Harold Butler – Gold Connection

by May 19, 2024Artist, Reviews

Harold Butler - Gold Connection

Release Info

Label
Doctor Bird/Cherry Red Records
Format
DBL CD
Street date
May 17, 2024
Contact
Website Record Label

Tracklist

DISC ONE

HAROLD BUTLER – GOLD CONNECTION
1. Darling I Like It – The Harold Butler Connection
2. I Love Music – The Harold Butler Connection
3. Latin Hustle Reggae – The Harold Butler Connection
4. Do It Anyday – The Harold Butler Connection
5. Gold Connection (Disco Version) – The Harold Butler Connection
6. That’s The Way I Like It – The Harold Butler Connection
7. Love’s Theme – The Harold Butler Connection
8. Ire Rocker – The Harold Butler Connection
9. Fly Robin Reggae – The Harold Butler Connection

BONUS TRACKS
10. Skin Tight (instrumental) –C.H.A.R.M.
11. Supernatural (7” mix) – Richard Ace
12. Just A Dream (7” mix) – Dobby Dobson
13. L. Sucks – Lloyd Charmers
14. My Last Date – Sister Stern
15. Gathering – The Africans
16. Sing La La – Lloyd Charmers
17. Julie (I Love Truly) – Richard Ace
18. Sweeter Than Honey (7” mix) – Dobby Dobson
19. Devoted To You – Sister Stern
20. Stand Up And Be Counted – Richard Ace
21. Imagination (7” mix) – Delroy Wilson
22. Tootsie Wootsie Lollipop (La La La) – Lloyd Charmers

DISC TWO

DOBBY DOBSON: SWEET DREAMS
1. Whispering Bells – Dobby Dobson
2. You’re Mine, All Mine – Dobby Dobson
3. Oh Gee – Dobby Dobson
4. Little Star – Dobby Dobson
5. Win Your Love For Me – Dobby Dobson
6. Sweet Dreams – Dobby Dobson
7. Muriel – Dobby Dobson
8. Cherie – Dobby Dobson
9. Don’t Believe Him, Donna – Dobby Dobson
10. This Is My Story – Dobby Dobson
11. The Great Pretender – Dobby Dobson
12. Just A Dream (12” mix) – Dobby Dobson
13. Sweeter Than Honey (12” mix) – Dobby Dobson

RICHARD ACE AND LLOYD CHARMERS: SUPERNATURAL THING
14. Stay (12” mix) – Lloyd Charmers
15. Wish You Were Mine – Richard Ace
16. Supernatural (12” mix) – Richard Ace
17. Stale Mate – Richard Ace
18. You’ll Always Be On My Mind – Richard Ace & Lloyd Charmers
19. Love Can Make You Happy – Richard Ace
20. Stay (instrumental) – Richard Ace

With every track new to CD and featuring best-selling albums from the mid-’70s we have a 2 CD collection produced by Lloyd Charmers. Lloyd made his name initially on the Jamaican music scene in the early ’60s as half of the popular outfit The Charmers before a short spell with The Uniques. He then moved into production and remained as a singer, on the production side his biggest hit in the UK being Ken Boothe’s ‘Everything I Own’. Lloyd continued producing Jamaican-based acts and this included keyboard maestro Harold Butler along with Dobby Dobson and Richard Ace who all appear on this collection. Let us now take a look at a selection of the tracks on this collection.

DISC ONE : HAROLD BUTLER – ‘GOLD CONNECTION’ (a selection)

1. DARLING I LIKE IT. On this we hear Harold Butler on organ as one would expect and it is a fast-moving sound predominantly an instrumental on which one hears a female chorus from time-to-time. Catchy sound this track. Released in the US on Clocktower Records label. 3. LATIN HUSTLE REGGAE. This comes as a version of a UK hit for Eddie Drenon back in 1975. The rhythm track is on the fast side and Harold’s organ work is top-notch. Liked it in a Disco/Funk vein and this is no exception, only ever an original album track. 5. GOLD CONNECTION (Disco version). This is what the title would make one expect, a disco version with no Reggae rhythm in sight. The tempo is predominantly fast with some slower parts. Nothing special with the tune going around-and-around. 7. LOVE’S THEME. This is as many will know a tune that was taken into the UK charts by The Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1974. This version comes with a punchy rhythm track and a female chorus at one stage. This tune takes to the Reggae genre well and Harold is on his organ in top form. A good tune and a top track from the original album and was recorded at The Federal Recording Studio, Kingston, Jamaica. Released in the US on Clocktower Records in 1975. 9. FLY ROBIN REGGAE. This track was taken into the UK charts by Silver Convention in 1975 and is given the full-on Reggae treatment. Starting off slowly it moves into a mid-tempo sound on which a female chorus is heard, way back on the punchy rhythm track. Another pop number takes to the Reggae genre well.

BONUS TRACKS (a selection)

10. SKIN TIGHT – C.H.A.R.M. This is by an outfit that has an abbreviated name that means Charmers. This is a fast slice of catchy instrumental Reggae and features ‘Organ D’, no idea about this. There is a chorus that comes in at various times and the sound is dominated by fine organ playing. Released in Jamaica on the Wild Fower label in 1975. 12. JUST A DREAM – Dobby Dobson. This tune has been recorded by various artists and here we have the smooth vocal sound of Dobby Dobson, who one feels was much underrated. The rhythm track comes punchy and again a chorus is heard at times. Released in Jamaica on the LTD label in 1975. 14. MY LAST DATE – Sister Stern. A slower cover of an original by Floyd Cramer from 1960. Nothing known about the artist but another top Jamaican female singer. The rhythm track comes straight with piano dominant and yet again the artist is joined by a female chorus. This ads-up to another fine Reggae cover. Released in Jamaica on the Clocktower label in 1975. 18. SWEETER THAN HONEY – Dobby Dobson. This is a faster sound on which Dobby’s vocal floats over a straight Reggae rhythm track. A female chorus is in evidence and some organ work on this, could be Lloyd Chalmers. Released in Jamaica on the LTD label in 1975. 19. DEVOTED TO YOU – Sister Stern. Yes, you have probably guessed that this will be a version of a UK/US hit for The Everley Brothers, way back and although nothing beats their version Sister Stern does a fine job. The recording is mid-tempo and the rhythm track is straight with another chorus present. Released in Jamaica on the LTD label and in the UK on Sky Note in 1976. 21. IMAGINATION (7″ mix) – Delroy Wilson. This track has Delroy Wilson at his vocal best on a mid-tempo soulful number. Needless to say he is joined by a chorus from time-to-time. The rhythm track comes with some organ work and if you are into the smoother side of Jamaican music this track will not disappoint. Delroy is backed on the track by The Charmers Big Band and the song was written by the late great Ben E King. Released in Jamaica on the Wild Flower label in 1975.

DISC TWO : DOBBY DOBSON ‘SWEET DREAMS’ (a selection)

1. WHISPERING BELLS. This is not a Reggae sound but a cover of a song by The Del-Viking’s from way back. Dobby’s vocal lends itself well to the song and it moves along at a fast pace. The ’50s Doo-Wop group the Del-Vikings recorded this song amongst other artists. Released in Jamaica on Charmers Records LP in 1978. 3. OH GEE. This is up-tempo Jamaican Doo-Wop and comes without a Jamaican rhythm. The vocal is clear and a chorus helps-out on a track that is catchy a really good listen. Released in Jamaica on the Wild Flower label in 1977 6. SWEET DREAMS. This was originally a country song recorded by Don Gibson. On this Dobby gives his all on the vocal and compliments a punchy rhythm track the track gives its title to the original album. 8. CHERIE. This is a slow number that again can be put into the Doo-Wop category. Dobby is joined once again by chorus of vocalists at times and overall this is a pleasant non-Jamaican sound and was only an album track on the ‘Sweet Dreams’ original vinyl album. 11. THE GREAT PRETENDER. This is a version of a Platters hit from 1955 and covered by Freddie Mercury in 1999. No Reggae rhythm in sight just a soulful cover of a good song by a great artist, a chorus comes in from time-to-time. 13. SWEETER THAN HONEY (12″ mix). This track comes with a Reggae rhythm and one finds Dobby in a soulful mood once again. The backing comes straight and mid-tempo with a chorus from time-to-time along with a short spoken deep vocal.

RICHARD ACE AND LLOYD CHALMERS: SUPERNATURAL THING

14. STAY (12″ mix) – Lloyd Charmers. Coming as a fast number again without a Jamaican rhythm track. The Lloyd Chalmers vocal is infectious and he is joined by a chorus that compliments the overall sound. The track appears on the Charmers Doctor Bird collection ‘Moody & Blue’ 16. SUPERNATURAL (12″ mix) – Richard Ace. We go back to a number that has a Reggae rhythm and one hears a cool vocal from another underrated Jamaican artist. The song was written by soul man and Drifters member Ben E King and goes into a Dub sound mid-way through. Released in the US on the Clocktower label in 1975. 17. STALE MATE – Richard Ace. This was a B-side when originally released on a 7″ single and is another non-Reggae sound. It is actually a Soul sound on which Richard Ace gives a classy vocal in front of a chorus. Released in the UK on the Ice label in 1978. 20. STAY (INSTRUMENTAL) – Richard Ace. This track finishes off this collection and is an organ dominated, instrumental version of a previously reviewed track. Nothing outstanding about this just another way of covering another recording of a vocal recording, something that happened frequently in Jamaica.

This collection covers four original vinyl releases and focuses on the talents of three underrated Jamaican artists, Harold Butler, Dobby Dobson and Richard Ace. It comes as not only a Reggae collection but also includes funky disco/Soul recordings, the Dobby Dobson album tracks come as what one would call Jamaican Doo-Wop which isn’t heard that often. The Cherry Red Records team that put the Doctor Bird collections together have come up with a numerous number of tracks that may be new to the listener and it makes a refreshing change. The standard of the performances and production on this collection is second to none and makes an essential buy for both completists and those who like Reggae with a Soul influence. At £14 99p it really is a worthwhile purchase.

Read more about:

Harold Butler Connection – Fly Robin Fly

The Africans – Gathering

Dobby Dobson – This is My Story

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