Various Artists – Explosive Rock Steady (Expanded Original Album)
Various Artists – Explosive Rock Steady (Expanded Original Album)
Label: Doctor Bird/Cherry Red Records | Format: DBL CD-DR | Street date: July 9, 2021 | Website label
DISC ONE: EXPLOSIVE ROCKSTEADY
1. Keith Blake – I’m Moving On
2. Errol Dunkley & The Pioneers – Miss Tourist
3. Stranger & Gladdy – Just Like A River
4. Dennis Walks – Uncle Sam’s Country
5. The Pioneers – Long Shot
6. Cool Sticky – Train To Soulsville
7. Errol Dunkley & The Pioneers – Love Love Everyday
8. Roy Shirley – Hold Them Aka Feel Good
9. Hugh Malcolm – Come Brothers
10. The Pioneers – Give Me A Little Loving
11. The Versatiles – Push It In
12. Errol Dunkley – Love Brother, Love Sister
13. Lyn Taitt & The Jets – Sleepy Ludy (Bonus Track)
14. The Overtakers – That’s The Way You Like It (Bonus Track)
15. Stranger & Gladdy – Seeing Is Knowing (Bonus Track)
16. Errol Dunkley – You’re Gonna Need Me (Bonus Track)
17. Tommy Mccook & His Band – Feel So Fine (Bonus Track)
18. Roy Shirley – Be Good (Bonus Track)
19. Keith Blake – Musically (Bonus Track)
20. The Versatiles – Just Can’t Win (Bonus Track)
21. The Mellotones – Fat Girl In Red (Bonus Track)
22. The Leaders – Someday Someway (Bonus Track)
23. Roy Shirley – Music Is The Key (Bonus Track)
24. The Overtakers – Girl You Ruff (Bonus Track)
25. Errol Dunkley – I’m Going Home (Bonus Track)
26. Neville Hinds – Tit For Tat (Bonus Track)
27. Lee ‘King’ Perry – I Am The Upsetter (Bonus Track)
28. Errol Dunkley – The Scorcher (Bonus Track)
29. Lord Salmons – Great Great In ’68 (Bonus Track)
1. Errol Dunkley – Please Stop Your Lying
2. The Overtakers – The Big Takeover
3. The Leaders – Hope Someday
4. The Versatiles – Trust The Book
5. Roy Shirley – Dance The Auna
6. Dennis Walks – Having A Party
7. Victor Morris & Girlie – Now I’m All Alone
8. Errol Dunkley – Seek & You’ll Find
9. Lee ‘King’ Perry – Thankyou Baby
10. The Groovers – Day By Day
11. The Leaders – Sometimes I Sit Down & Cry
12. Derrick Morgan – I Want To Go Home
13. Errol Dunkley – I’m Not Your Man
14. The Creations – Meet Me At Eight
15. Roy Shirley – The World Needs Love
16. Vin Gordon – Soulful Mood
17. Keith Blake – Woo Oh Oh
18. Errol Dunkley – Do Right Tonight
19. Lyn Tait & The Jets – I Spy
20. Lee ‘King’ Perry – Kimble
21. Victor Morris – Fall & Rise
22. Eric ‘Monty’ Morris – Cinderella
23. The Creations – Searching
24. The Versatiles – The Time Has Come
25. The Dynamics – My Friends
26. Lyn Taitt & The Jets – Dee’s Special
27. The Jupitors – The Return Of Ezekiel
28. Roy Shirley – Hold Them (Alternative Take)
29. Lyn Taitt & The Jets – Upsetter (Version)
Let’s take a look at one of the recent releases from Cherry Red Records, a 58 track CD collection containing some of the best Rock Steady recordings from 1968 featuring the production work of the legendary Joe Gibbs.
DISC ONE :
The first 12 tracks come from the original vinyl album and feature early Jamaican hits from Joe Gibbs. Track 1 : I’M MOVING ON – Keith Blake. This gives the original album a good start having a heavy Rock Steady beat and pleasing vocal. Brass is also heard on the rhythm track. Original UK release Blue Cat. Track 2 : MISS TOURIST – Errol Dunkley & The Pioneers with Gibson’s All Stars. This fast-moving number comes with a slight Calypso feel and again comes with a brassy sound. Errol is on top form along with The Pioneers on combined vocals. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 3 : JUST LIKE A RIVER – Stranger Cole & Glady (Gladstone Anderson) with Lyn Tait & The Jets. Plenty of La La’s on this sound written by Mr Cole and Gladstone Anderson is present on the piano. Another fast-moving sound and very catchy. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 4 : UNCLE SAM’S COUNTRY – Dennis Walks with Gibson’s All Stars. This is yet again fast-moving with Walks giving us a high pitched vocal helped out by backing singers. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 5 : LONG SHOT – The Pioneers. True fans of Jamaican music will remember this release on 45rpm as part of a number of songs based around the horse racing scene. Usual classy vocals from a legendary outfit and slightly slower than most of the previous tracks. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 6 : TRAIN TO SOULVILLE – Cool Sticky with Gibson’s All Stars. Not too sure who the performer is but here we have a familiar number that has Cool Sticky talking the vocal with backing group members giving him the replies. Catchy number overall with plenty of get-up-and-go. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 7 : LOVE LOVE EVERYDAY – Errol Dunkley with Gibson’s All Stars. Written by members of The Pioneers this is classic Rock Steady with combined vocals. Same vocal set-up as on a previous track. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 8 : HOLD THEM aka FEEL GOOD – Roy Shirley with Lyn Tait & The Jets. Another familiar number with a classic vocal from Mr Shirley. Fast-moving one again and uncomplicated rhythm track. Original UK release Doctor Bird. Track 9 : COME BROTHERS – Hugh Malcolm with Gibson’s All Stars. The one instrumental track from the original album and has Hugh Malcolm giving the listener his usual drumming sound and composed by the performer. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 10 : GIVE ME A LITTLE LOVING – The Pioneers with Lyn Taitt & The Jets. Written by one of the group members, this is a slower slice of Rock Steady. Usual proficient vocals from a classic Jamaican group in front of backing singers. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 11 : PUSH IT IN – The Versatiles with Gibson’s All Stars. Another classic Joe Gibbs production on a fast, hard to dance to number. Could come under the heading of ‘Rudeness Reggae’, long before Judge Dread came on the scene in the 70’s. None-the-less it is a classic slice of Rock Steady. Track 12 : LOVE BROTHER, LOVE SISTER – Errol Dunkley with Gibson’s All Stars. Written by the performer on a mid-tempo number in a classic Rock Steady rhythm. Helped out by backing singers the overall sound is pleasing and Errol’s vocal is smooth and clear. Original UK release Amalgamated.
This disc is complimented with 17 further quality Rock Steady releases and we take a look at a selection of these. Track 13: SLEEPY LUDY aka SLEEPY LUDDY – Lyn Taitt & The Jets. This is composed by Errol Dunkley and is a steel drum instrumental, not in the usual style of the artist but good nevertheless. Original UK release Amalgamated.
Track 15 : SEEING IS BELIEVING – Stranger Cole & Gladstone Anderson. This number is co-written by Stranger and Joe Gibson and is mid-tempo. The usual fine vocal one expects from Stranger helped out by backing singers. Original UK release Amalgamated.
Track 17 : FEEL SO GOOD – Tommy McCook & His Band. If you like the artist this will appeal to you, and one has to say that the tune is familiar. The classic trombone of Mr McCook leads the way and is a mid-tempo number. Original UK release Amalgamated.
Track 22 : SOMEDAY SOMEWAY – The Leaders with Lyn Taitt & The Jets. Written by Joe Gibbs, The Leaders may be new to the listeners. They are on a mid-tempo number with the classic sound of Lyn Taitt on the rhythm track which can only be positive.
Track 25 : I’M GOING HOME – Errol Dunkley with Lyn Taitt & The Jets. Written by the artist it is a slower number on which Errol shows why he was one of the top Jamaican artists. The rhythm track is classy as you would expect. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 27 : I AM THE UPSETTER – Lee ‘King’ Perry with Lyn Taitt & The Jets. The late great Lee Perry on this familiar number written by the artist. Mid-tempo and catchy, the rhythm track is also catchy. Track 29 : GREAT GREAT IN ’68 – Lord Salmon with Gibson’s All Stars. Lord Salmon may well be new to the listener and is here on a Calypso orientated number. This different style to most of the tracks is a good finish to CD 1.
Track 1 : PLEASE STOP YOUR LYING -Errol Dunkley. This mid-tempo number shows off Errol’s classy vocal, he sounds very young on this. Pleasant and uncomplicated rhythm track. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 3 : HOPE SOMEDAY- The Veratiles with Lyn Taitt & The Jets. Many of the Jamaican hits had Lyn Taitt on the backing track and this is no exception. Pleasant lilting sound with a straight rhythm track, written by Joel Gibson. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 5 : DANCE THE AURA – Roy Shirley with Gibson’s All Stars. This was written by the performer and is a slightly slower slice of Rock Steady. Lilting trombone on the rhythm track behind a smooth vocal from Roy. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 9 : THANK YOU BABY – Lee King’ Perry with Lyn Taitt & The Jets. The late great Lee Perry on a slow number on which he is helped out by a female backing chorus. Nothing complicated about this track. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 14 : MEET ME AT EIGHT – The Creations with Lyn Taitt & The Jets. Who the performers are is anybody’s guess on a mid-tempo track written by Joel Gibson. This has a boogie style with an R&B influence, overall a carefree sound and overall a top-notch sound. Original UK release Rio. Track 16 : SOULFUL MOOD aka Caterpillar Rock – Vincent ‘Don Drummond Jnr’ Gordon with Lyn Taitt & The Jets. Written by the performer this is classic Rock Steady at a mid-tempo pace. Original UK release Amalgamated Track 19 : I SPY – Lyn Taitt & The Jets. This is one of the few instrumental tracks on this CD collection and is a classic Lyn Taitt sound. Composed by Lyn and is a catchy number. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 22 : CINDERELLA – Eric Monty Morris with Gibson’s All Stars. Self-penned by Monty Morris this is a slower Rock Steady number with a heavy bass line behind Monty who you may remember as the ‘Humpty Dumpty’ man. Pleasing to the ear and worth its place within this CD collection. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 24 : THE TIME HAS COME – The Veratiles with Gibson’s All Stars. A faster number on which we have combined group vocals, written by Junior Byles. The Versatiles were around for a fair while and this is certainly up to their usual standard. Original UK release Amalgamated. Track 26 : DEE’S SPECIAL – Lyn Taitt & The Jets. This Joel Gibson penned number is a rhythm track with a talk-over vocal. This is different from most of the previous and following tracks. Original UK release Amalgamated Track 28 : HOLD THEM aka FEEL GOOD – Roy Shirley with Lyn Taitt & The Jets. Co-written by Roy Shirley this faster number my be familiar to many Jamaican music lovers. This shows off Roy’s vocal prowess to their full and we end up with a catchy number that was written by Joel Gibson and gets the toes tapping. No original UK release. Track 29 : UPSETTER (instrumental) – Lyn Taitt & The Jets. This is naturally composed by Lee Perry and will be familiar to many Jamaican music fans. After the opening countdown, this moves into a heavy slice of Rock Steady that is quite repetitive, non-the-less it is a catchy number that gets the feet tapping and finishes off this 2xcd collection in a pleasing way. No original UK release.
To sum up the collection it is full of tracks that will be new to the listener and the original vinyl album was one of the most popular when released in the UK. If you are looking for a top-notch Rock Steady collection this could be for you at £11.99p.