Get In The Groove Riddim

by Apr 14, 2021

The Heptones - Get In The Groove
Leroy Sibbles (Photo: Beth Lesser)
Leroy Sibbles

Get In The Groove is another classic Leroy Sibbles song featuring a beautiful vocal from Leroy. The riddim is driven by a melodic bassline and includes a very distinctive horn riff that was used on most subsequent versions.

Early Recut

An early recut of the riddim was a cover of Get In The Groove by the Morwells, who retitled their version Music Is So Divine. Some sources state that a relick of the riddim was also used for Gregory Isaacs’ Slavemaster, which was produced by Niney ‘The Observer’, but if you listen to that tune there’s hardly a connection to be found. The same goes for the three I Roy’s tunes across that riddim – Point Blank, Camp Road Skanking, and Hotter Yatta.

The Heptones

The Heptones

John Holt

The riddim achieved its greatest popularity in 1977 after the release of Up Park Camp by John Holt. This was issued at the time of the State Of Emergency in Jamaica, a situation that was imposed by the government in an attempt to curb the activities of armed gangs. Up Park Camp was a detention centre used at this time, and John’s song is sung from the point of view of a youth detained at the centre. John sings over a great Rockers recut of the riddim which includes the formidable drumming of Sly Dunbar, and the song revived John’s career particularly with the young. The success of Up Park Camp prompted several cover versions including Johnny Clarke’s Up Park Camp and Cornell Campbell’s No Man’s Land. The latter title being the name of another detention centre.

Coxsone Dodd

Eventually, even Coxsone Dodd was tempted to respond by dusting off his original tape and recording his version of the song, Winston Jarrett’s cheekily titled Up Park No Man’s Land. Coxsone also re-used the riddim for Sugar Minott’s Hang On Natty and Freddie McGregor’s Come Now Sister. Sugar seems to have been quite taken with the riddim as he used it for two further self-produced cuts, Chant A Psalm and the very entertaining Dance Hall Business. Other notable cuts include Bim Sherman’s My Brethren, Horace Andy’s Be My Queen, and Augustus Pablo’s Pablo In The Dance.

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


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

Winston Jarrett – Up Park Camp/No Man’s Land
The Heptones – Get In The Groove
Big Joe – Up Park Ranking
Bim Sherman – My Brethren
Cornell Campbell – No Man’s Land
Freddie McGregor – Come Now Sister
Gaylads – Situation Sabotage
Badoo – The General
Clint Eastwood – Sex Education (Me Go Deh Already)
Hugh Griffiths – Big We Big
John Holt – Up Park Camp
Johnny Clarke – Up Park Camp
Johnny Ringo – Follow Fashion
The Morwells – Music Is So Devine
Barrington Levy – Shine Eye Gal
Barrington Levy – Sister Debbie
Dennis Brown – Ababa Jahni
Frankie Paul – My Baby
Michael Palmer – Mr. Landlord

Horace Andy – Be My Queen
Junior Brown – My Devotion
Little John – Who Beg No Get
Pinchers – Pretending
Sammy Dread – Life Is Just For Living
Sanchez – Show Us The Way
Shabba Ranks – Just Reality
Sugar Minott – Chant A Psalms
Sugar Minott – Hang On Natty
Augustus Pablo – Pablo In The Dance
Tetrack – Understand Me No Man
Tony Rebel – Advertisement
Anthony Johnson – Move In Move Out
Cocoa Tea – Riker’s Island
Luciano – Poor Youths Dem Hungry
Louie Culture – Original Days
Morgan Heritage – Bubble In The Struggle
Beres Hammond – Nothing No Go So
Anthony B – Blood City
Anthony Malvo – Discipline Child
Yellowman & Fathead – Take Me To Jamaica
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