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may 3 a day for a record review

Posted by jb welda 
may 3 a day for a record review
May 03, 2006 06:37PM
last night after once again listening to michael rose babylon fight and thinking what a great record this is all the way through, i decided to dig into my "unlistened to as of yet" stack for something new.

and i came up with this one called something like "heptones sing and wailers play riddim" on heptones (barry l actually i believe) trench town label.

i tell you, one look at the cover holds promise of either glory or doom, depending on how one looks at it. fuzzy out of focus photos of the heptones as a group or one or more of them with other reggae stars (bunny wailers, alton ellis etc) and a glowing "wow you gotta have this record" sort of liner note business claiming that some songs on this record were the last appearance of the wailers backing up anyone but bob marley (obviously not true but hey what the hell do i know?).

a quick perusal of the track list doesnt bode well either: 9 songs per side (as i recall...i writing this away from the lp) including at least a couple extended versions per side. hmmm. typically that spells crap sound quality as the most one can expect per side of lp is about 18 - 20 minutes before sound quality deteriorates noticably. on the plus side many songs are either extended (as mentioned) or are followed by their versions and in one case (mama say) there is what claims to be a "dubplate" version following the regular version.

so slap the slate on the platter to see what we got here: lots of surface noise to begin and then muffled version of "rastafari sit upon a pinnacle" in extended version. right away im regretting spending good money on this, sound is crap and pressing sounds bad too. but the music is starting to sound pretty nice and i think this might be a different mix than ive heard before. the next few songs go by (from memory country boy and version and i forget what else but at least one sorta sappy american pop remake ("our day will come"winking smiley) and sound quality varies considerably: from subdued down in the noise sound of an ancient vinyl 7" thats seen better days to loud upfront clean recording (i forget which track) that is obviously sourced from master tape (or someone elses cleaned up cd release, your guess is as good as mine), sometimes in the same song (again sorry im forgetting the titles...but one extended version is so obviously a combination of a 7" vocal and a master tape version that it induces floor rolling laughter from this reviewer). anyway the sound quality roller coaster ride continues through the side and the main lesson here is that the current pressing itself is pretty good, most of the noise is coming from the source material. finishing up the side is the aforementioned "dub plate" of mama say, which i have to say, despite its somewhat crappy sound quality really had me enjoying it.

im afraid i didnt get to side two last night but will check it this evening. suffice it to say that while this record didnt hold out much promise visually, especially with the label on it all crooked and all these tracks jammed together, by the time the first side was over i was similarly over my sound quality snobbishness and quite liking the record despite it all. or maybe it was because of it all; the record sounds like a jamaican pressing SHOULD sound i suppose and it made me think back to the early days of reggae discovery for me when i was all about sound quality and it took a good few listenings to a new ja record to even begin to like it because of the nature of the beast.

unfortunately this could have been much better and if i had it to do over again i would buy cd of this one just so the sound quality might be improved by not squashing all the selections onto vinyl (but as i recall it was not available on cd or i would have bought cd for just that reason); also unfortunely this release does not seem to be in ernies stock list at the moment so perhaps it has come and gone like so many others. however rasputins or amoeba or other ernie b stockists should or could still have it in stock if youre interested in the true heptones jamaican experience. i would reiterate though, all or most tracks here are available in much better sound quality elsewhere on cd or lp; but just think how much you will miss the true experience if you skip this true roots from yard release.

thanks for your time and attention...

one love
jah bill



Post Edited (05-03-06 23:11)
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 04, 2006 11:42AM
Another Earl Morgan bootleg copied from the records of collectors, slapped straight to disc and issued. Great music but poorly treated and presented. Avoid!

Reel
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 04, 2006 04:02PM
what makes it a bootleg exactly? as far as i can tell they have the rights to release their own music as much as bunny lee has a right to release (and rerelease and rerelease and...) "his" music.

seemed to be more of a barry llewelyen (sp) thing anyway...he had more pics per square inch than earl morgan or leroy sibbles. but leroy sibbles is definately given the short shrift on the covers.

one love
jah bill
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 04, 2006 04:31PM
Thanks Jah Bill, for the trult entertaining thread....found myself wishing I was listening to that with you! Hey, is Babylon Fight a brand new Rose release?
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 04, 2006 04:41PM
That's Earl's label, JB. As I understand it, the copyright belongs to the producers of the tunes and they decide how much the artists are paid. As far as I know, Bunny Lee paid for his sessions and still owns the music, musicians and artists having been duly paid. The 'Pinnacle' track is owned by Lee Perry, 'Mama Say' and 'Country Boy' are the property of Mr Harry Johnson. Earl and Leroy have not been on speaking terms for a quarter of a century. Leroy wrote most of the Heptones tunes and sang most of them too, but he gets no royalty from this LP. I think Earl probably gives Barry some money as they're friends. I've had Earl; up muy yard taping rare tunes like 'Gunmen Coming To Town', 'I've Got A Feeling' and the original slow cut of 'Ting A Ling' that have subsequently been issued on Trenchtown LPs. Earl hails from Trench Town and he never stops reminding people of the fact.

Reel
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 04, 2006 05:45PM
>Hey, is Babylon Fight a brand new Rose release?

yes its been out a couple months, on cou$ins label. top notch album; i recommend it haile.

one love
jah bill
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 04, 2006 10:39PM
OK, Thanks Bill!
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 04, 2006 10:47PM
Bill, I just ordered it from Ernie's. Is it similar in content to African Roots CD?
Thanks, B
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 04, 2006 11:21PM
african roots is good, but surpassed imo by babylon fight. pretty much all tracks are over recognizable riddims, which i like but some others may not.

this has been a banner couple years for the grammy kid.

one love
jah bill
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 04, 2006 11:26PM
agreed bill. in fact, i almost think his voice sounds better than it has in years and years. these last couple of long plays have been impressive, as well as recent singles. i am so much more impressed with his voice currently than in the last several years. and definitely the rhythms and instrumental parts of these long plays are very stron as well!

m.

Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 05, 2006 12:00AM
What exactly is the status of Mr. Rose regarding his ability to come sing in the U.S.? I not only miss his shows, but am in need the healing properties of his word, sound, and powah!!!!
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 05, 2006 12:04AM
Well with Sinead O'conner having been nixed from the ROTR lineup, my guess would be that People Productions is scrambling to see if there is any way to get Mr. Rose a visa so that Sly & Robbie will have someone to back....
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 05, 2006 12:17AM
sinead cancelled on that gig too?

oh my. i guess she wants everyone to leave her alone, again?

anyway i dont think mr rose can get into the usa and i think a lot of people including himself have tried with no luck. the guy owns a house in miami for petes sake and he cant even get in!

one love
jah bill
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 05, 2006 12:22AM
That's what I figured JB, and if he doesn't get added to ROTR that may come as close to 'proof positive' of his inability as you can get short of seeing his immigration files...
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 05, 2006 12:34AM
is it still over the identity theft or mix up he had a while ago? hes long over due in these parts. i thought he had played a show at the hollywood bowl a while back.
what is m.r's trouble getting in to the us?
one love-juan love
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 05, 2006 12:35AM
and if he does get added im going to be pissed. im planning on being in ja that week and the next.

one love
jah bill
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 05, 2006 12:36AM
Michael Rose is the no-fly list post 9/11 because of someone else who happens to have the name Michael Rose. And if your on that list, I understand it's pretty much impossible to get off (except I do believe there was some politician who's name was on the list and was able to get it off, I think Ted Kennedy but not sure). Peace



Dr. Suess (aka Ras James)
Irie Sounds International
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 05, 2006 12:49AM
Give Mr. Rodney my regards JB, i wish i was going too...

Ras James, I have heard that before. Quite honestly, i bought it for a while, but don't any longer...

Michael Rose is an internationally acclaimed reggae singer. There is NO WAY that a man of his talent a resources would be on the no-fly list almost 5 years later. If what you were saying were true, then there wouldn't be one single Michael Rose flying the skies of the USA, which i find difficult to believe.....
Re: may 3 a day for a record review
May 05, 2006 12:57AM
true, could be something else, but that's just the word i've heard relating to Michael Rose. I had also heard at one point he was suing over his name being on the list, again not sure what ever came of that though. Peace



Dr. Suess (aka Ras James)
Irie Sounds International
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