Joe Gibbs And The Professionals – The 1970s Dub Albums Collection

by Jun 5, 2023Artist, Reviews

Joe Gibbs And The Professionals - The 1970s Dub Albums Collection

Release Info

Label
Doctor Bird/Cherry Red Records
Format
4CD Set
Street date
April 21, 2023
Contact
Website Record Label

Tracklist

DISC ONE:
Dub Serial (1974)
1. Satta Amassa Gana Version
2. More Dub Version
3. More Dub Version Two
4. Love Me Girl Version
5. Turn Back The Hands Of Time Version
6. Money In My Pocket Version
7. Rainy Night In Georgia Version
8. God Bless The Children Version
9. Love Ja Ja Children Version
10. Without Love Version
11. Be The One Version
12. He Prayed Version
African Dub – Almighty (1975)
13. African Dub
14. Universal Dub
15. Midnight Movie
16. Ghetto Skank
17. Lime Key Rock
18. Lovers Serenade
19. Treasure Dub
20. Schooling The Beat
21. Campus Rock
22. Half Ounce
23. Worrier
24. East Africa

DISC TWO
African Dub Chapter Two (1976)
1. Chapter Two
2. The Marijuana Affair
3. Angola Crisis
4. Peeping Tom
5. Outrage
6. Idlers Rest
7. My Best Dub
8. Third World
9. Heavy Duty Dub
10. Musical Arena
11. Mackarus Serenade
12. Jamaican Grass
State Of Emergency (1976)
13. Bountry Hunter
14. Rawhide Kid
15. Donald Quarrie
16. High Noon
17. The Great Escape
18. Walls Of Jericho
19. Wicked And Dreadful
20. Revenge
21. I Shot The President
22. State Of Emergency

DISC THREE
African Dub Chapter Three (1977)
1. Chapter Three
2. Rema Dub
3. Tribesman Rockers
4. Freedom Call
5. Jubilation Dub
6. The Entebbe Affair
7. Angolian Chant
8. Zion Gate
9. Jungle Dub
10. Dub Three
African Dub Chapter Four (1979)
11. Crucial Attempt
12. Behind Iron Bars
13. Ghetto Slum
14. Yard Music
15. Iron Gate
16. Power Pack
17. Free The Children
18. Fashion One
19. Rhythm Tackle
20. Sniper

DISC FOUR
Majestic Dub (1979)
1. Ten Commandments
2. Majestic Dub
3. Social Justice
4. Kings Of Dub
5. Bionic Encounter
6. Edward The Eight
7. International Treaty
8. Martial Law
9. Nations Of Dub
10. Embargo
More Majestic Dub (1979)
11. Earth Juice
12. Hoarding
13. Kick To Yu Chin
14. Let Go Mi Hand Babylon
15. Alan Hit By A Lorry
16. Security Force Version
17. Jump In The Line
18. Arlene Dub
19. Infatuation
20. Hey You Version
21. Pool Style Dub
22. Assigned To Love

As one of Jamaica’s most influential producers during the 1970s and early 1980s, Joe Gibbs formed a dynamic partnership with the late sound engineer Errol “ET” Thompson, who had previously worked at Randy’s Studio 17. Together, they produced over one hundred number 1 hit records and gained renown as The Mighty Two.

The emergence of dub versions of popular Jamaican songs in the late 1960s marked a new phase in the evolution of music. Studio engineers and producers such as King Tubby, Derrick Harriot, Clive Chin, Errol Thompson, and Harrie Mudie began to mix and modify the dub tracks, occasionally incorporating the voice as an additional instrument. As the genre developed, full-length dub albums appeared in small pressings with high prices. Eventually, dub tracks became so distinct that they could stand alone, creating a new form of musical expression.

Joe Gibbs And The Professionals’ dub music was featured on seven LPs that were released on Gibbs’ record label, named after himself, between 1974 and 1979. The first release, Dub Serial, was an experimental but highly influential album, while the last album, Majestic Dub, was released five years later. This 4CD collection brings together all of these classic dub masterpieces for the first time, along with a dozen dub tracks from the late 1970s that are making their debut on CD.

JOE GIBBS & THE PROFESSIONALS : DUB SERIAL (1974)

There are a variety of excellent riddims featured on this record, including a rendition of The Abyssinians anthemic roots piece Satta Massa Gana, the riddim from Dennis Brown’s Money In My Pocket, and Big Youth’s adaptation of Burning Spear’s He Prayed riddim for his single Foreman & Frasier. At first, the mixes may seem a bit lacking in liveliness, but over time, one can discern many intriguing subtleties. Some tracks hint at dub influences, featuring unexpected tape rewinds and clipped, echoing drums with surging sounds. Another effective technique is the pairing of two mixes of the same song. While one version features a catchy organ riff, the other focuses on the underlying drums and bass. The dub version of Nicky Thomas’ Turn Back The Hands Of Time is also noteworthy, with its captivating opening lines leading into a bass-heavy arrangement. Despite its understated qualities, this record is full of charm and intrigue. As pre-release this Dub Serial set was titled Dub Sequeldo.

JOE GIBBS & THE PROFESSIONALS : AFRICAN DUB – ALMIGHTY (1975)

The first chapter of African Dub, subtitled Almighty, was released in 1975 and now, just like the other three chapters, gets a CD reissue for the umpteenth time! Upon closer inspection, it becomes evident that there are significant enhancements in sound compared to the previous offering, Dub Serial. At this particular juncture, Errol Thompson’s approach involved interchanging segments of unadulterated drum and bass with interludes featuring deftly chopped guitar, soothing brass, or lively organ. This set offers dub versions of popular Joe Gibbs productions from the 1970s, most of which (just as was the case with Dub Serial) are updated versions of classic Treasure Isle and Studio One riddims. Both African Dub and East Africa are recuts of Love Is Not A Gamble, originally recorded by The Techniques at Treasure Isle. The second track, Universal Dub, is a medley of Burning Spear’s Slavery Days, two Jackie Mittoo tunes: Who Done It and Hot Milk and Ken Boothe’s My Heart Is Gone. The second medley here is called Midnight Movie and includes I Don’t Know Why aka Movie Star by Delroy Wilson, Errol Dunkley’s Black Cinderella and Drum Song, originally by the Studio One backing band the Sound Dimension. Bob Andy’s classic Studio One track Unchained is used on Schooling The Beat. The late great Dennis Brown cut his finest tunes for Joe Gibbs. Included are four dub versions of songs originating from the LP The Best of Dennis Brown. These include My Kind (Ghetto Skank), Poorer Side Of Town (Lime Key Rock), Play Girl (Lovers Serenade), and Let Me Live (Campus Rock). The rocksteady group The Jamaicans scored big with Ba Ba Boom for Duke Reid. Here the riddim gets reworked and renamed as Treasure Dub. Worrier is a recut of Keith Hudson’s immortal tune Riot tune while Half Ounce relicks Studio One’s Rockfort Rock riddim.

JOE GIBBS & THE PROFESSIONALS : AFRICAN DUB CHAPTER TWO (1976)

The second chapter of African Dub came out in 1976. Thompson once again impresses with his focus on delivering outstanding dub material. The emergence of synthesizers is evident and the mixing has become more daring. Several tracks have extended portions where the original elements of the songs remain largely unchanged, except for the absence of vocals. This collection has some particular strong versions. Angola Crisis is a fine Alton Ellis’ remake, utilizing the riddim of I’m Still In Love. Joe Gibbs used this track on Trinity’s Three Piece Suit and Althea and Donna’s chartbuster Uptown Top Ranking. Chapter 2 revisits the Queen Majesty riddim, one of the most used riddims in Jamaican music history! Jamaican Grass is a nice recut of a tune The Cables’ cut for Coxsone Dodd, What Kind of World (they took it from the Ben E. King soul hit Spanish Harlem). Further and some deeper riddim research revealed that The Marijuana Affair comes from the Paragons’ tune My Best Girl, while Peeping Tom finds its origins in the Melodians’ You have Caught Me. And from the same vocal group comes the original track Come On Little Girl, here in its instrumental form as Outrage. My Best Dub revisits the Wailers Hypocrites, while Third World is a slower version of Bob Andy’s Unchained. This one is different from the version included on African Dub – Almighty. Heavy Duty Dub is a medley including the Heptones’ Pretty Looks, Alton Ellis’ Mad Mad & I’m Just A Guy, all Studio One hits. Musical Arena relicks the Soul Brothers’ tune Sugar Cane, which is also a Studio One knock out!

JOE GIBBS & THE PROFESSIONALS : STATE OF EMERGENCY (1976)

State of Emergency was originally released in 1976. The riddim section of the Professionals on this record were Sly Dunbar on drums and Lloyd Parks on bass, alongside Bingy Bunny aka Eric Lamont on guitar, Ossie Hibbert on keyboards and Sticky Thompson on percussion. If you are expecting a straightforward dub album this is definitely not the record to choose. State Of Emergency is a classic set of horn instrumentals featuring saxophone players Herman Maquis and the mighty Tommy McCook, Bobby Ellis on trumpet and Vin “Don D Junior” Gordon on trombone. You can find some of reggae’s best riddims on this album including Melody Life (I Shot the President), Heavy Rock (State Of Emergency, also used for Culture’s piece Jah Jah See Them A Come), Get In The Groove (Donald Quarrie), Heavenless (High Noon) and Nanny Goat (Wild Goat). If you like instrumentals, if you like horns (well, who doesn’t like horns?), if you like melodies, then this is a fully satisfying album.

JOE GIBBS & THE PROFESSIONALS : AFRICAN DUB CHAPTER THREE (1977)

Chapter Three in the African Dub series was released in 1977, following the success of the first two Chapters and the instrumental/dub set State of Emergency. Chapter Three proved to be the most successful of the series and genuinely brought the dub form to the ears of many listeners outside the reggae community, although reggae purists didn’t approve Erroll Thompson’s new ‘sound collage’ approach. His mixing methods became more eccentric, causing them to overpower the music. Random noises and peculiar sounds ricochet throughout the album, alongside sound effects like ringing bells, buzzers, phones, flushing toilets. As with the first two sets in the series, the album reveals many rocksteady riddims updated, but the ‘four on the floor’ steppers style drumming is even more evident. Let’s check out some riddims here! Chapter Three is a clever reworking of Pablo’s Rockers Meets King Tubby’s Uptown, while Rema Dub finds its origins in the Melodians’ Everybody Bawling. Lord Creator recorded the melancholic tune Kingston Town for Clancy Eccles. Listen to the recut of that tune here, retitled Tribesman Rockers. The US soft rock band Bread had a megahit with Make It With You in the early 1970s. The Mighty Diamonds mixed that up with the bass line from the Righteous Flames’ Born To Be LOved and called it Ghetto Living. The dub version is called Freedom Call. The Entebbe Affair is a take on the Wailers’ Hypocrites riddim, while Zion Gate is a recut of the Studio One riddim Ten To One. More recuts of Studio originals here are Dub Three (Rockfort Rock), Angolian Chant (Love Me Always), and Jungle Dub (Live & Learn).

JOE GIBBS & THE PROFESSIONALS : AFRICAN DUB CHAPTER FOUR (1979)

By the time Chapter Four (and Chapter Three) were made, the studio technology had advanced to include a 16-track tape recorder, something Channel One didn’t acquire until 1979 according to several accounts. Chapter Four can more or less be regarded as a compilation of the different styles that Errol Thompson has showcased throughout the series. The tracks range from those that incorporate layered sound effects to the more minimalistic riddim-focused tracks. However, the frequent and prominent use of synthesizers and electronic percussion sometimes becomes excessive, falling short of ideal. The usual choice of riddims here are again updates of Treasure Isle and Studio One riddims. Crucial Attempt is a fine rendition of Swing Easy by the Soul Vendors. More Soul Vendors stuff on Ghetto Slum which reworks their Frozen Soul riddim. That riddim was also used by The Heptones for their song Love Won’t Come Easy. That vocal group scored big with Fatty Fatty, here recorded and retitled as Iron Gate. Behind Iron Bars has Dawn Penn’s classic Studio One hit No No No as its basis. The slow-paced Drum Song can be heard in Power Pack, while Fashion One relicks Alton Ellis’ Girl I’ve Got A Date. Finally there’s Sniper, which is a version of Little Roy’s Tribal War, in this case a dub of the George Nooks version recorded by Joe Gibbs.

JOE GIBBS & THE PROFESSIONALS : MAJESTIC DUB (1979)

Majestic Dub, strongly influenced by the disco sound that was very popular at the time, offers a selection of familiar riddims. It’s a really inconsistent album that features the uninspiring funk piece Bionic Encounter that feels incongruous along with various synthesizer-laden tracks, resulting in an unbalanced compilation with as many failures as successes, despite the inclusion of some fantastic riddims. Included here is Social Justice, a track utilizing Augustus Pablo’s Java riddim. Furthermore there’s International Treaty, a recut of Augustus Pablo’s Skanking Dub, the latter being a rendition of the Soul Vendors’ Studio One instrumental Swing Easy. A Dennis Brown riddim is heard when playing Edward The Eight, recognised as the Stay At Home riddim, courtesy of the original Paragon, Mr. John Holt. Nations Of Dub, is an interpretation of the How Could I Live riddim voiced by artists such as The Sharks, John Holt, Dennis Brown to name but a few. As already pointed out, Majestic Dub is not the most powerful and best dub album Joe Gibbs has put out, nevertheless it’s good to have it included in this 4CD set.

JOE GIBBS & THE PROFESSIONALS : MORE MAJESTIC DUB (1979)

The theoretical set More Majestic Dub has never appeared in LP or CD format. It features twelve dubs from the close of the 1970s that were previously only available on 7″ vinyl singles. This bonus part of the 4CD collection is the icing on the cake. Among the standout tracks are the dub version of Kojak & Liza’s Sky Juice called Earth Juice, which boasts a mesmerizing drum beat and ethereal vocals and keyboards floating in and out the mix. Kick To Yu Chin stands out with its heavy bass, while Let Go Mi Hand Babylon, adapting the riddim of The Melodians’ You Don’t Need Me, features notable deejaying. Hoarding, previously the B-side of deejay/producer Jah Thomas’ single Shopkeeper, also shines. Alan Hit By A Lorry is a fresh take on the Studio One classic Real Rock riddim, one of the most versioned riddims in reggae history. Security Force Version offers a change of pace with its rockers style drumming, while Jump In The Line wonderfully dubs up the Mighty Diamonds’ Party Time. Last but not least, the listener is treated well with the rootsy sounding Assigned To Love. The latter, a reworking of Dennis Brown’s Your Man, features nice sounding horns and vocals.

This comprehensive 4CD collection highlights the evolution of the Mighty Two’s dub prowess, culminating in their peak period between 1976 and 1979. Altough not every track is a winner, it’s a highly recommended collection to fans of classic dub reggae.

More Dub Version

Chapter Two

Dub Three

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