Dr. Rob`s Remedy / Horace Andy: Midnight Rocker 

Veteran reggae vocalist, Horace Andy, has released a new LP, Midnight Rocker, care of Adrian Sherwood’s legendary label, On-U Sound. To celebrate, I thought I`d pick a few personal favourites from Horace`s 5 decade-spanning career….

Horace Andy – Watch Over Them – On-U Sound – 2022

Horace Andy Midnight Rocker

Horace Andy – Praise Him – Joe Gibbs – 1981

Horace Andy - Praise Him

Produced by Joe Gibbs, I pulled this from a Jah Shaka play-list. The DJ is Michael Coburn aka Jah Mike. 

Horace Andy – Don’t Think About Me – Randys – 1973

Horace Andy - Don’t Think About Me

Produced by Keith Hudson, and recorded at Vincent Chin`s Randy`s, at 17 North Parade, Kingston,  in 1973. This track was included on the classic compilation of Hudson’s work, Studio Kinda Cloudy, which came out in 1988 (and was name-checked by Saint Etienne on their single, Filthy). The song contains the line, “The time you take to check me, check yourself”, which everyone would do well to heed. 

Horace Andy – Ital Vital – Rhythm – 1974

A cool cut of Freddie McKay`s Rockabye Woman that was issued on Horace`s own label, Rhythm. I think that the DJ here is Woolton Harrison aka Jah Bull. 

Horace Andy – Fever – Studio One – 1973

Horace Andy - Fever

Produced by Clement “Coxsone” Dodd and backed by Cedric Im Brooks – billed for some reason as Im & The Agg. It was Coxsone who gave Andy his break, taking Horace under his wing in 1969. 

Horace Andy – Problems – Santic – 1975

Horace Andy - Problems

Produced by Clive, son of Vincent, Chin at Randy`s, and engineered by Errol E.T. Thompson, for Clive`s label, Santic. The story goes that Horace wrote the lyric in 2 hours after first hearing the rhythm. 

Horace Andy – Love Hangover – Bullwackies – 1983

Horace Andy - Love Hangover

A cool cover of Diana Ross` `76 hit, produced by Lloyd “Bullwackies” Barnes, in the Bronx, New York. To my ears, it`s tunes like this – the mix of stoned stripped back dread and a sweet love song – that directly influenced Massive Attack, the ground-breaking Bristol band that Horace would famously, later, join. 

Horace Andy – You Are My Angel – Jackpot – 1973

Horace Andy - You Are My Angel

Produced by Bunny Lee, and backed by The Aggrovators. One of the tunes that Horace radically reworked with Massive Attack for the album, Mezzanine, in 1998.

Horace Andy – Skylarking (A Better Version) – Jackpot – 1975

Horace Andy - Skylarking (A Better Version)

In 1972 this song was Horace`s first big bit for Coxsone at Studio 1. Featured on the Jamaica Today LP, it was picked up and played by both Sir George and Tipperone Sounds. This version was, again, produced by Bunny Lee, with The Aggrovators, and given a serious dub mix by the then Prince, now King, Jammy`s at King Tubby`s studio on Drumalie Avenue. Filtered, phased and full of severely mistreated spring reverb lightning and thunder. 

Horace Andy – Mr Bassie (Discomix) – Hungry Town – 1978

Horace Andy - Mr Bassie (Discomix)

Mr. Bassie was one of the first songs that Horace penned himself, while still at Studio One. It`s a piece that he’s frequently versioned, for a variety of producers – perhaps most famously for Everton Da Silva, in Queens, New York, for Da Silva`s Hungry Town imprint. It is a definite, definitive, Andy “signature tune”. The 12 is super expensive. Those after a vinyl copy – on a budget – should instead shell out for the brilliant Good Vibes comp.

Horace Andy – Careful – On-U Sound – 2022

Horace Andy Midnight Rocker

Horace Andy’s Midnight Rocker is out now, care of On-U Sound. 

Dr. Rob`s Remedy / 2022_02_24

Hugh Mundell – Ital Sip – Message – 1978

Hugh Mundell - Ital Sip

One of a pile of records that I bought the last time I went physically digging in Tokyo – Africa Must Be Free By 1983 just got washed and a given a final lighter fluid polish. Robbie Shakespeare on bass, produced by Augustus Pablo, and mixed by Lee Scratch Perry – probably at Randys, which was Perry`s favourite studio, where he did all of his work with Bob Marley and The Wailers, until they upgraded the mixing board he was prompted to build his own studio, The Black Ark. This a super strong LP with Hugh singing as Mundell, and DJing as Jah Levi across classics, like Lets All Unite, Book Of Life, Run Revolution A Come, Day Of Judgment, and this, the dub of Jah Will Provide, entitled Ital Sip. A prodigy who wrote and recorded this LP when he was only 16, Hugh was tragically shot dead at the age of 21. 

Earl Zero – City Of The Weak Heart – Jah Fingers – 2018

Earl Zero - City Of The Weak Heart

Originally a super rare 7” from 1976, on Tommy Cowan`s label, Arab, reissued by Jah Fingers with its cracking King Tubby`s version and 1975 smash, Please Officer, on the flip. A dynamite tune, which was a Dub Vendor recommendation. Do yourself a favour and sign up to their Instagram, because every Friday they post clips of fire like this. They are clearly people who are passionate, in love, with music. 

Betty Davis – If I`m In Luck I Might Just Get Picked Up – Light In The Attic – 2002

Betty Davis – Anti Love Song – Light In The Attic – 2002

Betty Davis - Anti Love Song

Two terrific chunks of way raunchy funk, spun in celebration of, and in tribute to, the legendary Betty Davis – who sadly passed away on February 9th. Both tracks are taken from Betty’s self-titled debut album – released on Just Sunshine Records in 1973, and reissued by Seattle`s Light In The Attic. I’ve written more about Betty over at Ban Ban Ton Ton. 

We have two of Betty’s contemporaries next. Both Annette Peacock and Ruth Copeland also pioneered that intersection of jazz, funk, and psyche – though neither, it has to be said, boasted anything quite like Betty’s “no prisoners” stage persona. 

 Annette Peacock – Pony – Future Days Recordings – 2012

Annette Peacock - Pony

I’ve cherry-picked Pony from Annette’s solo debut album, I`m The One – originally released in 1972 RCA Victor, and then reissued by Light In The Attic off-shoot, Future Days Recordings, in 2012. Married for a while to jazz bassist Gary Peacock, and a long-term creative partner of pianist Paul Bley, Annette was one of the first folks to get to grips with Robert Moog`s synthesizer (around the same time that Eno was at the controls for Roxy Music). Annette is another one of those artists where everything she’s recorded – if you can find a copy – is well worth picking up. This peacock constantly pushing the envelope stretching in new and novel directions. Pony is grinding, groovy, slow and sleazy – notable I guess for the strange, strung-out voice-processing. There’s a story, I’m not 100% sure if it`s true, that David Bowie, suitably impressed, asked Annette to join his touring band, but she politely knocked him back. 

Ruth Copeland – Gimme Shelter – Invictus – 1971

Ruth Copeland

Ruth Copeland was member of the Funkadelic family / inner circle, and as such co-wrote several of the groups` early `70s songs with bandleader, George Clinton. I Am What I Am was her sophomore solo album, and it`s basically Funkadelic fronted by Ruth (Eddie Hazel, Tiki Fulwood, Billy Nelson, and Bernie Worrell, had actually momentarily split from Clinton, due to questions over who was getting paid). The LP contains a couple of Stones covers, but my favourite track is the Copeland original, Cryin` Has Made Me Stronger. It`s the sort of testifier that I imagine to have been played on the Primal Scream Screamadelica tour bus. Here, though, Eddie shreds his way through Gimme Shelter. I mean, man, what’s not to like? Chapeau doffed to Ashley Beedle, `cos this is an old Heavy Disco tip. 

For more musical musings, from Dr. Rob, Balearic Mike, Dennis Kane, Cal Gibson, Adam Turner, and house music expert, The Insider, please visit Ban Ban Ton Ton.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑