Various – Derrick Harriott Presents Earthly Sounds

by May 17, 2021Reviews, Various

Various - Derrick Harriott Presents Earthly Sounds
Derrick Harriott

Release Info

Various – Derrick Harriott Presents Earthly Sounds

Label:  Doctor Bird | Format: Dbl CD-DR | Street date: May 14, 2021 | Website label

Tracks

    DISC 1:

  1. Winston Wright – Cotton Comes To Harlem
  2. The Ethiopians – What A Pain
  3. The Crystalites – Short Cut
  4. Keith & Tex – Keith & Tex Medley pt. 1&2
  5. Bongo Herman & Les – Home Sweet Home
  6. The Ethiopians – Lot Wife
  7. Denzil Laing – Medicine Stick
  8. Bongo Herman & Bunny – Know Far I
  9. Bongo Herman, Les & Bunny – Salaam (Peace)
  10. The Ethiopians – Throne Of Justice
  11. The Crystalites – Earthly Sounds
  12. The Diamonds – Mash Up
  13. Bongo Herman & Les – Hail I
  14. The Ethiopians – Best Of Five Part One
  15. The Ethiopians – Best Of Five Part Two
  16. Bongo Herman & Les – Freedom Fighters
  17. Joe White – Call Me Trinity
  18. The Crystalites – Trinity Version
  19. The Crystal Generation – Hell Below
  20. Bongo Herman & Bunny – We Are Praying
  21. The Crystalites – We Are Praying Version
  22. The Ralph Brothers – I’m Going Home
  23. The Now Generation – Shaft (Instrumental)
  24. The Preacher – Black Moses
  25. The Crystalites – Black Moses Version
    DISC 2:

  1. Big Youth – Cool Breeze
  2. The Crystalites – Wild Storm
  3. Roman Stewart & Dave – Changing Times
  4. Glen Brown – Smokey Eyes
  5. The Crystalites – Smokey Version
  6. Junior Murvin – Big Boy
  7. The Crystalites – Big Boy Version
  8. I Roy – Tougher Than Tough
  9. Augustus Pablo – Tougher Than Tough Version
  10. Big Youth – Dock Of The Bay
  11. Augustus Pablo – Bass And Drums Version
  12. Junior Murvin – One Wife
  13. The Crystalites – One Wife Version
  14. Horace Andy – Lonely Woman
  15. The Crystalites – Lonely Woman Dub
  16. Augustus Pablo – Bells Of Death
  17. Bongo Herman – Bells Of Death Version
  18. The Crystalites – Blacula
  19. The Crystalites – Sixth Sense
  20. I Roy – Frankie J & Melinda
  21. The Crystalites – Frankie J & Melinda Version
  22. Augustus Pablo & Fay – Bedroom Mazurka
  23. Augustus Pablo – Bedroom Mazurka Version 2

After recently having released Scotty’s School-Days and The Undertaker by Derrick Harriott & The Crystalites, Doctor Bird (the label now operating under the umbrella of UK-based Cherry Records) has put out another worthwhile package that features recordings and productions from Jamaican artist, producer, and label owner Derrick Harriott. And this certainly won’t be the last as the next release, Derrick Harriott’s Greatest Reggae Hits, is scheduled for release on June 11, 2021.

Audio Quality

But for now, it’s the two-disc CD, Derrick Harriott Presents Earthly Sounds, that should come to the attention of any self-respecting reggae aficionado as well as the collector of classic recordings in digital clarity. And to anyone who’s wondering about the latter, we can say that the audio quality of this release is truly outstanding. This makes listening to this whopping collection of tunes recorded and released about 40 years ago a downright joyful experience.

Derrick Harriott

In 1962, while still a member of the Jiving Juniors, then 23-year-old Derrick Harriott formed his first record label which made him the first Jamaican artist to have control over his own recordings and productions. During his first five years as a producer, he mainly concentrated on producing himself for his Crystal imprint. It wasn’t until the rocksteady era began that he also started to produce other artists. Almost everything he touched back then turned to gold with the duo Keith & Tex being the best-known exponents of his success. For them, and for most other artists he recorded during the rest of the ’60s and early ’70s, he had formed the subsidiary label Move & Groove.

Earthly Sounds

Disc 1, titled Derrick Harriott Presents Earthly Sounds, collects twenty-five recordings done in the years 1971 and 1972. These, and those gathered on disc 2, are good examples of Derrick Harriott’s Midas touch as a producer. Things get started with an instrumental by Winston Wright, the bouncy Cotton Comes To Harlem. Not really surprising because instrumentals are a major feature in Harriott’s extensive catalogue. And thus this disc furthermore contains five instrumentals by The Crystalites including the superb title track Earthly Sounds, Home Sweet Home by Bongo Herman & Les (Davis), and Denzil Laing’s beautiful, vibrant Medicine Stick. And then there are also soulful instrumentals by The Crystal Generation aka the Now Generation, Derrick Harriott’s often used band in the studio in the early ’70s. They can be heard on a significant number of tracks in this release, particularly those on disc 2. The Ethiopians, at the time a duo consisting of Leonard Dillon and Stephen Taylor, are well-represented with five tracks. The two tracks, Best Of Five Part One and Part Two, are medleys in which they revisit some of their classic tunes from the ’60s including Last Train To Skaville, I’m Gonna Take Over Now, and Everything Crash. However, their best tracks here are Lot Wife and Throne Of Justice. Last but not least, let’s not overlook the Ralph Brothers (Alric Forbes & Bobby Powell aka Bobby Melody) who impress with their song I’m Going Home.

Cool Breeze

The second disc features tracks from two deejays who came to notice in the early ’70s, Big Youth and I Roy. Without a doubt the dreadlocked Big Youth aka Jah Youth, Lord Tippertone sound’s top mic man, was the most influential deejay in the mid-’70s. On Cool Breeze he can be heard deejaying over Keith & Tex’s 1967 rocksteady hit Stop That Train, but here he had little more to say than most deejays of the time. The same goes for his second track, Dock Of The Bay, over Dennis Brown’s Silhouettes. The great I Roy shows he already was at the top of his game when he recorded the awesome Tougher Than Tough and the matching Frankie J & Melinda, both voiced at King Tubby’s. Derrick Harriott also recorded and produced upcoming young singers such as Roman Stewart, Junior Soul aka Junior Murvin, and Horace Andy. Roman Stewart & Dave (Robinson) perform the wicked Changing Times, a tune perhaps better known from Dennis Brown, who also recorded this tune for Derrick Harriott in 1972. Junior Murvin, who didn’t take off with the tracks Big Bay and One Wife that are featured here, encountered his breakthrough when he teamed up with Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry a few years later. Horace Andy recorded the excellent Lonely Woman for Harriott, which remained the only single he did for the producer despite being a good seller. And, of course, this disc also includes a notable amount of instrumentals with some of them featuring Augustus Pablo on melodica. Also of interest are the dub versions for which he employed King Tubby’s mixing skills.

This is a killer collection of work from Jamaican producer Derrick Harriott. It features 20 tracks on CD for the first time ever, plus lots of rare gems.

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