Review: Originally released in 1969, but record three years earlier, this album from the hugely successful and influential Clancy Eccles played a key role in the evolution of the rock steady sound. He was at the spearhead of a new generation of young, talented and dynamic musicians who were keen to push things forwards and make their own distinctive mark on the legendary dub world. His biggest hit was 'Fattie Fattie' in 1969 and it sold at home and over here in the UK. It's a fun, playful dub with a cheeky swagger and mischievous horns. It's just one of the many gems on this classic reissue.
Review: The King & City label is the subject of three 12" reissues, starting with One Blood's classic Lovers Rock take of William DeVaughn's soul anthem, Be Thankful.
Taking the influence of reggae from the Caribbean diaspora within the cultural melting pot of 70s London, the birth of Lovers Rock, often-dubbed 'romantic reggae', is a uniquely black British sound, developed against a backdrop of riots, racial tension and sound systems.
A style suited to the London scene, it represents an apolitical counterpoint to the then dominant conscious Rastafarian sound and continued the soulful and commonly love-themed rocksteady style.
Active during the scene's peak, King & City was launched by Neville King and Lee Laing to champion the sound and alongside other producers like Dennis Bovell, created genre-defining hits.
Formed in 1979 One Blood was made up of the 5 Robinson brothers - Errol, Jerry, Lloyd, Trevor and Paul - and recording at the legendary TMC studios, went on to release two albums and countless singles.
Be Thankful pays homage to DeVaughn's original, with smooth vocals gliding atop tight drum and bass, vocal jumping up dub pom acapella to summer perfection. The tapes here passed to cohort Lexx, crafting a wonderful discodub that is all groove, expertly cutting back and forth...diamonds in the back, sunroof top.
Review: Livity Records come through with a vinyl pressing of this collection of meaningful reggae anthems. It focuses on a roots sound with sojourns into dancehall and each one is defined by a strong lyrical message. Sizzla & Junior Kelly open up with their uplifting lament "All I See Is War", while Natural Black & Omar Perry come together for "This Are The Days", a real bubbler with earthy chords and nice organic percussive details and Luciano & Natty King close with impassioned pleas on "Why Sacrifice". There's plenty to get lost in here for those lazy smoke sessions and all of it will enrich your mind as well as your soul.