Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Harry J All Stars - Dubbing at Harry J's 1972-1975

Harry J All Stars - Dubbing at Harry J's 1972-1975
Label - Jamaican Recordings
Recorded - 1972-75
Style - Reggae, Dub, Lovers Rock, Lee Library

(review by Jah Floyd)
Harry J's studio at 10 Roosevelt Avenue, Uptown Kingston, Jamaica, was a legendary place for cutting tracks back in the 1970's. Many people passed through it's doors to cut music, Burning Spear ,The Heptones and Augustus Pablo to name but a few, and it was no accident that Bob Marley chose to record his first four albums for Island Records here.The timeless 'Catch a Fire' ,'Burnin' , 'Natty Dread' and 'Rastaman Vibration', all came under it's spell.

Harry Johnson, born 1945 Kingston, Jamaica, began his career as a musician playing bass with a group called The Virtues.The band would soon fall apart but it was as their manager that he got a taste for the business side, and his first session as a producer came around in 1968 cutting 'No More Heartaches' for The Beltones at Studio 1.But it was another track also cut at Studio 1 under his tutelage Lloyd Robinson's 'Cuss Cuss' that gave him his first hit single.The success of which would launch his Harry J imprint label, and inspire him to recruit the cream of Jamaica's session musicians. Including the mighty Winston Wright on keyboards and Boris Gardiner on bass to form the Harry J All Stars group. This line up would go on to have crossover hits with such classics as 'Liquidator' in 1969,and his 1970's production of Bob & Marcia's 'Young Gifted & Black' which reached No 5 in the U.K. charts.

In 1972 using again money made from his hits and selling his record store, Harry Johnson brought a 16 track mixing desk and so was born HARRY J's Recording Studio.The other important happening around this time was the arrival of Sylvan Morris as recording engineer to replace Sid Bucknor who was moving to England.Harry Johnson had already worked with Sylvan at Studio 1 where he was house engineer and had been mainly responsible for it's distinctive sound. On his arrival Sylvan would cut the Version sides to many of the Artists / Producers tracks cut at Harry J's and again establishing a great sound for the new studio.He even found time to cut a couple of dub albums himself, 'Morris in Dub' and 'Cultural Dub',where he re-versioned some classic cuts from his Studio 1 days.

Harry J's was the studio of the moment to cut tracks especially dub cuts.Keith Hudson recorded his classic 1974 'Pick A Dub' album here with the Barrett brothers, Aston 'Family Man' and Carlton, from Bob Marley's Wailers band providing the de-constructed backbone of bass and drums respectfully.

We have selected some interesting cuts to show the versatility of the studio and what it was capable of producing. A wide cross section covering some rare John Holt dubs to some obscure cuts like Monty Morrison's 'Love you Only' and even the great Jackie Bernard of The Kingstonian's features on some of his long lost dubs lost until now.The studio is still running today and has branched out to include it's Jamaican distribution arm 'Sunset'. But we hope bringing you back to those glorious days when it all started, will relive a classic time in Jamaican Dub History for you. What shines out on this selection we believe, are some great soulful roots cuts....Respect Jah Floyd.

1 Every Dub Is A Star (3:04)
2 Dub Is Yet To Come (3:03)
3 From Man To Dub (2:54)
4 Dub Scriptures (3:16)
5 Harmonica Dub (2:51)
6 Dub In The Streets (3:10)
7 Let Dub Down (3:31)
8 Bag-Full-A-Dub (3:23)
9 Dub To Babylonians Head (2:38)
10 Dub You Only (3:18)
11 No Mail No Dub (3:40)
12 None Shall Escape The Dubment (3:39)
13 Dub Me Smoothly (3:24)
14 Man Needs A Dub (3:22)



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the excellent Dubs!!