Borrowing a tagline from Jaws we're diving right into a spirited summertime mix devoted to the world's oceans and seas and those creatures who dwell within whether purposefully or unintentionally. Surprisingly compiling the songs for this one was a lot harder than I expected but presented herein are the fruits of my labors...
We start this mix with a 7" on the Steppers label by the man David Issacs and it's called "Just Like A Sea." Isaacs compares the ebb of the sea to that of his love... a nice tune on the ultra-smooth, horn-driven, Let Me Tell You Boy riddim.
Carl Dwyer AKA Captain Sinbad is up next with the tune "Fisherman" taken from his 1982 Junjo Lawes produced LP The Seven Voyages Of Captain Sinbad on the Greensleeves label. Another rub-a-dub scorcher, this one ridin' the Solomon riddim!
Prince Alla follows up Captain Sinbad with the song "Gold Diver" from the 2002 Blood & Fire CD I Can Hear The Children Singing. The lyrics address those in society who look out for their own best interests regardless of who is may hurt... I may be taking liberties with the title getting it to work with our aquatic theme but Alla does analogously mentions sharks multiple times throughout.
Up next is Junior Reid from his 1984 Prince Jammy produced Greensleeves LP Boom Shack A Lack and the tune "Row Your Boat." An excellent selection from a nice album if I do say so myself!
Tommy McCook & Don D. Jr. hit us with the next tune inna ruff Yabby You style! The track is called "Fisherman Special" and it comes from the crucial 1997 Blood & Fire set called Jesus Dread which effectively captures the genius that was Vivian Jackson. I particularly dig this tune because I'm a real sucker for horns and Don D. Jr. plays a mean trombone!
The next track is a bit of a stretch to fit our theme but it has a lot going for it... and organ and horns version of the beloved Gregory Isaacs' classic "Love Is Overdue." It is called appropriately "Atlantic One" and it is the title track of the 1975 various artists LP of the same name released on the Horse label. The stretch comes from the obvious reference to the Atlantic One aircraft mentioned during the spoken intro but hey... you can't blame me for trying!
Ranking Barnabas steps onboard next with an absolutely killer dub tune obviously dedicated to Melville's Moby Dick... it's called "White Whale" and comes from the LP called The Cold Crusher
produced by Phil Pratt and pressed on the Amalgamated label sometime in the 70's.
The late Bionic Steve is up with a tune that would probably work in the Halloween mix but it was too perfect not to include in this watery hodgepodge. The song is called "Bermuda Triangle" and it comes from a 1980 7" on the Crystal label. This is a fun one!
Bob Marley and the Wailers follow up the Bermuda Triangle with one of those songs that always puts me in a summery mood. This alternate version of "Don't Rock My Boat" was lifted from the 1999 JAD CD The Complete Wailers Part 2. I've heard the original version of this tune so many times it's nice to provide an alternative... don't say I never gave you nothin'!
Following Bob is one smooth-ass tune from the guitar virtuoso Ernest Ranglin... the track is called "Surfin" but believe me it ain't the Beach Boys! This one comes from the 2001 Soul Jazz compilation CD Studio One Rockers - check it!
Doin' the next one inna rocksteady stylee... John Holt & The Paragons give us the classic "The Tide Is High"... for those only familiar with Blondie's cover the correct words are "I'm not the kinda man who gives up just like that." It is borrowed from the 1992 Heartbeat CD set Duke Reid's Treasure Chest.
Going a completely different direction with the next track... this one is called "Fishman Lyrics" by Philip "Cutty Ranks" Thomas and comes from a 1986 LP released on Winston Riley's Techniques label called DJ Explosion Ina Dancehall Style. Cutty gives us a rundown of about every form of aquatic life known to man in this rapid-fire scorcher! All tracks from this album are ridin' the Cry Fi De Youth riddim and it's one of the few riddim exclusive albums that doesn't drive me insane after the second track!
General Echo wraps himself in a shawl and ducks onto a lifeboat for the tune "Titanic." This is lifted from the Teach Fe De Class CD on the Equalizer label. I absolutely love this one - a real good indicator of Echo's sense of humor! Who else could take a horrific maritime disaster and make it into such an entertaining rub-a-dub reggae classic?
Up next are the Mighty Diamonds with a song called "Morgan The Pirate" from the 1983 Tappa Zukie produced LP Leader Of Black Country on the Mobiliser label. The Diamonds aren't romanticizing pirates like Jack Sparrow but raising the question of why pirates take precedence in history books over those who have actually done things to help humanity. Don't get me wrong I love a Pirates Of The Caribbean but they make a good point!
Prince Jazzbo gives us the classic "Crabwalking" and it also comes from the aforementioned Soul Jazz CD Studio One Rockers. This coupled with Horace Andy's "Skylarking" are two of my all-time favorite Studio One tracks!
Charlie Chaplin gives us the "Dance In The Atlantic Ocean" and it comes from his 1984 LP Fire Burn Them Below produced by the great George Phang! Just like the Cutty Ranks tune, Charlie gives us a taste of the undersea dance with the typical smooth Chaplin style.
A nice instrumental track is up next... this one is by Lester Sterling & The Skatalites and comes from a 12" on the Deep Groove Sounds label and like Bionic Steve it is paying homage to the Bermuda Triangle but this one is called "Devil's Triangle." Dig it!
Albert Griffiths and the Gladiators' "Ship With A Captain" is the eighteenth song in our aquatic mix... this is lifted from their 1982 Jam Rock LP Reggae To Bone! A nice one from the often overlooked Gladiators!
I Roy gives us "Musical Shark Attack," the title track from his 1976 Virgin release produced at Channel One with Joseph "Hoo" Kim handling the production duties. Like always I Roy delivers a wicked one!
Another oft-overlooked band with a relevant tune... this time Winston Jarrett & The Righteous Flames get into the mix with the tune "Chucky Hark And The Shark" from their 1977 Sonic Sounds LP Man Of The Ghetto.
Cecil Lloyd and Roland Alphonso take a decidedly "bluebeat" tone with the next song... "Oceans 11" comes from the 2006 various artists compilation CD set Ska Bonanza: The Studio One Ska Years on the Heartbeat label. This is such a mellow tune.
The late Sugar Minott is up next discussing the predatory habits of the "Harbour Shark" - complete with the British spelling of Harbor. This comes from the 1984 Slice Of The Cake CD also on the Heartbeat label.
Goin' old school again with the next track in our mix... Cedric Brooks & David Madden hit us with a little "Sea Breeze." Thankfully borrowed from the 2006 Alpha Boys' School: Music In Education CD on Trojan.
The man Dennis Walks is up with a wicked tune on a wicked Jah Thomas produced riddim... the song is called appropriately "Fisherman" and is ripped from a 12" on the Music Masters label. I love this tune - absolutely killer!
Finally... Ras Bug gives us "The Fisherman" from the 1979 various artists LP on the DEB label called DJ Tracking... I would elaborate on this album but it is nearly 3 AM and I've got to get my ass to bed!