Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Let's Cut Through The Bull And Get A Little Wackie

I’m back from vacation and it’s time to cut through the bull, literally, as I give you a taste of Wackies, by request.

Lloyd “Bullwackie” Barnes emigrated to New York in the early 1970’s and by utilizing production and recording techniques he learned in Jamaica he was able to establish one of the first reggae studios in the United States and in turn created his own unique sound that is still highly popular and sought after today by fans of hardcore roots reggae, hence the countless and unending amount of repressing going on. You could easily blow the whole bank account just trying to get caught up! Initially using his house band the Reckless Breed he recorded with local and seasoned Jamaican talent in his basement studio in the Bronx and initially releasing music on labels such as Hamma, City Line and Bullwackie to name a few until Wackies became his main outlet around 1983.

Now before we get to the mix I need to admit… I’m not very knowledgeable about the Wackies Sound or a lot of the artists that recorded for Barnes but I do have an appreciation for what I have heard and own. So if you go into this mix not expecting unearthing of some long-lost super rare tunes we’ll be good. I did try to mix it up by including a few B-sides but it's nothing spectacular so don't get your hopes up. I just wanted to put together a sampler, if you will, so I can give everyone a taste of this important studio, producer and era in reggae music.

Up first we have the group of Christopher Harvey and Clive Davis that called itself Jezreel and the song “Cheating Girl” which is the B-side to the Wackies 12” single “Stop Playing Tricks” from 1983.

Next up is tenor sax superstar and Jamaican music veteran Roland “The Chief Musician” Alphonso from his 1984 Wackies LP called Roll On and the song is named “Gentle Prophet.”

Third we’ve got a Wackies 10” single from Jah Batta and Skatee “Style And Fashion” which is the DJ Version of Super T’s cover of the Dennis Brown hit “West Bound Train.” This is a recent repress of tunes dating from 1983.

Going back to 1976 with the next tune are the Wackies studio band the Reckless Breed with “Basement Scrub.” This is the B-side to the Bullwackies 7” single “Basement Session” from the artist named Joe Morgan.

The Meditations are up next with “We Gonna Make It” from a six-track Wackies CD reissue of an album from 1982 called I Love Jah. This song definitely has a Lee “Scratch” Perry/Black Ark feel to it and it makes for some great listening.

Bullwackie’s All Stars give us the next tune called “Dance Dub.” This one is also a B-side from a Wackies 12” from Joe Sealy and Barrington Spence called “You Don’t Have To Dance.” A nice sampling of Wackies early digital style.

The Rockstones from a Wackies 10” follow it up with the song called “Be My Queen” from 1983.

The Bullwackie’s Rhythm Force give us the eighth tune in the mix called “African Rootie” from the 1999 CD reissue of a 80’s era album Dub Generals. Check out the flute... it provides a nice mellow vibe.

Up next is Jerry Hitler, an artist who miraculously never got mainstream airplay with such a nice name, and the wicked song “What’s Wrong With You” taken from a Bullwackie 7” from 1976. Such a great voice.

One time Heptones lead vocalist Leroy Sibbles provides us with the tenth track in the mix. It’s called “Now You’re Gone” from a Wackies 7” single from 1979.

The Chosen Brothers are up next with the tune “So Much Loving” from a 1976 Bullwackies 7” presumably featuring vocals from the man Lloyd Barnes himself.

Wayne Jarrett follows it up the classic “Youth Man” taken from a Wackies 2002 12” repress. If you’ve never heard this one you’re in for a treat because it is a smooth tune!

Horace Andy is next in the mix with a track called “I Don’t Want To Be Left Outside” from a Wackies repress 12”. Probably the hardest roots tune in the entire mix.

Next we get a little “Lover’s Rock” flavor from Joy Card and a tune that was originally released in 1982 called “Boy I Love You” taken from a relatively recent German Wackies repress.

Finally we end our Wackie Trip with a little tribute to the place that started it all. The final tune is called “Jamaica Sun” by Jerry Johnson from the Wackies LP called For All Seasons circa '84/'85.



Anonymous said...

This is a marvelous Wackies sampler. I'm a big fan of the label, and really enjoy this mix of old favorites and songs that are new to me. Thanks!

i said...

perhaps i'm a bit slow today (yeah... for sure i am...) but where's the link?



John AKA Reggaexx said...

I, you might have caught it before I posted the link... it took forever to upload today for some reason. Click on "Enjoy."

i said...

oh, i see. you're being sneaky.
thanks! looking forward to checking this out...

Unknown said...

Reggaexx....this is completely off topic, but I just watched Club paradise and noticed you posted about in 2006 on this blog. Do you have any clue where the soundtrack can be bought in CD form?...or downloaded even? I have fond memories of the music from when I was a kid and would love to listen to it again. Thanks in advance.....

John AKA Reggaexx said...

Jefferson, sorry I can't help you in locating the Club Paradise soundtrack on CD - from what I've heard it's next to impossible to find it in that format. I know it was reissued in Europe a few years back with a bunch of songs that appeared in the film but didn't make it on the first release but used copies of that CD go for a ton of money. Keep an eye on Ebay because they do come up on occasion.

Anonymous said...

thanks for this! a great sampler :)
im not very known with his work so this is a great introduction

Unknown said...

Just out of wouldn't happen to have a digitized version of the album?.....It appears the album can be picked up. I would just need someone to digitize it for me locally. Thanks again for the information.

John AKA Reggaexx said...

Waskrijt - glad you're enjoying it!

Jefferson - I only digitized the three tracks I shared last year - it's in the stack of things I need to get ripped but somehow it always ends up on the bottom and before I begin the rest of this comment I just want you to know that it is not directed at you. I've had some people e-mail me requesting an upload of this album in a rather rude and pushy manner and it's about time I came out with it. I understand this album has a nostalgic/sentimental place in a lot of our hearts - Club Paradise may have been where a lot of us heard reggae music for the first time and though the demand has been overwhelming I've really been reluctant to just digitize this LP and toss it up for download. In the last year I've been putting more effort and research into my posts and trying to provide more substance than what is wrongly perceived as just another link in the endless chain of free music sites that are leeched for their Rapidshare links and left without even so much as a thank you from those doing the taking. Experience has taught me that the hardwork and effort of most bloggers is rarely noticed or appreciated and to be blunt about it, it sucks. If you're taking something from someone who has put forth the effort to provide it for you the least you can do is thank them. Will I post the Club Paradise Soundtrack? Probably... but not anytime soon and when I do it's going to be only for a limited time. I don't mean to be a dick or an asshole or anything and I hope no one has perceived me as being so but since I started blogging again, after my time off, I've found it to be a lot more rewarding when providing information that may educate or enlighten someone about this music that I love so much. And when a person has the decency to simply say "thank you" it makes this thankless work worthwhile.

Unknown said...

Sorry I hit a nerve and upset you about the request. I wasn't trying to be rude or pushy. I just watched the movie on cable the other night and found myself trying figure out how to put the soundtrack together through Jimmy Cliff albums. I did end both posts with a thank you and will do the same in this one. Thanks again for all the great information and keep up the blogging. It's a great site. Thanks again...Jefferson

Anonymous said...

Hi there
regarding rockstone.
pressure sounds have a re-release of their perry pruduced album coming out this week.

John AKA Reggaexx said...

Jefferson, like I said at the start of my tirade... the comments were not in any way directed at you. You have been nothing but polite so I've got no problem with your request.

Just to let you know... I am working on an innovative way of getting the Club Paradise Soundtrack out to fans of the film - check back this week! It should be fun!

Anonymous said...

Style & Fashion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Does it get any better than this?

Simply adore it!

One Love Sthlm

Anonymous said...

there seems to be a '86 documentary about bullwackie. Anyone seen it?