Montag, 18. November 2013

Toots & The Maytals - Sweet And Dandy (1968)

It´s november, the weather is getting more and more awfull - cold and rainy. So it is definitly time for some fine reggae music to warm our hearts.

While they never achieved the commercial success or cultural impact of the Wailers, Toots & the Maytals were nearly as important in the history of Jamaican music; like the Wailers, the Maytals thrived as ska gave way to rocksteady and then evolved into reggae, they boasted one of the island's finest singers and most charismatic frontmen in the great Toots Hibbert, and they worked with many of the most important producers and sidemen on the island. The Maytals were also the band that most clearly demonstrated the links between Jamaican sounds and American R&B (Hibbert's rich, emotive vocal style was informed by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and other soul icons), and the group's catalog contains a number of crucial, frequently covered tracks, most notably the classic "Pressure Drop."        

Here´s the Leslie Kong production "Sweet And Dandy" from 1968, recorded at Dynamic Sounds (Kingston, JA). Led by Toots' Kingston-by-way-of-Memphis lead vocals, and the ragged call-and-response background singing of Nathaniel "Jerry" McCarthy and Raleigh Gordon, the trio created gospel-fueled reggae classics like "54-46 That´s My Number," "Monkey Man," "Sweet and Dandy,"  and the immortal "Pressure Drop," all of which carried the stomp and wallop of the best and most enduring soul music of the day.

Tracklist:

Monkey Man
Pressure Drop
I Shall Be Free
Bla, Bla, Bla
Just Tell Me
We Shall Overcome
Sweet And Dandy
Scare Him
Alidina
I Need Your Love
54-46 That’s My Number
Oh Yeah

Toots & The Maytals - Sweet And Dandy (1968)
(320 kbps, cover art included)       

Freitag, 15. November 2013

VA - The Beat Generation And The Angry Young Men (1984)


A fine Mod compilation, originally released in 1984 on Eddie Piller´s "Well Suspect" label.

From the liner notes:

"What you are now holding is the net result of five weeks hard slog in a dingy Soho basement. A compilation of some 15 demos and unreleased singles, which if it wasn't for a handful of dedicated, young believers, would have remained buried amongst piles of nameless studio out-takes for time immemorial. Names like The Merton Parkas, Purple Hearts and Long Tall Shorty will instantly bring back memories of that hot and sweaty summer of '79, when mod had not yet received its death sentence from the music press and you could still catch any of a dozen young mod bands live in a given week."

Tracklist:

01. Long Tall Shorty - That's What I Want
02. Small Hours - Underground
03. Purple Hearts - I'll Make You Mine
04. Les Elite - Frustration
05. Long Tall Shorty - I Do
06. Merton Parkas - Dangerous Man
07. Les Elite - Get A Job
08. Directions - Weekend Dancers
09. Purple Hearts - Concrete Mixer
10. Les Elite - Career Girl
11. Long Tall Shorty - All By Myself
12. Directions - It May Be Too Late
13. Merton Parkas - You Say You Will
14. Small Hours - The Kid
15. Purple Hearts - Hazy Darkness...

VA - The Beat Generation And The Angry Young Men (1984)
(192 kbps, cover art inlcuded)

Dienstag, 5. November 2013

Chad Mitchell Trio - Reflecting (1964)


The first Chad Mitchell Trio release of 1964 was self-consciously political and somewhat downbeat. The album opens with "Barry's Boys," a now-dated political piece that was controversial when it was released. This piece, along with a cute throwaway song by Shel Silverstein, and the wonderful version of Tom Paxton's "What Did You Learn in School Today" are the only humorous pieces on the album.
The rest of "Reflections" is highly varied and includes a sweet Caribbean religious song, an Elizabethan ballad, and a pair of songs from the Second World War.
 
The highlight of the album, and a clue regarding why the rest of the release might have a somewhat somber mood, is the closing medley of "In the Summer of His Years" and "Rally 'Round the Flag."
 
This album was recorded just after the assassination of President Kennedy, and the combination of the song commemorating his life and death with one written just after the assassination of President Lincoln was an inspired decision. It is no wonder that several songs on this album are expressions of grief, as the Chad Mitchell Trio reflected their times in song, and those times had just been marred by tragedy.
 
Modern listeners experiencing this album for the first time will find much to respect in the expressive vocals and good song selections throughout the album, but may find that other albums by the group are more enjoyable. Note: This was the group's last release as the Chad Mitchell Trio. Subsequent releases were under the name the Mitchell Trio.              

  

Chad Mitchell Trio - Reflecting (1964)
(256 kbps, cover art included)