Spent Thanksgiving Week cratedigging and vaping my way across Las Vegas. Nice to be only a cliche’ and not a criminal in the land of 8 down!
Just like Evanston on a Friday afternoon, 80% of the cars in the parking lot had Utah plates.
Well fortified, I hit Vegas and cratedug the city’s good record shops (Zia is the place in Vegas and Phoenix for good vinyl.) Their several vinyl only shops (Moondog Records, 11th Street Records). Video poker and black jack.
Watched Green Bay play awful in a Green Bay bar in North Las Vegas. Red beers (beer + tomato juice at 10am.) Caught Blade Runner 2049 on the big screen.
Good week except my laptop became a craptop. It died on me just as I was trying to upload this Digital Dubplate devoted to Lee “Scratch” Perry and his mythic Black Ark Studios.
From 1974-1979 when he destroyed it, some of spookiest and thickest Reggae was crafted here. Listen for the mooing cow! Everybody of note made their best Reggae albums in that studio: Max Romeo, Junior Murvin, Prince Jazzbo, George Faith. Even Marley’s Punky Reggae Party, recorded in England, had that throbbing Black Ark sound leavened with some shimmering high end.
At high volumes, I guarantee this will chase the mice away and knock the cobwebs off your walls!
Or read the story and look below for the Annotated Playlist
Aww, strolling down memory lane. 25 years every Saturday on Smile Jamaica. As the Ark-Ive grows, it just takes too long to cull from A to Z. All the Vinyl especially. I just reminisce too much on each album. Where I bought it, why I bought it. Are there herb tunes or Marley covers I forgot about? Halloween ditties or other oddities….and on and on and on.
So my methodology was to try my best to re-create a potential first episode. (I actually debuted first Saturday of KRCL’s Fall Radiothon). So I knew I would have to have a representative from at least a dozen or so of my original favorite artists….all on Black Wax. 50 Records where I get to juggle, consistently from show to show, between 32-35 selections over 3 hours.
I knew I had to feature these artists:
Lee Perry’s brooding Black Ark sound
Adrian Sherwood’s Mutant Dub ON U Sound label
The Clash – discovered Reggae via UK punkers before Marley, Tosh and Bunny
Plus songs that I absolutely loved in the 1986-1988 Era:
Culture – Calling Rastafari
UB40 female toaster V’s Version from the rare dubble disk UK version pared down to a single in the US – Baggariddim
Big Youth – Get On Up. Hardcore Reggae disco funk
Sister Frica – One in the Spirit: From Methodist Sunday School to Pablo’s “Far East” Jamaican sound
Arthur Louis – beautiful version with Eric Clapton of Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
Below is the Annotated Playlist: Reggae History Lessons, Soundbites, Playlist, photos and captions.
On this Playlist, I search deep in my LONG term memory to try and remember where I would have purchased these Black Wax Vinyls; 1986-1988. Most of these Record Stores are gone now, but back in the day it was a Vinyl Paradise. Lps were cheap to make way for these new gizmos called CDs.
Thanks for being a part of 25 years listening to Smile Jamaica. Forward ever, backwards never!
Playlist: Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Sept. 20, 2014
Set 1: 25 Year All Vinyl Is Vital Showcase
Black Uhuru – Party Next Door; Anthem (Mango) ’84 US (Smokey’s Records, SLC)
Bullwackies All Stars – Recording Connection; Black World (Wackies) ’79 Dub Album of the Week; NYC
Bob Marley & the Wailers – Jah Live; Countryman Soundtrack (Mango) ’82 US (Cosmic Aeroplane, SLC); single recorded 1976
<Reggae History Lesson: Bob Marley: You cyaan (can’t) kill God! 25 sec.>
Rita Marley – Beauty of God’s Plan; Rita Marley (Trident) ’81 UK (Streetlight Records, SF)
Culture – Calling Rastafari; Calling Rastafari (Nighthawk) ’82 Various Artist St. Louis, Jah-ssouri (Randy’s Records, SLC)
<Reggae History Lesson: US Record Labels slinging Reggae; 30 sec.>
Black Slate – Legalize Collie Herb + Legal Dub; Rasta Festival (Alligator) UK 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement; ’81 Jah-cago blues label (Rasputin Records, Berkeley)
Desmond Dekker – Big Headed; Compass Point (Stiff) ’81 UK (Streetlight Records, SF)
Junior Byles – Cally Weed; Rasta No Pickpocket (Nighthawk) ’86 herb tune; St. Louis, Jah-ssouri (label promo)
The Selecter – Bristol and Miami; Celebrate the Bullet (Chrysalis) ’81 2 Tone Brit Ska; about riots in UK and FL (Mad Platter Records, SLC)
Don Carlos – Living in Harmony; Prophecy (Blue Moon/Magnum) ’85 UK (RAS mail order, DC)
The Congos – Children Crying; Heart of the Congos (Congo Ashanty) ’77 JA; Lee Perry/Black Ark/Upsetters (RAS mail order)
Big Youth – Get On Up; Rock Holy (Negusa Negast) ’80 JA (RAS mail order)
Burning Spear – Jah a Guh Raid; Hail H.I.M. (Burning Spear) ’80 JA (Rutabaga Records, SLC)
Sister Frica – One in the Spirit; Rockers All Star Explosion (Alligator) ’83 A. Pablo prod’n; Sunday School Hymn (label promo)
Alpha Blondy & the Wailers – Jerusalem; Jerusalem (Stern’s) ’86 UK; Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa (RAS mail order)
Desi Roots – Weedfields; Doing it Right (Hawkeye) ’80 UK; herb tune (Esoteric Records, Sacramento)
Dillinger – Check Sister Jane; King Pharoah (Blue Moon/Magnum) ‘84 UK; Marley Waiting in Vain – Johnny Clarke (Greensleeves mail order, UK)
Arthur Louis – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door; This is Reggae Music vol. 2 (Island) ’75 US Bob Dylan cover (Smokey’s Records, SLC)
<Arthur Louis and Eric Clapton cover Dylan; 32 sec.>
<Reggae History Lesson: Reggae’s love of AM pop and black soul; 23 sec.>
Jimmy Cliff – Keep Your Eyes on the Sparrow; Best of Jimmy Cliff (Island) ’75 Jah-taly; folk ballad (Half Price Records, Berkeley)
UB40 & Sister V – V’s Version; Baggariddim (Virgin) ‘85 dubble disk. Update of Boy Friday rock steady classic (Randy’s Records, SLC)
Ruffy & Tuffy – Third World War; Climax (Black Star) ‘88 Finland (Tower Records, SF)
<World War III as predicted by Nelstradamus last Feb. during Ukraine Coup; 16 sec.>
<Cold War II, Electric Boogaloo: Obama v. Putin; 20 sec.>
Lone Ranger – Legalise the National Herb; Hi-Yo, Silver, Away! (Greensleeves) ’82 UK herb tune (Tower Records, Las Vegas)
Leroy Smart – Rock and Come On; On Top (Micron) ’82 Can. (RAS mail order)
Full Experience feat. Aura – Young, Gifted and Broke; Aura Meets Lee “Scratch” Perry at Black Ark Studios (Blue Moon) Fr. Nina Simone cover; Black Ark w female vox (RAS mail order)
Casselberry & DuPree – Coming in From the Cold; City Down (Icebergg); ’86 Jah-waukee Marley cover (label promo)
The Clash feat. Mikey Dread – Bankrobber/Robber dub; Black Market Clash (NuDisk) 10” US (Randy’s Records)
Johnny Clarke – Rebel Soldering; Don’t Trouble Trouble (Attack) ’88 UK; Bunny Lee comp (Smokey’s Records)
<Smile Jamaica Reggae Lexicon: Soldering or Welding; 10 sec.>
Flick Wilson – Slave Master; School Days (Jah Life) ’80 JA (The Beat, Sacramento, CA)