HUGH MUNDELL (b. 1962 - † 1983)
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1982 - Greensleeves - studio - discs:1
This is the fourth album from the great and late Hugh Mundell (born on 14th July 1962, killed in 1983). He was shot dead one year after this very powerfull set. Hugh was only twentyone years old! "Ah so it go", jamaicans say. But this was a great loss and it is nice to think that if Hugh would be still with us he would still sing beautiful songs. There is a wonderful positive wave permeating this set. The songs are heartfelt and the Roots Radics proved again that they were one of the best backing band around. What positively impresses is a strange approach to the music. Some songs are constructed around a mix of "dubbed" Roots. It is not pure Dub nor pure Roots. In some cases it is Roots with a texture of Dub alchemies. A good example is the obscure "Going Places". Other tracks are more musically conventional but Hugh unique vocal approach, and his Rastafari faith, gives them a special and very personal touch. There is no low peaks in this very confident set. The powerful "Rasta Have The Handle" opens the album setting the whole athmosphere. "Tell I A Lie" follows with a beautiful horns section. The above mentioned "Going Places" maybe is the most interesting song with its Dub/Roots mixed up approach. The original eight tracks are followed by two unreleased songs plus two Dubs. These Dubs are "Jacqueline Dub" and "Rasta Have The Handle Dub". The former is not particularly impressive. The latter is more powerfull. This album was produced by Henry "Junjo" Lawes. It was recorded at Channel One and was mixed by Scientist at King Tubby's. The entire album is a small gem from an artist that cannot be forget!
AFRICA MUST BE FREE BY 1983
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1978 - RAS - studio - discs: 1
"Africa Must Be Free By 1983" is the debut album from the great and late Hugh Mundell. The set was recorded in 1978 at Lee Perry's Black Ark (two tracks were recorded there: "Let's All Unite" and "Why Do Black Man Fuss And Fight"), Channel One, Harry J and Joe Gibbs. Under the keen eye of Augustus Pablo (here working as producer and writer) Hugh Mudell delivers one of the best debut set ever recorded in Jamaica. When Mundell recorded this set he was only sixteen years old!!! The set opens with the easily recognisable Black Ark's atmosphere of "Let's All Unite", setting the mood of the set even if only two tracks were recorded there. That day Lee Perry was in the premises for sure. The second track is "My Mind", a sulphurous slow tune. Follows the title track "Africa Must Be Free By 1983" with its Rockers atmosphere kept low and engaging. The fourth track "Why Do Black Man Fuss And Fight" is again a song cut at Perry's: studio. What a sounds, anything like that could have been recorded in other places whatever the facilities. If I would be asked about the most touching song of the entire album probably I would choose this. The following song is "Book Of Life" versioning Jacob Miller's "Keep on Knocking" rhythm, here delivered through a personal approach. The sixth song is "Run Revolution A Come", a five stars gem of slow and deep Roots. This track should last ten minutes. Follows "Day Of Judgement", a fast song if compared to the other presented here. Follows the meditative "Jah Will Provide". The set closes with "Ital Sip", a Dub rendering of the previous track. The personnell involved in this album are: Horsemouth Wallace, Jacob Miller, Ben Bow and Santa Davis on drums; Robbie Shakespeare and Leroy Sibbles on bass; Earl "Chinna" Smith on lead guitar; Earl "Chinna" Smith ,Clayton Downie and Geoffrey Chung on rhythm guitar. The recordings were engineered by Phillip Smart , Errol Thompson and Sylvan Morris. This highly spiritual set from the young Rastafarian Hugh Mundell will leave you astonished.
1. Let's All Unite
2. My Mind
3. Africa Must Be Free By 1983
4. Why Do Black Man Fuss And Fight
5. Book Of Life
6. Run Revolution A Come
7. Day Of Judgement
8. Jah Will Provide
9. Ital Slip
AFRICA MUST BE FREE BY 1983 DUB
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1978 - RAS - studio - discs: 1
The Dub version of the epochal "Africa Must Be Free By 1983" by Hugh Mundell was mixed by Prince Jammy. Even if this set is not particularly impressive there are some examples of good Dub. To appreciate completely the set it should be approached after listening its original counterpart.
THE BLESSED YOUTH / Includes: TIME AND PALCE (1980)
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1978-1981 - Makasound - studio - discs:1
The present release from Makasound actually presents the entire self produced "Time And Place" set (1980): "Great Tribulation", "Time Has Come", "Live In Love", "Time And Place", "Short Man", "Can't Pop No Style", "Rastafari's Call", "Oh How I Love H.I.M." (here presented as the Hugh Mundell and Max Edwards version), "Feeling Allright" (here presented as the extended version), and "Hey Mr Richman" (here presented as the Hugh Mundell and Max Edwards version). These tracks were all self produced by Hugh Mundell and recorded in 1980 at Channel One and Harry J. The mixing was done at King Tubby's and Harry J. The engineers employed were: Maxie, David Hamilton, Scientist, Sylvan Morris and King Tubby. The artists involved in the recordings of "Time And Place" are listed as follows. Delroy Williams, Norris Reid and Hugh Mundell (backing vocals); Clevie, Horsemouth Wallace, Santa Davis and Albert Malawi (drums); Michael Taylor, Fully Fullwood and Junior Dan (bass); Tony Chin and Fazal Prendergast (rhythm guitar); Earl "Chinna" Smith", Sowell, Dalton Brownie and Freddie McGregor (lead guitar); Steele (piano); Pablove Black (organ); Theodore Benji (flute); Deadly Headly (horns); Garth Swaby & Scully Simms (percussions); Augustus Pablo (strings); Hugh Mundell (syndrums); Augustus Pablo (xylophone); Augustus Pablo (melodica); Ras Menilik Dacosta (congos). The added bonus material on this compilation is: "Rastafari Tradition", "Blackman's Foundation" (featuring Hugh Mundell and Jah Bull) (1979), "Don't Stay Away", "Stop Them Jah" (as an extended version) (1979), and "One Jah, One Aim, One Destiny". Some of these tracks were also co-produced by Augustus Pablo. A few tracks were previously available inside the "Blackman's Foundation" compilation. So here we have the "Time And Place" album (as stated above presented with some alternate tracks), plus some other songs. Four gems on ten tracks are not enough to make "Time And Place" a first class set. In any case this must be filed and remembered since Mundell only released five albums before being killed in 1983.
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1978-1980 - Greensleeves - studio - discs: 1
"Blackman's Foundation" is a collection of tracks recorded between 1978 and 1980 by Hugh Mundell. Five tracks are taken from the "Time And Place" set (1980): "Great Tribulation", "Time Has Come", "Time And Place", "Rastafari's Call" and "Can't Pop No Style" . The four remaining tracks are: "Stop 'em Jah" (plus its Dub) (1979), "Don't Stay Away", "One Jah One Aim One Destiny" and the title track "Blackman's Foundation" (also featuring the Jah Bull toasting version, recorded in 1979). The self produced tracks were cut at Channel One, King Tubby's and Harry J. With some great tracks, this compilation is strong enough to demonstrate the importance of Mundell inside the late 70's Reggae scene. As with every compilation, the newcomers find themselfs in a hard position to judge the real value of it, on the other side the fans will find some tracks to substitute with something that they think would have been more appropriate. In any case this is a good compilation.
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1980 - Black Arrow Records - studio - discs: 1"Jah Fire" is a very fascinating album to comment. Beside its quality that I will comment later, its credits are something to deeply explore and check. This 1980 release is (was) issued (maybe in different times) by Live And Love label (#LAP 13) and Black Arrow label (#BALP 003). My CD reads: Black Arrow - #BACD 003. But what is important here is what is printed on Live And Love's release: "Hugh Mundell - Jah Fire". I do not know what is printed on Black Arrow's LP, but what I read here in front of me on the same label's CD is: "Hugh Mundell - Jah Fire - Featuring Lasky Castell and Augustus Pablo". Before moving on I want to strongly underline that I am not judgeing the mentioned labels. I am only reading what I have in front of me. At the end, additions or nor on the cover, it seems that this is a Hugh Mundell set with Lacksley Castell involved. But here things get really comlicated and interesting. In recent years some members of the forum of the top credited web site "Roots Archives" pointed out that from their point of view "Jah Fire" is at the end a Lacksley Castell effort, with Hugh Mundell slightly involved, at least for what concerns the voice. After reading this my ears got high, tough and keen. So I started to play again and again this CD. I do not care what is written on the cover. My only concern is who sung what. So after so much investigation my opinion is that "Jah Fire" is a set which should be credited to both. To be more precise here follows the playlist of "Hugh Mundell - Jah Fire - Featuring Lasky Castell and Augustus Pablo" (Black Arrow's CD release) with what I think should be the right credits: "Be My Princess Lady" (L.C.), "Jah Fire" (H.M.), "Walk With Jah" (H.M.), "King Of Israel" (H.M.), "Million Miles" (L.C.), "My Woman Can" (L.C and H.M.), "You Over There" (L.C.) and "Black Sheep" (L.C.). This release adds "Million Dub", "King Pablo" and "Pablo In The Moonlight" . These Dubs surely involved Augustus Pablo. The set was produced and mixed by Prince Jammy, and maybe putting the name Mundell on the cover helped commercially. The players were: Sly Dunbar, Carlton "Santa" Davis and Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace (drums), Robbie Shakespeare and Jah Mike (also Mikes) (bass), Earl "Chinna" Smith, Bo-Peep Bowen and Eric "Bingy Bunny" Lamont (guitar), Keith Sterling and Gladdy Anderson (piano), Bobby Ellis, Deadly Headly ad Cedric Im Brooks (horns), Sticky and Scully Simms (percussions). With two very good Roots tracks from Castell and three from Mundell and the remaining on an inferior level, "Jah Fire" must be collected since both artists did not release that much and unfortunately died too young.