Sunday, December 13, 2009

the mighty two ride alone with the voice of thunder

Thanks to Ramone666 for further inciting the riot.

The Prince's "Heavy Manners" appeared as a 45 in 1976 on the Heavy Duty label, in addition to its release on the Joe Gibbs issued classic, "Under Heavy Manners".

Errol Thompson, it might be argued, was a mixing innovator on a par with King Tubby; long before Home Town Hi-Fi was in business, Thompson was justly celebrated for his groundbreakin
g work out of Randy's Studio 17. Much of the Kingston Sound was recorded, mixed and overdubbed at Randy's before making its way onto vinyl.

Joel Arthur Gibson originally ran an electrical repair outlet in downtown Kingston.

While television repairs and sales provided a lucrative income, Gibbs was quick to tap into the burgeoning market for homegrown music. By 1967 he graduated from simply selling records in store to producing local talent directly on the premises. Establishing a fairly crude two-track recording facility in the back of his shop, Gibbs recruited Le
e Perry into providing creative and technical support. Just one year later, he was sufficiently encouraged by the result to finance and launch the Amalgamated label in association with Bunny Lee. A commercial showcase for the rocksteady sound then much in demand.
Scoring a string top ten hits as far afield as the UK, Gibbs consolidated his position by launching three more labels. In terms of creating a monopoly, it was something akin to one entrepreneur owning majority shares in Parlophone; Decca; and PYE. A one man hit machine.

By 1972 Joe Gibbs opened a new studio in Retirement Crescent, Kingston 5, in partnership with Erol Thompson. The one man hit maker became the "The Mighty Two", between them responsible for producing over one hundred Jamaican No. 1 bestsellers. Backed by Kingston 5 session players, the Professionals - including original members of the Upsetters and the Aggrovators - the artists appearing on Joe Gibb
s Records between 1972 and 1977 included Denis Brown; Big Youth; Black Uhuru; Junior Byles; Gregory Isaacs; and Culture. And many of the names already featured in this series.

Joe Gibbs suffered a fatal cardiac arrest February 21st, 2008.

Recorded at Joe Gibbs Recording Studio
24 Retirement Crescent, Kingston 5: 
"The Golden Sound of the West Indies"Re-mixed and engineered by Errol Thompson.
Manufactured and Distributed By
20 North Parade, Kingston, Jamaica. 

original Joe Gibbs Studio mastertape.

PRINCE FAR I: HEAVY MANNERS from "Under Heavy Manners" LP (Joe Gibbs) 1976 (Jamaica)


Ramone666 said...

Cool. Unique album, and not only because of the vocals. Love that wonderful ramshackle, loose production, like it all can fall apart at any moment. Ever seen that Clash pic where one of them has spraypainted Under Heavy Manners on his shirt? That made me check out this album back then. There can be truth in advertising after all I guess.

ib said...

I don't remember the pic, in truth.

In all truth, just compiling this brief series has retuned my ears or maybe just dusted out some of the cobwebs which have gathered there. While "Under Heavy Manners" is probably not my favourite Far I moment, I agree with you about Errol Thompson's production.

It also allowed me to serve up some 'potted' history on the Joe Gibbs label. A lot of which was news to me.

I have to confess, though, I miss King Tubby's magic touch in a lot of these mixes. The "in your face" joy of his bag of tricks.

So far, too, I've largely ignored the Black Ark studio sound. I've avoided posting his collaborations with Junior Murvin and Max Romeo & The Upsetters - having posted "Bad weed" and "Police And Thieves" some time back - to say nothing of Scratch's own shit.

Ramone666 said...

Time for some Scratch on the wire so. If you´re looking for any particular song, let me know. I´ve got loads of that old Perry stuff. Will email you that Clash pic if I can find it somewhere.

ib said...

Apologies for the delay, Wim.

I've been lost in the mix. My head is reverberating with intergalactic messages and rhythmic gyrations.

Please E-mail that pic if you come across it; all I can visualize is a young punk running out of steam on the Kings Road with the handcuffs locked behind his back.

Like a telescopic zoom on the back of the Clash's mighty debut. "Police On My Back".