yardie's reggae collection - artist page


BUNNY "STRICKER" LEE

A PLACE CALLED JAMAICA PT.2 - PRODUCTIONS FROM 60'S & 70'S

* * * /

1967-1979 - Makasound - studio - discs:1

Edward O'Sullivan Lee (better known as Bunny "Striker" Lee) was born in Kingston on August 23, 1941. He studied Electrical engiheering at Kingston Technical High School. In 1957 he worked at Teletronics during the day and studying at night. Falling from a pole he hurt his back badly, and spent several months in the hospital. After his perdiod he worked at Uni-Motors. During this time he married the cousin of Derrick Morgan, miss Yvonne McCloud. By 1962 Morgan had already written "Forward March", a celebration of Independence. He introduced Bunny to the top producers aroud, as Duke Reid, Prince Buster, Sir Coxsone Dodd and Leslie Kong. Lee started to bring around the latest hits to the Radio stations. Legend has that he called all the stations for a particular request with the result of making that single be played more and more, helping its success. Lee cut his first production for the Duke. Later he met Ken Lack, whose Carlton label, released his first EP. At WIRL (West Indies Recording Limited) he met Roy Shirley, and soon became the house producer. He started to produce the biggest names around. The basic list reads, Slim Smith's Uniques, Pat Kelly (The Techniques), John Holt (The Paragons), Eric Donaldson, Cornell Campbell, Delroy Wilson, Glen Adams, and many more. Later he established his label called Lee, and later two new ones called Jackpot and Unity. As the 70's were bringing new sound, Bunny was already a living legend! It is of course impossible to collect whatever important produced by Bunny in one single CD. The "right" collection could be made of thirty or forty CDs. So here we have seventeen tracks, just to get the first impression. The firts track is "Great Musical Battle" by Derrick Morgan. Cut in 1968, this song re-creates a match. In this case the fight is between Lee and Coxsone. All is constructed upon Dave Brubeck jazz classic' "Take Five". Follows Glen Adams' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (1969), a re-cut of the Beatles classic. Serious things come with "God Helps The Man" (1973) from the great Leroy Smart. This is a gem for sure. Follows Max Romeo's "She's But A Little Girl" from 1967. This is one of the first collaborations between the two. The fifth track collected here is "Jah Me No Born Yah" (1974) by Cornell Campbell. Cornell's distinctive style is already here, one year before his "Natty Dread Ina Greenwich Town" classic. Follows Dillinger's "Fernando Sancho" from 1976. A quite strange single, playing with Mexican styled western's characters. Leroy Smart is back with "Wreck Up My Life" from 1978. The music is played by the Aggrovators. Follows Barry Brown's "From Creation". This Roots single was cut in 1978 and is presented here in its extended version. The nineth track is Tappa Zukie's 1976 version of Bob Marley's classic "No Woman, No Cry", here titled "Natty Woman No Cry". This is actually a toasters version on Johnny Clarke's version. Follows Roy Shirley's "If I Did Know" (1972). The eleventh single is "Rocking & Swinging" (1978) from Big Joe. This fast, heavy and tough track is based on Leroy Smart's "Wreck Up My Life". Follows the stellar "We Just Can't Live" from Barry Brown. I am not able to say when this track was cut, in any case it is a Roots gem presented here in its extended version. After this comes Horace Andy's "I'll Forgive You" from 1974. This track was part of the strong "You Are My Angel" set, released in 1975. The fourteenth track is "The Village" from Gregory Isaacs. Again there is no information about the year of the recording. One of the few cuts for Striker. Maybe the only one. Follows a gem: The Uniques "Gypsy Woman". This single is a version of the Curtis Mayfield's song. Here Slim Smith is backed on vocals by Jimmy Riley and Lloyd Charmers. The following track is the Gerschwin classic "Summertime" (1968) from Lloyd Clarke. The compilation closes with Glen Adams' "I Can't Help It". Recutting The Uniques "Gypsy Woman", Adams delivers some small gem to close this compilation from Makasound. Much more could be said about Bunny "Striker" Lee. The compilers put together some good material with some gems here and there. As stated above, exploring "Striker" Lee's career is a long path. This could be a starting point.

 

 

 

 

NEXT CUT ! - DUB PLATES, RARE SIDES & UNRELEASED CUTS

* * * /

mid 70s - Pressure Sounds - studio - discs:1

This compilation from the great British label Pressure Sounds presents eighteen tracks. Rare sides and previously unreleased mixes, are collected here to present a unique compilation of tracks produced by the great Bunny "Striker" Lee. The disc opens with "Down In A Babylon" (aka "Live Up Jah Man") from Johnny Clarke. Sligltly different from the released official version, it has a different drum pattern and lyrics. Recorded at king Tubby's it's interesting to hear the tape echo applied at different levels. We hear Tubby saying "Next cut" over the talkback. Follows two unreleased dubplatse mixes by Barrington Spencer called "Blood of Babylon" and "Blood of Babylon Dub". The great Vin Gordon delivers a stellar performance with the following tack called "Enforcement ". The track was originally released on the "New Sensation" LP and as a 12". A super powerful instrumnetal from one of the greatest Jamaican trompone players ever! "Death Trap" is a track from Tommy McCook, originally released by Yabby You. Here Carlton "Santa" Davis adds some "steppers" drum, and with the touch of Prince Jammy at the mixing board the so called "Far East" sound reaches the Irie Ites. "Big Big Girl" and "Ethiopian Girl " are two cuts of the same song by Linval Thompson. The former is the original, with its "flying cymbals"drum pattern, over which "Death Trap" was created and later released as "Big Big Girl", aka "Natty Dread Girl". The latter presents a version with different lyrics and drum pattern. A very powerful cut from Linval. Follows the deep "Blood Dunza" by Johnny Clarke with presumably the addition of U Brown as DJ. "Tapetone Special" by Barry Biggs & Tommy McCook is a dubplate named after the Sound System it was intended for. Tapetone was Prince Jammy's Sound. Follows a Dub version called "A Friend Indeed Dub", Bunny Lee reused this rythm often, notably for Horace Andy's "The Children". "Crucial Dub" by Prince Jammy was originally released on the "King Tubby Upset The Upsetter" LP. The second hyper gem here comes again from Vin Gordon with a marvellous and hypnotic instrumnetal called "Split Second". Also this track was originally released on the "New Sensation" LP. Follows Wayne Jarrett's (with a voice so similar to Horace Andy) "Satta Dread". This mesmerizing song features just three musicians: Carlton "Santa" Davis on drums, Robbie Shakespeare on bass and Earl "Wire" Lindo on piano. The result is amazing, clear and cut to the bone. It's counterpart is the Dub called "Satta Dread Dub" by Scientist. Follows an update version of the classic "The Gorgon" by Cornell Campbell. "Steppers" drumming style here. Comes "Supernatural Love" by Linval Thompson. Great track, with the distinctive "flying cymbals" pattern. The compilation closes with two bonus tracks: "It’s A Disgrace" and its Dub version "It's A Disgrace Dub". Pure "Steppers" style. The list of the musicians involved here is this: Carlton "Santa" Davis and Lowell "Sly" Dumbar (drums); Robbie Shakespeare, George "Fully" Fullwood and Earl "Bagga" Walker (bass); Earl "Chinna" Smith, Tony Chin, Aston "Family Man" Barrett and Jerome "Jah Jerry" Haynes (guitar); Winston Wright, Robbie Lyn, Ossie Hibbert, Keith Sterling, Bernard "Touter" Harvey, Earl "Wire" Lindo and Augustus Pablo; Tommy McCook, Ronald Alphonso, Bobby Ellis, Herman Marquis and Vin Gordon (horns); Tommy McCook (flute); Noel "Scully" Simms and Uziah "Sticky" Thompson. The tracks have been recorded at Dynamic Studios, Randy's, Harry J's, Channel One, King Tubby's.

  1. Down In A Babylon aka Live Up Jah Man – Johnny Clarke (unreleased alternate cut)
  2. Blood of Babylon – Barrington Spence (unreleased dubplate mix)
  3. Blood of Babylon Dub – The Aggrovators (unreleased dubplate mix)
  4. Enforcement – Vin Gordon and The Aggrovators --- one of the two stellar tunes here !
  5. Death Trap (Steppers cut) – Tommy McCook
  6. Big Big Girl – Linval Thompson (previously unreleased mix)
  7. Ethiopian Girl – Linval Thompson (previously unreleased mix)
  8. Blood Dunza – Johnny Clarke & Dj (unreleased dubplate mix)
  9. Tapetone Special – Barry Biggs & Tommy McCook (unreleased dubplate)
  10. A Friend Indeed Dub – The Aggrovators
  11. Crucial Dub – Prince Jammy
  12. Split Second – Vin Gordon and The Aggrovators --- one of the two stellar tunes here !
  13. Satta Dread – Wayne Jarrett (unreleased alternate cut)
  14. Satta Dread Dub – Scientist
  15. The Gorgon (Steppers cut) – Cornell Campbell (unreleased mix)
  16. Supernatural Love – Linval Thompson (previously unreleased mix)
  17. It’s A Disgrace – Johnny Clarke (*) (unreleased dubplate mix)
  18. It's A Disgrace Dub – The Aggrovators (*) (unreleased dubplate mix)

(*) Bonus track

 

 

 

TAPE ROLLING!

* * * /

1971- 1974 - Pressure Sounds - studio - discs:1

This compilation from the great British label Pressure Sounds presents twenty tracks. This is some sort of "Next Cut!" part 2. Again the British label presents some unreleased cuts produced by Bunny Lee. The disc opens with "The Time Has Come" from the late Slim Smith. This is the last song released before his demise. Supposedly the harmony comes from Stranger Cole and Brent Dove, and the trombone is from the great Vin Gordon. Follows I-Roy's version of the Paragons' "Left With A Broken Heart" here called "Devil's Brother in Law" with Augustus Pablo on melodica. "Sentimental Man" is a song by Ernest Wilson, originally recorded in 1969 and presented here in a new cut. Follows "Rasta Train" by Big Joe, which is a version of Count Prince Miller's "Mule Train". "I Wonder Why" is a track from Cornell Campbell. Follows "Two Ton Gulletto" by U Roy Junior. This obscure talent was a great DJ that worked around U-Roy but some serious problems with using guns let to the end of his career in the music industry very quickly. Follows an unreleased cut of John Holt's classic "Stick By Me" with supposedly Earl "Chinna" Smith on acoustic guitar. Follows King Tubby reshaping Slim Smith's "Burning Fire". Follows Cornell Cmpbell's "Give Me Love". King Tubby's "Straight To The Copycat Head" brings new life to "Bangarang". Follows "Soon I'm Gonna Make It" by Busty Brown And The Clowns. Side B actually starts with the previous track but this is the side where serious things come. "Man Next Door" by Horace Andy is a gem. Without the backing vocals of the official release it preserves it's strength, maybe even adding additional power. The graet I-Roy delivers "Noisy Place" a strong version of the same song. Follows Leroy Smart' "Trying To Wreck My Life", one of his first recordings when he was still known under the name of Leroy Smart. And then follows the stellar tune here! Delroy Wison's "Any Heart Can Be Broken" is beautiful. Strong, delicate, perfectly following and filling the melody. An amazing achievement. Follows a classic but in its rough version: Eric Donaldson's "Cherry Oh Baby". Here presented with the DJ version from I-Roy called "Festival Mash Up". Follows the fantastic trombone of Vin Gordon with "Riding For A Fall". The second to last track is "My Confession" by Cornell Campbell. The disc closes with Slim Smith's "Turning Point", with Earl "Chinna" Smith on guitar. The list of the musicians involved here is this: Carlton "Santa" Davis, Lloys "Tinlegs" Adams, Carlton Barrett, Anthony "Benbow" Creary, and Denzil Laing (drums); George "Fully" Fullwood, Aston "Family Man" Barrett, Robbie Shakespeare and Ian Lewis (bass); Earl "Chinna" Smith, Aston "Family Man" Barrett, Roger Lewis, Alva "Reggie" Lewis, Lorraine "Ronnie Bop" Williams; Gladstone Anderson, Glen Adams, Jackie Mitoo, Winston Wright, Keith Sterling (keyboards); Augustus Pablo (melodica); Tommy McCook, Ronald Alphonso, Lester Sterling, Bobby Ellis, Herman Marquis, Vin Gordon (horns); Noel "Scully" Simms and Uziah "Sticky" Thompson (percussions). The tracks have been recorded at Dynamic Studios, Randy's, Harry J's, King Tubby's. These kind of compilations that present such a variety of artists and genres are very difficult to judge. I just picked up my favorites. Surely yoy'll have yours.

  1. The Time Has Come  - Slim Smith (unreleased cut)
  2. Devil's Brother in Law - I Roy and Augustus Pablo (unreleased cut)
  3. Sentimental Man - Ernest Wilson (extended mix)
  4.  Rasta Train - Big Joe and King Tubby's
  5.  I Wonder Why - Cornell Campbell (unreleased cut)
  6.  Two Ton Gulletto - U Roy Junior
  7.  Stick By Me - John Holt (unreleased cut)
  8.  A Wonderful Version - King Tubby
  9.  Give Me Love - Cornell Campbell (unreleased cut)
  10.  Straight To The Copycat Head - King Tubby
  11.  Soon I'm Gonna Make It - Busty Brown And The Clowns
  12.  Man Next Door - Horace Andy (unreleased cut)
  13.  Noisy Place - I Roy (unreleased cut)
  14.  Trying To Wreck My Life - Leroy Samuels (aka Leroy Smart)
  15.  Any Heart Can Be Broken - Delroy Wilson (unreleased cut) --- the stellar tune here !
  16.  Cherry Oh Baby - Eric Donaldson (unreleased cut)
  17.  Festival Mash Up - I Roy
  18.  Riding For A Fall - Vin Gordon
  19.  My Confession -  Cornell Campbell (unreleased cut)
  20.  Turning Point - Slim Smith (unreleased cut)

 

 

artists - main list

yardie-reggae.com - 2007