Various Artists - From Dubplate To Download
Greensleeves - #GREZCD 4011 - September 03, 2007
A Reggae Flow
Reviewed by Hans on September 07, 2007
From Dubplate To Download, subtitled The Best Of Greensleeves Records, showcases 30 reggae hits released by Greensleeves from 1977 to the present day. But why a review of this if Roots Archives features only reggae music from 1970 to 1985? Simple: this album shows the power of 30 years of reggae music.
To quote the sleeve notes by Harry Hawke: "Greensleeves Records have worked at the cutting edge of Reggae music since 1977 and now control a comprehensive catalogue that many reissue labels specialising in Jamaican music can only aspire to. The biggest selling hits are often forgotten as quickly as they rise to the top, but the tracks included here - all either massive Reggae hits or massive Reggae and crossover hits - have subsequently insinuated themselves into the consciousness of at least two generations, to remain there for evermore."
The CD title refers to Wailing Souls' "War", which original was pressed as a dubplate, and the unreleased "Hoola Hoop" by Macka Diamond which is availble as a free download on Greensleeves' website.
Allthough all well known reggae songs, the reggae flow untill 1985 on the first cd is wicked. Running right from late 70's roots by Wailing Souls through UK-based Reggae Regulars, Doctor Alimantado and then on to 80's dancehall from Yellowman, Eek-A-Mouse, Barrington and more. While listening to these songs I promised myself to dig into my LP collection tomorrow and listen again to these sounds.
"Under Me Sleng Teng" by Wayne Smith signalled the end of reggae for some fans of the genre. I have to admit that when Rodigan played this 'Casio song' for the first time in 1984 on his radio show I was shocked, along with the rest of the reggae world! But soon after that I joined the second wave, embracing a wicked change in reggae music - now digital ruled.
Tippa Irie hits the charts with his "Hello Darling" song. Gussie Clarke and then, some time later, Mikey Bennett provided Greensleeves with some great tunes. For example Gregory's "Rumours", Krystal & Shabba's "Twice My Age" and of course artists Home T, Cocoa Tea together with Shabba or Cutty Ranks.
The second CD opens with the 1993 worldwide hit "Oh Carolina", produced by Robert Livingston & Sting International. By this time 'new' producers like Fatis, Bobby Digital and Danny Brown ruled the reggae scene. Staying with them was veteran reggae producer Prince Jammy, who now crowned himself King. New names like Buju Banton and Bounty Killer were dj-ing on the scene and new singers like Garnett Silk became stars. Zap Pow's singer Beres Hammond is also included on this cd. His song "Over You" presents a contrast with the Buju and Bounty songs of the time.
The last part on this second cd contains hits from the last 10 years such as Sizzla's conscious "Black Woman & Child" and Beenie Man's "Who Am I" that were now hitting the reggae scene. Together with artist like Mr. Vegas, Ward 21, Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel they still are all performing. Probably shocking for the more traditional Roots Archives visitors will be Tony Matterhorn's Dutty Wine, a heavy ragga tune released last year. And I shouldn't forget to mention the great song, "Hail The King" by Fantan Mojah, released in 2005 and probably already a reggae anthem.
This double CD includes a 12 page booklet featuring pictures of the artist and some very good information about the songs.
This is a worthy reminder of all those great reggae songs and an album for everyone wanting to get a great impression of 30 years of reggae music.
Big up Greensleeves!
Hans - Roots Archives, September 2007
Edited by Leggo Rocker