none of which appear on the more recent reissue. This is an absolute stone classic produced by Lee Perry at the height of the Black Ark and head and shoulders above anything else they did.

One of the major strengths of Blood And Fire, and some of the other more notable reggae reissue labels such as Makasound, Motion, Soul Jazz and Pressure Sounds, was their compilations, focusing on specific labels or related artists/releases. By and large, 70s reggae was not an album orientated genre like rock was at that time, a lot of it was only ever released on 45 and once it was gone, it was gone. These reissues enable us to hear a lot of obscure but excellent material, much of which has been unavailable for 20 or more years.


 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/3/2016 at 10:10 PM
Thx smyler! Found Heart of the Congos, Blood and Fire label, on Discogs. Rare indeed - that purchase stung a bit.
 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/24/2016 at 04:08 PM
Wow, ok.... Heart of the Congos is the Holy Grail of reggae, thanks a million for suggesting it. HTW rocks.
 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 6/24/2016 at 08:28 PM
Toots and the Maytals!!!!!
 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 6/24/2016 at 08:29 PM
Oh, and The Harder They Come is great.

Rap fans? The Nas & Damien Marley album is one of my favorite ever.

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 6/24/2016 at 08:57 PM
And for MANY of the older 60-70s esp recordings, check the band as it very likely could be The Skatelites. They played with everybody, and were essentially a house band for many vocal artists' recordings. Man those guys could play!!! A great album of their own is Hog In a Cocoa.

If you are vinyl shopping and come across any Trojan label record from the 70s, snag it, it's prolly a good one.

I think Burning Spear is playing a reggae fest at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend. That would be something. Winston Rodney is truly one of the last greats still playing. And when Spear gets Burning, look out!!!!!!!!!

 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/25/2016 at 11:52 AM
Burning Spear version of Grateful Dead's "Estimated Prophet"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyhpF91KbYQ


 

Peach Head



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  posted on 6/26/2016 at 04:45 AM
quote:
Wow, ok.... Heart of the Congos is the Holy Grail of reggae, thanks a million for suggesting it. HTW rocks.


I was wondering how you were getting on with that, good to hear your enjoying it.

If you're interested, another CD I'd recommend is the compilation "We are getting bad". It focuses on the output from Phase One records around 1977/78. It includes songs, dubs and DJ versions, many of which were only ever released on 45s, mostly presented in showcase style (or disco mixes) with the dub version tagged seamlessly on to the songs. It's mostly lesser known artists, but there is one obscure Heptones track and the Chantells excellent Waiting In The Park. The music is high quality throughout even if a couple of songs are a little light for my taste. Once again out of print, but there are reasonably priced new copies on both UK Amazon and UK eBay. Very different to Heart Of The Congos, but as good a reggae compilation as you'll find.

 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 6/26/2016 at 12:08 PM
Thx for the lead, again! Yes, Heart of the Congos is one of a kind. Deep spiritual rasta, not pro gunslinger reggae at all. Pretty funny, I noticed a bad skip on "The Wrong Thing", track 8, and went on the warpath since I paid premium on Discogs. Played a few different youtubes of the same track, turns out it was just an awful splice, like Lee Scratch Perry spliced the master with duct tape. Found some discussion that mentioned how Perry was not too pleased with the dreadlock rasta invasion of his studio, the congos and their retinue, as he was used to the polished players. I can't imagine the chaos in that studio, probably an engineer's nightmare, players changing positions, too close/far from mike, clueless about levels, resinated mixing dials, clouds of ganja smoke blinding the vu-meters, unintelligible requests from the musicians as they expect Jah to guide the session, hahaha, hours of $$$ recording time down the swirler during between-take reasoning with the chalice...
 
 


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