PRINCE BUSTER (b. 1938 - )
FABULOUS GREATEST HITS
* * * *1963-1968 - Diamond line - studio - discs:1
Cecil Bustamente Campbell was born on 28th May 1938. By the mid 50's his friend, the drummer Arkland "Drumbago" Parkes, introduced him to Clement "Coxsone" Dodd. Cecil worked for Coxsone upto 1959 and in that same year opened his Buster's Record Shack on Charles Street in Kingston and launched his Sound System called Voice Of The People. In 1960 he cut and produced his debut: "Little Honey" with Jah Jerry on guitar, Rico Rodriguez on horns and Drumbago on drums. The sigle was credited to Buster's Group. The subsequent session brought together the singers Owen Gray and the brothers John, Mico and Junior Folkes; Rodriguez again, and the Nyahbingi percussionist Count Ossie with His Wareikas. The presence of the Rastafarian Ossie made the difference. Bringing Rastas to a studio was an epochal step for their future acceptance inside the so-called official musical scene. During this session thirteen tracks were cut, with "Oh Carolina" becoming an instant hit. In 1961 - 1962 Buster produced material of Derrick Morgan, Eric Morris, Chuck & Dobbie and more. In 1962 he also started his own career as a singer with tracks as "Time Longer Than Robe", "Independence Song", "My Sound That Goes Around", "One Hand Wash The Other", "Cowboy Comes To Town", "Fake King", "They Got To Go", "These Are The Times" and "Wash Wash". In 1963 started a long dispute with Derrick Morgan, both released sharp singles accusing the other. During the same period Buster releases were unstoppable. The real first classic from Cecil came in 1963 and was called "Ten Commandments" (a track collected here). It was followed by "Madness" and "Sodom And Gomorrah". In 1964 he was present at the New York Worl's Fair. Followed a wave of hits. These Ska singles were followed by another hit: "Al Capone" (also track collected here). In 1966 Rude Boys were storming Kingston and Buster cut more than a couple of singles sympathizing with them. But he was not alone, Desmond Dekker, The Wailers, The Pioneers or The Clarendonians did the same. Buster changed radically in 1967 with "Judge Dread", an accusation of bad behavior or worst. The answers of the accused in the recording come from no less than Lee "Scratch" Perry. This classic started a sequence of singles based on the same theme. Sex was another selling issue and Buster released explicit singles as "Pussy Cat Bite Me", "Big Five" or "Wreck A Pum Pum". During the period 1069 - 1970 social themes were also touched. But by this time Ska was gone, as with Rocksteady and Buster started to release less smashing hits. In the mean time he produced some strong material from Dennis Alcapone, Dennis Brown, Alton Ellis, John Holt and The Heptones. By 1973 Buster was actually absent from the scene. The present collection mainly focuses on his Rocksteady period. It is some sort of extended re-release of the "Fabulous Greatest Hits" from 1967 (Fab label - UK). The top can be found here: "Earthquake", "Texas Hold-Up", "Freezing Up Orange Street", "Julie", "Take It Easy", "Judge Dread ", "Al Capone" and "Barrister Pardon" (reprising the "Judge Dread" rhythm). It is quite clear that a compilation like this does not do justice to a seminal figure inside the Jamaican music history as this only attempts to.