Various – You Can’t Wine/Music Alone Shall Live

by Sep 23, 2019Reviews, Various

Various - You Can’t Wine/Music Alone Shall Live
Rupie Edwards

Release Info

Various – You Can’t Wine/Music Alone Shall Live

Label:  Doctor Bird Records | Format: Dbl CD | Street date: September 13, 2019 | Website label | Facebook label

Disc One:

1. The Kingstonians – You Can’t Wine
2. Winston Wright & The Rupie Edwards All Stars – Grandfather’s Clock
3. Bob Andy – The Way I Feel
4. Lloyd Charmers & The Rupie Edwards All Stars – The Big Sin Thing
5. Lloyd & Devon – Love Is The Foundation
6. Rupie Edwards – Uncertain Love
7. Lloyd Charmers & The Rupie Edwards All Stars – A Taste Of Music
8. Lloyd Charmers & The Rupie Edwards All Stars – I Can’t Help Myself
9. The Concords – I Need Your Loving
10. Dobby Dobson – The Masquerade Is Over
11. Winston Wright & The Soul Kings – The Magnificent Seven
12. Gregory Isaacs – Each Day
13. Dobby Dobson – Your New Love
14. Val Bennett & The Virtues – High Tide
15. Bob Rupie & Tyrone – Love Is A Wonderful Thing Wicked Thing
16. Dobby Dobson – I Wasn’t Born Yesterday
17. Rupie Edwards – Let Me Love You
18. Dobby Dobson – Crazy
19. The Itals – Chatty Chatty
20. Rupie Edwards – I Can’t Forget
21. Neville Hinds & The Rupie Edwards All Stars – Pop Hi
22. John Holt – Man And Woman
23. Rupie Edwards – Promotor’s Grouse
24. Dobby Dobson – Strange
25. Rupie Edwards – Falling In Love
26. The Itals – Oh Lord Why Lord
27. Neville Hinds & The Rupie Edwards All Stars – Young Gifted And Black
28. Rupie Edwards – Exclusively Yours
29. Glen Adams & The Rupie Edwards All Stars – Souling Way Out

Disc Two:

1. The Meditators – Music Alone Shall Live
2. Joe White – Since The Other Day
3. The Meditators – When You Go To A Party
4. Rupie All Stars Edwards – Full Moon
5. Joe White – This Is The Time
6. The Itals – Every Time
7. The Meditators – Good Morning Mother Cuba
8. Winston Wright & The Rupie Edwards All Stars – Sharpen Ya Machete
9. Gregory Isaacs – Too Late
10. The Concords – Buttoo
11. Winston Blake – Herbert Spliffington
12. Rupie Edwards – Long Lost Love
13. Neville Hinds & The Rupie Edwards All Stars – Conjunction
14. Winston Blake – The Big M Thing
15. Rupie Edwards – If You Can’t Beat Them
16. Karl Bryan & The Rupie Edwards All Stars – Young Gal Melody
17. Hughroy Henry & The Concords – Red Sun Rise
18. The Meditators – Look Who Bust A Style
19. Rupie All Stars Edwards – Bee Sting
20. John Holt – Fat Girl, Sexy Girl
21. Rupie Edwards – Handicap
22. Rupie All Stars Edwards – Revenge Version II
23. Dobby Dobson – Cry A Little Cry
24. The Concords – Don’t Let Me Suffer
25. Winston Blake – Return Of Herbert Spliffington
26. Joe White – I’m Gonna Get There
27. Neville Hinds – Your New Love
28. Rupie Edwards – Census Taker


Although Jamaican singer/songwriter/producer/talent scout/record shop propietor Rupie Edwards had enough noteworthy material to be named alongside the likes of all-time greats like Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Joe Gibbs, Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee or Winston “Niney” Holness, he faded into oblivion after just a brief period of success in the first half of the 1970s. Something must have gone awry after he scored a monster hit in the UK with “Ire Feeling” in 1974 and his emigration to London in that same year, because he was never able to repeat that success, or the musical quality of earlier productions.

Rupie Edwards

Rupie Edwards was born on 4th July 1945 in Goshen, in the parish of St. Ann’s, Jamaica. His foray into the music business began when he was 14 or 15 where he used to hang out with other future Jamaican stars (who had yet to make their mark on the local scene) including John Holt and Pat Kelly. In 1962 his career as a singer took off when he recorded his debut single “Guilty Convict” b/w “Just Because” for L.S. Little Wonder Smith, which was released on the Blue Beat label in the UK. He made two more records for President Bell’s sound system and then with future Techniques member Junior Menz a single entitled “Mother’s Choice” b/w “Amen”. By the mid-60s he put together a singing group called The Virtues, which included singers such as Junior Menz, Lloyd Robinson, Basil Gabbidon (famous during the Ska days), guitarist/singer Eric Frater, Dobby Dobson and Rupie Edwards himself.

Production Work

From mid 1968, where Rocksteady was just turning into (early) Reggae, he also began to work as a producer in earnest. His earliest production works included The Mediators’ “Look Who A Bust Style”, The Concords’ “I Need Your Loving” as well as many of the tracks featured on this release. Most of these songs were not only hits, but also ground breaking for the time they were recorded. He worked extensively with two main studio engineers, namely Syd Bucknor and producer/engineer Linford ‘Andy Capp’ Anderson. The latter’s engineering and mixing styles are distinctive as they often feature extra delay and effects that were 3 to 4 years ahead of their time. Rupie Edwards’ early riddims were bubbly and upbeat, with a magical interplay of drum, bass, chopping rhythm guitar and rasp, backed up by organ and that picky-plucky sound of the dead string lead guitar. The music is clean and fresh even to this day and, like many other producers of the time, has a familiar feel yet a sound of its own. Many of the songs gathered on this album don’t have solos, just a space for the riddim to ‘breathe’. After Rupie Edwards had met Harry Palmer (of Pama Records) in Jamaica, his productions were released in the UK on Pama’s dedicated label, Success.

Whopping Amount

And now there’s this delightful dbl cd, showcasing some of Jamaica’s leading talent of the era that was featured on Rupie Edwards’ Success imprint. The two discs contain a whopping amount of 57 classic tunes — including quite a few true gems — that were recorded from 1966 up to 1970. Both discs start off with the long overdue re-release of a 1970 album of Rupie Edwards productions. Disc One opens with the rare and the now extremely collectable 12-track LP “You Can’t Wine”, while its follow-up compilation titled “Music Alone Shall Live” kicks off disc two. The latter, another 12-track album, failed to receive an official UK release, only seeing issue in limited numbers in Jamaica. The beauty of this dbl cd is that the contents of both compilation LPs are further bolstered by the very best of Rupie Edwards’ remaining output from the period.


To say something about each and every track of this set is an unfeasible task, so let’s keep it simple by pointing out a few noteworthy things. Rupie Edwards was one of the first producers who regularly recycled his riddims and released the very first ‘one riddim’ or ‘version’ album, “Yamaha Skank”, in 1974. This collection features early examples of versioning a riddim. The riddim of popular vocal trio The Kingstonians’ summer smash “You Can’t Wine”, is versioned for Lloyd Charmers’ organ cut “Can’t Help Myself”, Glen Adams’ “Souling Way Out” and Rupie Edwards’ “Census Taker”, while the fast riddim of “Rupie Edwards’ “Long Lost Love” is also utilized for Dobbie Dobson’s “I Wasn’t Born Yesterday”.

Quality Vocalists

Rupie Edwards had an ear for quality vocalists and thus worked with fine artist such as Joe Higgs, Max Romeo, Johnny Clarke, Time Unlimited (featuring Junior Delgado), The Heptones, Mighty Diamonds, Errol Dunkley, and The Ethiopians to name a few. Another real fine singer he recorded was Dobby Dobson, who together with Rupie Edwards and Junior Menns had formed the vocal group the Ambassadors and then the Virtues around 1965. The singer’s warm vocal delivery can be fulljoyed on several of his tunes that are included here. He also briefly worked with a number of former members of popular rocksteady group the Paragons, who were trying to establish themselves as solo artists. With the great Bob Andy he recorded “The Way I Feel”, a standout effort and one of the artist’s best-loved records of the rocksteady era. Bob Andy then joined Rupie Edwards and another former Paragon, Tyrone Evans, in 1969 to record “Love Is A Wonderful Wicked Thing”, released around the same time as John Holt’s nice tunes “Man And Woman” and “Fat Girl, Sexy Girl”. Rupie Edwards has also been instrumental in bringing the talents of Gregory Isaacs to the public. Besides four tunes of his group The Concords, this compilation includes the young future superstar’s early solo single “Too Late”.

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