College Rock Riddim

by Apr 30, 2019

College Rock
Jackie Mittoo
Eddie Floyd

This riddim is based on Eddie Floyd’s Stax soul hit “I’ve Never Found A Girl”. The first Jamaican recording was made at Studio One, and was probably a cover version of “I’ve Never Found A Girl”; but if a vocal cover version was made, it does not seem to have been issued. The first issued cut appears to be “College Rock” (of which the date of issue remains unknown), a great instrumental featuring the melodica of Big Willie, whose only recording under his own name this would seem to be. Actually Big Willie’s ID remains a matter of conjecture.

Bass & Riddim Guitar

The chord progression of “I’ve Never Found A Girl” is used at a faster tempo than the original, but the riddim pattern is the creation of the Studio One musicians, and is probably the work of Jackie Mittoo. Whereas “I’ve Never Found A Girl” is driven by the piano and drums, “College Rock” is driven by the bass and rhythm guitar. It would be foolish to say that either version is better than the other because they are both great. And even though “College Rock” is derived from “I’ve Never Found A Girl”, it stands as a great creation in its own right.

Eddie Floyd - I've Never Found A Girl
Cover Versions

This was followed by Jackie Mittoo’s “Freak Out”, Prince Jazzbo’s great “School”, Cedric Brooks’s beautiful “Smiley” and Jennifer Lara’s “Ain’t No Love” – this being a cover of Eddie Floyd’s “I’ve Never Found A Girl”. There are several cover versions of “I’ve Never Found A Girl” on other riddims, all of which are retitled “Ain’t No Love”. The earliest released cut seems to be one by the Upsetters, which uses an original Lee Perry riddim and appears on the Pama LP “The Best Of Lee Perry And The Upsetters”. Other recordings include those by Leroy Sibbles and Ken Boothe, which both used the “Fattie Fattie” riddim.

Great Recordings

Outside of Studio One there have been a number of great recordings of the “College Rock” riddim, and one of the greatest is the Mighty Diamonds’ “Natural Natty” from their classic Jo Jo Hookim produced “Right Time” album. Another beautiful Channel One cut is the Revolutionaries’s horns instru-dub, “Ishens Dub”. Other notable versions include the Prince Jazzbo cuts “Mr Funny” and “Church Is A Rome”, Cornell Campbell’s “I’ll Mash You Down”, Sugar Minott’s “Inna The Residence”, Larry Marshall’s “Happiness” and Frankie Paul’s great repatriation song, “Zion Train”.

(Source: Ray Hurford & Jean Scrivener’s “Rhythm Wise One & Two”)


Selected tunes from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s & ’90s :

Big Willie – College Rock
Jackie Mittoo – Freak Out
Dub Specialist – Never Rub A Dub
Mighty Diamonds – Natural Natty
Prince Jazzbo – Mr Funny
Prince Jazzbo – School
Revolutionaries – Ishens Dub
Cedric Brooks – Smiley
Cornell Campbell – I’ll Mash You Down
Prince Jazzbo – Churches Is A Rome
Dingles – Spread Out
Early B – Just Love And Unity
Early B – Mek The Girls So Sweet
Frankie Paul – Zion Train
Garnett Silk – Commitment
Jah Scott – Cool Out
Leroy Smart – Ballistic Affair

Jennifer Lara – Ain’t No Love
Johnny Osbourne – To The Rub A Dub Session
King Everald – It Hurts Me
King Miguel – Resident Rock
Larry Marshall – Happiness
Ray I – Batman And Robin
Sugar Minott – Inna The Residents
Sanchez – One In A Million
Beres Hammond – Left Me Crying
Beres Hammond & Marcia Griffiths – Live On
Buju Banton – Buju Moving
U Brown – Mr. Music Man
Yellowman – Bone Man Connection
Glen Ricks – Heart Breaker
Leroy Sibbles – Bring Your Love
Tony Tuff – I Love You Baby
Gregory Isaacs – Rudie Boo
Jack Radics – Rain From The Sky
Donovan Smith – Never Live In War
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