U Roy – Version Galore (2CD Edition)
U Roy – Version Galore (2CD Edition)
Label: Doctor Bird/Cherry Red Records | Format: Dbl CD| Street date: January 14, 2022 | Website label
DISC 1: VERSION GALORE
1 Your Ace From Space – U Roy & Tommy
2 On The Beach – U Roy & The Paragons
3 Version Galore – U Roy & The Melodians
4 True Confession – U Roy & The Silvertones
5 Tide Is High – U Roy & The Paragons
6 Things You Love – U Roy & The Jamaicans
7 The Same Song – U Roy & The Paragons
8 Happy Go Lucky Girl – U Roy & The Paragons
9 You Will Never Get Away – U Roy & The Melodians
10 Wear You To The Ball – U Roy & The Paragons
11 Don’t Stay Away – U Roy & Phyllis Dillon
12 Hot Pop – U Roy & Tommy McCook
13 Nehru – Winston Wright with Tommy McCook & The Supersonics
14 True, True – U Roy & Ken Parker
15 Wake The Town (Take 2) – U Roy & The Paragons
16 Flashing My Whip – U Roy & The Paragons
17 The Ball – Earl ‘Wire’ Lindo
18 Do It Right – U Roy And The Three Tops
19 Ain’t That Loving You (Alt. Take) – U Roy & Alton Ellis
20 Do Re Mi U Roy & The Melodians
21 Super Boss – Tommy McCook
DISC TWO: U ROY
1 Honey Come Forward – U Roy
2 Treasure Isle Skank – U Roy
3 This Station Rule The Nation – U Roy & Tommy McCook
4 Drive Her Home – U Roy & Hopeton Lewis
5 Tom Drunk – Hopeton Lewis & U Roy
6 Words Of Wisdom – U Roy & Tommy McCook
7 The Merry Go Round – U Roy
8 Wake The Town – U Roy & The Paragons
9 Big Boy And Teacher – U Roy
10 Everybody Bawling – U Roy & The Melodians
11 Ain’t That Loving You – U Roy & Alton Ellis
12 Behold – U Roy & Tommy McCook
13 Way Back Home – U Roy & Tommy McCook
14 My Girl – U Roy & The Techniques
15 My Girl Version –Tommy McCook
16 Peace And Love – U Roy & The Jamaicans
17 Peace And Love Version – Tommy McCook
18 Drive Her Home Part Two – Tommy McCook
19 You Will Never Get Away (Take 5) – U Roy & The Melodians
20 Studio Chatter – U Roy & Byron Smith
This 2 CD collection features two original albums by U Roy real name Ewart Beckford from 1971, both released on the Trojan label in the UK. These were both recorded at the legendary Treasure Isle Studio for Duke Reid.
DISC ONE: VERSION GALORE
This includes 12 talk-over’s from the original album followed by 9 bonus tracks of which we take a look at a selection. Track 1: YOUR ACE FROM SPACE. This may well be known by staunch Jamaican music fans and is a fast-moving number on which U Roy is at his best. Track 2: ON THE BEACH. This talk-over has the original rhythm track recorded by The Paragons. It again is a fast-moving sound and the song lends itself well to this style. Track 3: VERSION GALORE. Giving its title to the original album, it may be another track that is familiar to the listener as it is a talk-over of The Melodians You Have Caught Me. U Roy is in fine voice on the vocal and it makes for an all-round pleasing version. Track 4: TRUE CONFESSION. On this, U Roy is joined by The Silvertones and together they come up with a first-class Ska sound. It is a catchy sound that is hard not to dance along to. Track 5: TIDE IS HIGH. Again we have another sound originally released by The Paragons that will be familiar to most listeners. U Roy does his talk-over to great effect and we end up with another first-class recording, Track 6: THINGS YOU LOVE. On this, we hear U Roy along with The Jamaicans. This is mid-tempo and lends itself well to the talk-over making it one of the best original album tracks. Track 7: THE SAME SONG. Another mid-tempo sound on a well-loved original recording by The Paragons. U Roy once again adds a well-balanced talk-over, adding nicely to the overall make-up. Track 8: HAPPY GO LUCKY GIRL. The Paragons recorded the original and U Roy comes along with a talk-over that really contributes to this faster sound. Track 9: YOU WILL NEVER GO AWAY aka ROCK AWAY. If you know the original Reggae recording by The Melodians you may find this a surprise choice for a talk-over but it works well. Track 10: WEAR YOU TO THE BALL. So many of The Paragons recordings lend themselves to the talk-over genre and this is no exception. A faster track and top-notch. Track 11: DON’T STAY AWAY. Here we have the great Phyllis Dillon on the original sound with U Roy adding a polished talk-over. It takes nothing away from the original. Track 12: HOT POP. Supplying the rhythm track on this we have Tommy McCook & The Supersonics. U Roy gives another fine talk-over and it’s the final track from the original vinyl album.
There are 9 bonus tracks on this disc, we take a look at a selection of these. Track 13: NEHRU – Winston Wright with Tommy McCook & The Supersonics. This is an instrumental version of The Melodians’ You Have Caught Me with the usual tenor sax playing from Mr McCook and Winston on organ as one would expect. Original UK release Duke Reid. Track 15: WAKE THE TOWN – U Roy & The Paragons. This is a fast talk-over of The Paragons’ Girl I’ve Got A Date rhythm track, another classic talk-over. Not originally released in UK. Track 18: DO IT RIGHT – U Roy & The Three Tops. The original is given the talk-over treatment with a fast-moving rhythm track. Original UK release Duke Reid. Track 21: SUPER BOSS – The Tommy McCook All Stars. This is an instrumental on which we hear the organ, maybe it is Winston Wright. If you know the original by The Melodians then this will come as a good sound. This finishes off the tracks on disc 1. Not originally released in UK.
DISC TWO: U ROY
‘U ROY’ is the second original album on this collection and was released in 1971 on Trojan Records, Attack label, and again in 1993. These recordings change the sound of Reggae and made U Roy the world’s first DJ superstar.
Track 1. HONEY COME FORWARD aka HONEY COME BACK. This is a track that has a Dub rhythm track. It has nothing to do with the Bobby Goldsboro song. U Roy gives a full-on talk-over and it moves along swiftly. Original UK release Harry J. Track 2: TREASURE ISLE SKANK. Another of the self-penned numbers, this one may be known to the listener. This has a very sparse rhythm track and is slower than most tracks. Original UK release Harry J. Track 3: (THIS STATION) RULE THE NATION. On this we have performing the rhythm track by the Tommy McCook Quintet and again may be familiar to the listener. It is a catchy sound with another full-on talk-over. Original UK release Duke Reid. Track 4: DRIVE HER HOME. Along with U Roy we also have Hopeton Lewis who was a star Jamaican artist in his own right. Hopeton and U Roy sing along together if you can except talk-over as singing, it is a mid-tempo sound and the Hopeton original will be familiar to fans of his music. Original UK release Treasure Isle. Track 5: TOM DRUNK. Again we have a double-act, so to speak with Hopeton Lewis on the original rhythm track. Slow start to this before it moves into a mid-tempo catchy slice of talk-over, the rhythm track will be familiar to most listeners. Original UK release Duke Reid. Track 6: WORDS OF WISDOM. Tommy McCook & The Supersonics supply the backing on another mid-tempo number. U Roy is at his best on this which sounds like a talk-over of Wilson Pickett’s Midnight Hour. Original UK release Harry J. Track 7: THE MERRY GO ROUND. This time around we have U Roy doing his thing over an original Errol Dunkley recording. The rhythm is mid-tempo and the writing credits go to Beckford (U Roy) and Errol Dunkley. Original UK release Attack. Track 8: WAKE THE TOWN. This time the writing credits go to Beckford and Reid, Duke Reid that is. The original rhythm track comes from The Paragons’ Girl I’ve Got A Date. Original UK release Duke Reid. Track 9: WHAT IS CATTY? aka BIG BOY AND TEACHER. On this catchy sound the backing track comes from the Tommy McCook Quintet. Behind U Roy’s talk-over we have what sounds like a female chorus. Original UK release Duke Reid. Track 10: EVERYBODY BAWLING. Most listeners will remember the original by The Paragons without the talk- over. This takes nothing away from the original by The Melodians and U Roy actually gives this another polished talk-over. Original UK release Treasure Isle. Track 11: AIN’T THAT LOVING YOU. Alton Ellis is credited as being on this and can be heard giving his usual smooth vocal behind the talk-over. The sound is mid-tempo and again the original lends itself well to the talk-over. Original UK release Treasure Isle. Track 12: BEHOLD. This is the final track from the original vinyl album and has the rhythm track from Way Back Home that was recorded by Byron Lee & The Dragonaires way back. Lending itself to the talk-over it is a fast-moving number. Original UK release Treasure Isle.
There are 9 of these on this disc and not all of them are talk-over’s. We now take a look at a selection of these. Track 13: WAY BACK HOME – U Roy & Tommy McCook. This is a version of the last track from the original album and nothing else. Original UK release Treasure Isle. Track 15: MY GIRL (Version) – The Techniques. This is nothing more than a version of the original Jamaican hit. This is a toe-tapping sound and the writing credits go to group member Winston Riley. No original UK release. Track 18: LOVE I TENDER – U Roy & Tommy McCook & The Supersonics. This fast-moving number shows off the talk-over genre at its best with U Roy flat-out. The rhythm track is repetitive but it is a good track. Original UK release Duke. Track 20: YOU WILL NEVER GET AWAY – U Roy & The Melodians. The listener may or may not know the original by The Melodians but either way, it lends itself well to being put with a talk-over. This is fast-moving and stylish and one of the best tracks overall. Not originally released. Track 21: STUDIO CHATTER – U Roy & Byron Smith. The writing credits on this go to both vocalists and here we have a combined spoken number. On this, we hear a very short extract from the previous track. This is a short track lasting only 1min 19 sec’s and as the title is very apt for the content, this concludes disc 2. Not originally released.
Coming out of Cherry Red Records we would expect a fine 2 CD collection and this is what the listener gets. It will not be every Jamaican music fan’s favourite genre but one has to say that overall it is worthy of inclusion into a Jamaican music collection. At £11 99p it is very good value and comes with the usual informative booklet.
U Roy & Silvertones – True Confession
U Roy & The Melodians – Version Galore
U Roy & Alton Ellis – Ain’t That Loving You