Various – Straighten Up Vol. 4
1. The Groovers – Soul Sister
2. Jerry Lewis – The Godfather
3. B.B. Seaton – Lean On Me
4. Winston Reedy – Breakfast In Bed
5. Cornell Campbell – My Confession
6. Delroy Wilson – Here Comes The Heartaches
7. Avengers – Life And All It’s Dreams
8. U-Roy – Black Heart
1. Avengers – Hijack Plane
2. B.B. Seaton – I Want Justice
3. Stranger Cole – Our High School Dance
4. Les Foster & Ancil Collins – The Man In Your Life
5. Junior Byles – Fever
6. The Clarendonians – Good Hearted Woman
7. Owen Gray – I Hear You Knocking
8. Junior English – I Don’t Want To Die
Back in the early ’70s when Pama Records were having their heyday they issued a series of various artist albums in the “Straighten Up” series. This series was issued as Pama’s answer to the “Tighten Up” series being issued by Trojan Records. Here we take a look at one of the “Straighten Up” albums, this one from 1972 which contains 16 very good reggae tracks, some of the songs you will recognise by their title and many of the artists will be familiar.
Naturally, this album starts with track 1: SOUL SISTER – THE GROOVERS is by an outfit that does not crop up that often and the sound is a soulful reggae sound with combined vocals from the band. Track 2: THE GODFATHER – JERRY LEWIS is a talk over DJ sound and with this in mind one has to say it is a good one. Track 3: LEAN ON ME – B.B SEATON will be familiar as the hit song for Bill Withers and it lends itself well to the reggae treatment. The vocal from Mr Seaton is of very high quality. Track 4: BREAKFAST IN BED – WINSTON REEDY is a song that has been covered by numerous artists. Even though the vocals are male orientated you could make the mistake of thinking they were female, a very good version. Track 5: MY CONFESSION – CORNELL CAMPBELL has always been one of the artist’s most remembered tracks and as usual Cornell is tops with his vocal and the track is another well produced sound. Track 6: Here Come The Heartaches – Delroy Wilson is performed by one of Jamaica’s best ever artists and will again be familiar to many Jamaican music fans. This track has appeared on various labels, mostly out of the Trojan stable. Track 7: LIFE AND ALL IT’S DREAMS – THE AVENGERS is by another lesser known Jamaican outfit, none-the-less it is a very good Reggae sound and contributes well to this album. Track 8: BLACK HEART – U ROY is what one would expect, a DJ talk over sound, and with Mr Roy’s unique vocal we find it to be a high quality talk over.
Moving onto side 2 we have as track 1: HIJACK PLANE – THE AVENGERS. It starts with the sound of a plane taking off, or so we are meant to believe. The production work on this is rather frail but the story of a plane being hijacked is interesting. Track 2: I WANT JUSTICE – B.B. SEATON has Mr Seaton putting out a strong plea for justice and with his usual fine vocals we end up with a very pleasing reggae sound. Track 3: OUR HIGH SCHOOL DANCE – STRANGER COLE is again by one of Jamaica’s well respected artists who recorded not only for the Pama company but for various others and is a very pleasing sound. Track 4: THE MAN IN YOUR LIFE – LES FOSTER & ANCIL COLLINS is an up-tempo reggae sound with Ancil Collins prominent on the organ, as one would expect. Track 5: FEVER – JUNIOR BYLES will be familiar or at least the song will as it has been covered numerous times in various styles apart from reggae. Track 6: GOOD HEARTED WOMAN – THE CLARENDONIANS is from another of Jamaica’s established outfits that again can be found on various labels apart from Pama. Track 7: I HEAR YOU KNOCKING – OWEN GRAY is obviously a reggae version of the No.1 UK chart hit by Dave Edmunds and the song lends itself well to this styling. Track 8: I DON’T WANT TO DIE – JUNIOR ENGLISH finishes off this collection and as with many of the tracks it is a well sung up-tempo sound.
As you may have noticed the spelling of Ancil Collins is not as one would expect but Pama Records were known for wrong spellings and information on their releases from time to time. When putting this album on the turntable one instantly knows that it is from the Pama stable as their releases, more often than not had a production sound of their own.
Cornell Campbell – My Confession
U-Roy – Black Heart
B.B. Seaton – I Want Justice