musicology #530

Jamaica #10

(The Uniques – Love & Devotion)

on the previous cut I mentioned one of Jamaican musicology’s prime movers and shakers Edward ‘Bunny’ Lee, (aka Striker/Sir One Strike), and his skills as a record plugger, (originally for Duke Reid). Today though it’s the man himself’s turn to deliver but this time as producer…So many top ranking slices of the Rocksteady and later the Reggae have the Striker stamp that they could easily fill a theme on themusicologist and maybe one day they will but right now It has to be just the one from that long list.

But before throwing down I would just like to add that MANY of the great Jamaican artists have yet to be featured on the theme but what can a man do? I’m sure that over the years they will all be HEAVILY represented, (as some already have), all I can say is that, (at least in my book), every cut laid down on here is a gem so that will have to do.

So who’s up? has to be this one from the Uniques with a personal favourite that I first heard way back in the mid 80’s and has been etched into my consciousness ever since. Featuring the Sublime vocals of first Jimmy Riley then Slim Smith and finally Lloyd Charmers..each blessed with a voice that could ‘charm the monkeys from out of the trees’ On rhythm duty are Cats we are already more than familiar with (Lynn Taitt, Winston Grennan, Gladstone Anderson, Bobby Aitken, Val Bennett, Lester Sterling, Vin Gordon, Johnny Moore)…..MAJESTIC

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musicology #301

JamaicanVocalGroupAction #12

(The Uniques – Hooray, (One Fine Day)

Seeing this theme through until the end of the week and then I’ll be rolling out something fresh on Monday. Just like to thank all you Cats for the visits and comments on the Wailers cut, (and tee), most apprecited. Following a marrow trembler like that is nigh on impossible..one of them cuts that has left me ‘chewing canvas’ to use an old boxing colloquilism…you know the score, hanging on to the opponent for dear life hoping that the bell tolls for the end of the round..so without further delay hold this cut from one of Jamaica’s finest vocal groups The Uniques featuring one of the greatest vocalists to ever grace the M.I.C…Keith ‘Slim’ Smith, alongside Jimmy Riley and Lloyd ‘Charmers’ Tyrel with a first outing on themusicologist. A 1967 Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee production that sounds like it was recorded at the Dukes ‘Treasure Isle’ studio…the home of Rocksteady.

musicology #161

vocalgroupaction2 #6

(The Uniques – Lessons Of Love)

day six !! of the vocalgroup selection and the tunes just keep on coming…by now i’m sure you’ve realised that the two genres that feature heaviest on themusicologist are Soul & Reggae and today’s cut is no exception.

courtesy of one of the most ‘important’ of Jamaica’s vocal groups The Uniques whose previous incarnation, (The Techniques), had already played a huge part in shaping the vocal group sound of Jamaica with Duke Reid at Treasure Isle. (for an example of the Techniques work with ‘The Trojan’ take a listen to musicology #44).

but it was as this pivotal line-up, (Roy Shirley, Jimmy Riley, Lloyd ‘Charmers’ Tyrell and Keith ‘Slim’ Smith), produced by the Islands top producer at the time Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee that they rose to the top of Jamaica’s vocal group tree with a string of Rock Steady classics such as ‘Gypsy Woman’, ‘My Conversation’, ‘The Beatitude’, Love & Devotion, ‘Facts Of Life’ (to name a few)

briefly…Bunny Lee was a major figure in the evolution of Jamaican musicology especially during this period. One of the first, (the first being Cecil ‘ Prince Buster’ Campbell), independent producers to challenge Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid he was instrumental in breaking the hold the two held over the music resulting in the emergence of other notable producers such as Derrick’ One Stop’ Harriott and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.

Recorded in Kingston at the Treasure Isle, (or W.I.R.L), studio in 1968.