Monday, October 8, 2007
Treasure Isle In Dub (Rare Dubs 70-78)
Treasure Isle In Dub 1970-1978
Label - Treasure Isle/Jamaican
Recorded - 1970-1978
Style - Dub, Early Reggae, Roots, Lee Library
Treasure Isle Studio’s,33 Bond Street, was one of the main contenders to the Studio 1 crown.So many hits came from it’s wooded loft premises that it seemed every track was destined to become a hit, propelled by the Trojan himself Mr Duke Reid.
Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid [b.1915, Jamaica] had spent ten years as a Kingston policeman when he and his wife Lucille [after winning a substantial Jamaican National lottery] decided to buy The Treasure Isle Liquor Store in Kingston, Jamaica. Wanting music to attract customers, the Duke arranged through a sponsorship deal to host his own radio show ‘Treasure Isle Time’. The people would listen to the latest American R&B tunes, interspersed with liquor deals going down at his store. This in time would lead to the starting of his own Sound System, where he could take his liquor to the dances via his Trojan truck. With shouts of ‘Here comes the Trojan’, Duke Reid’s now named Trojan Sound System was born. It proved such a success that he was crowned King of Sound and Blues three years in a row 1956, 1957 and 1958. 1958 also saw the store which was out growing itself, move to its legendary premises, 33 Bond Street.
Duke Reid was a formidable character in the music business. His guns from his policing days were ever present and always on show, striking a menacing cord. It was also not unheard of for a few rounds to be let off, if the need arose. But it was his extensive knowledge of the R&B tunes,and knowing what the people liked to here that was his real strength. Like Coxsone Dodd at Studio 1 he would travel to America to acquire the latest cuts. But this was proving more difficult due to America’s tastes moving on to Rock & Roll, which was not so popular in Jamaica.
The obvious step was to record their own tunes to supply the demand. This proved so popular with cuts like ‘Duke’s Cookies’, ’What makes Honey’ and the ‘Joker’. The next step would be to open his own recording studio which he did in the loft above his store. It was 1962 and Treasure Isle Studio’s was open for business.
1962 - 1966 was a prolific time at Treasure Isle, the Ska hits kept coming. His resident engineer Byron Smith and later Syd Bucknor’s work with artists like Stranger Cole, The Techniques, Justin Hinds and the Dominoes and the great Alton Ellis and the Flames, proved a winning formula. Such was the output that the releases were spread over three labels, Treasure Isle, Duke Reid and Duchess [a name he often used to refer to his wife].
1968-1969 saw the beat slowing down and reggae was evolving into Rocksteady and again Duke had his finger on the pulse. Working with guitarist Ernest Ranglin and the great sax player Tommy McCook and the Supersonics, the hits flowed from the studio. The Paragons ‘Wear you to the Ball’, Alton Ellis’s ‘Rock Steady’, The Melodians ‘Last train to Expo’ and The Technique’s rendition of the Curtis Mayfield classic ‘Queen Majesty’ were all big hits of the day. Getting released on Reid’s own labels and on Trojan [named after his Sound System] in the UK.
The musical style would change again around 1970, but the ever resourceful Reid would apply his tunes and start a new genre, the DJ Sound. By using his classic backing tracks and interspersing the dubbed vocal along side his Sound System DJ’s rants and raves, his tunes became hits once more. The irrepressible U Roy cut ‘Wake this Town’ a version of Alton Ellis’s ‘Girl I’ve Got a Date’, ’Rule the Nation’, rode the Techniques ‘You Don’t Care’ and ‘Wear you to the Ball’ the Paragons hit of the same name, became three hits in a row in the Jamaican charts...an unheard of feat....
For this collection with have put together a set of rare dubs recorded at the legendary studio. Such classics as the for mentioned ‘Queen Majesty’, Alton Ellis’s ‘I’m Just a Guy’, The Ethiopians ‘Everything Crash’. All great tunes and classic rhythms, the atmosphere and the guidance of the seasoned engineers Byron Smith and Syd Bucknor alongside the top musicians, set the tone for these classic lost till now recordings.
Everyday Is Dub Day
This Old Dub Of Mine
Why Dub In Spring
Just A Dub
Dub You Madly
Let The Dub Go
I'm Your Dub
It's Raining Dub