Various - Burning Up
Burning Sounds are happy to present BURNING UP a 4 CD set showcasing many of the acts who had releases on Burning Sounds Record label, some featured here for the first time ever on CD.
The roots of the Burning Sounds label could be found in a thriving record shop, situated on the busy Harrow Road in West London, a very special emporium that specialised in strictly roots rock reggae music.
When the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury in June 1948 Pathe News were on the quayside to film top Trinidadian calypsonian, Lord Kitchener, cheerfully singing "London is the place for me...". As immigration from the West Indies to the UK became increasingly widespread during the following decade, many more newcomers from the Caribbean brought their music with them too. But, as they began to accustom themselves to the raw cold English winters and settle down in their new homes, an inevitable yearning for the warmth and joys of their homeland began to ferment. Music that reflected a life that many yearned for, but in many cases could not now return to, became increasingly in demand.
Through the island's countless sound systems Jamaicans had become enamoured with the pounding sound of rhythm & blues and, in areas of high immigrant populations, the homesick strangers repeatedly requested records with "the blues beat" in their local record shops. Entrepreneurs were not slow to realise that money could be made in releasing West Indian music, Jamaican recordings in particular, in England. One of the first was Emil E. Shalit's Melodisc organisation originally founded in 1947 as a small independent London based label that specialised in jazz and blues releases. Mr Shalit had no interest in either sentiment or music: he was once memorably quoted as stating that "selling records was the same as selling potatoes". He established the Blue Beat label, a subsidiary specifically for Jamaican recordings, in 1960. Its influence would prove so ubiquitous that for years all Jamaican music would be referred to as Blue Beat in the UK. And, as Jamaican shuffle and boogie progressed into ska, other labels, including Sonny Roberts' pioneering Planetone, Rita & Benny King's R&B & Ska Beat and Chris Blackwell's Island Records took a somewhat more benign interest in Jamaican music.
Island was founded in Kingston, Jamaica in 1959 where Chris Blackwell had begun producing 'local' records. He relocated to London in 1962 and began releasing music licensed from Jamaican producers and distributing the records to shops in London, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham. Over the next five decades Island Records would become one of the most important and influential record labels in the history of music. As the sixties drew to a close Island altered its allegiance to British 'progressive' rock music and its Jamaican catalog was transferred to a new company, Trojan Records, named after one of Duke Reid's subsidiary labels.
Trojan established links with every important Jamaican record producer of the period, gave them their own London based labels, and enjoyed unparalleled success in the burgeoning reggae market with numerous notable crossover hits riding high in the UK National Charts. The Pama group of labels, run by the Palmer brothers and initiated in 1968, for a while ran a close second to Trojan with a plethora of colorful labels including Camel, Punch and Escort. Junior Lincoln's Bamboo & Banana imprints, specializing in Studio One releases, although hampered by distribution problems were also an important outlet during this period.
Marcel Rodd, owner of a classical music label Saga Records, purchased the Trojan catalog in 1975 and, although the company continued releasing relevant records, including Big Youth's 'Natty Cultural Dread' and 'Hit The Road Jack' albums, it was no longer the first choice of Jamaican record producers. The Palmer brothers also stepped back from releasing records; they would return to the reggae business a few years later as Jet Star distribution and eventually go on to exert a vice like grip on UK reggae throughout the eighties and nineties; if your record was not going through Jet Star it wasn't going anywhere. However, w're getting ahead of ourselves...
Music was still being produced at an incredible rate in Jamaica, the mid to late seventies was an era that critics would later term regga's golden age, and international exposure was essential to its development and continuing success. As well as the traditional audience of first, and now second generation, Jamaicans a new 'crossover' audience was crying out for the real authentic sound of reggae. The pioneering UK record companies from the sixties had created the market for this music and numerous independent companies stepped into the breach. These included Ashanti, Atra, Ballistic, Black Wax, Cactus, Carib Gems, Cha Cha, Castro Brown's DEB, Dip, D-Roy, Ethnic, Greensleeves, Grounation, Hawkeye, Lightning, Morpheus, Nationwide, Sound Tracs, Count Shelly's Third World, Tropical, Viking... and Burning Sounds. Originally one of West London's leading pre-release (import) outlets with premises at 379 & 534 Harrow Road, in the heart of West London's thriving West Indian community, where Martin 'Redman' from Peopl's Sound controlled the counter and Mr Rana took care of business.
This collection represents over four discs the breadth and depth of the extensive catalog of Burning Sounds releases featuring a selection of some of their best, and most significant, records a number of which also appeared on their Burning Rockers & Burning Vibrations labels. Their first album was released in 1978, 'Lonely Man' a co-production between Winston 'Techniques' Riley and his brother Stanley 'Buster' Riley, featuring the dulcet tones of Pat Kelly. This was followed by a 'country' reggae classic, 'Madness' from The Mighty Maytones, produced by Alvin 'GG' Ranglin and two of the hottest deejays of the time, Dillinger and Trinity, then clashed on the third Burning Sounds long player which was produced by Clem Bushay. This initial trio of superior releases set the standards for their subsequent long players and albums from Leroy Smart, as singer and producer on 'Impressions Of Leroy Smart' and 'Dread Hot In Africa', The Morwells with 'Crab Rac', Augustus 'Gussi' Clarke with 'Black Foundation Dub' and The Maytones' 'Boat To Zion', again for Alvin GG Ranglin, also sold well and are now regarded as reggae classics. The following year Burning Sounds was the first label to release a Barrington Levy album in the UK, the pivotal 'Shine Eye Gal' set, produced by Henry 'Junjo' Lawes and one of the first records to introduce the dance hall style. Barrington and Junjo would go on to dominate the music in the first half of the eighties with their brash, bright approach.
It was not necessarily all about licensing and distribution deals with Jamaica and, when the children of the diaspora discovered their own voice, Burning Sounds also nurtured young London based talent. With experienced Jamaican artists such as Alton Ellis, Junior English & Gene Rondo at the helm a style of reggae was created, lovers rock that could only have originated in the UK. The company released over sixty seven inch singles, many of which were prime examples of this London based phenomenon, including Alton's smooth production of Minnie Riperton's 'Lovin' You' which introduced Janet Kay to the wider world before she hit Number Two in the UK National Charts with 'Silly Games'. Alton Ellis' & Tony Jay's 'Telephone Lin' was another huge seller for Burning Sounds and has since become one of the acknowledged classics of the genre.
Roots, rock reggae was also much in evidence on over forty Burning Sounds twelve inch 'disco mixes' including sterling releases from West London's very own Delroy Washington and the great Errol Dunkley in combination with Ranking Dread. Pablo Gad, who had relocated to London from Kingston Jamaica in 1974, found favor with record buyers with "˜Bloodsuckers' proving, once again, that conscious music doesn't necessarily have to be made in Kingston, Jamaica. Further proof came with Pablo Gad's faultless "˜Hard Times' based around the 'Bloodsuckers' rhythm and a huge hit in 1980 when he also won the prestigious Best Male Vocalist award in the Black Echoes readers' poll.
BURNING SOUNDS RECORDS brings you a variety of Reggae over 4 CD's
Roots Reggae and Rockers
1. Al Campbell – Soul Shakedown Party
2. Jimmy Riley -Nyah Bingi
3. Michael Prophet – Jah Love
4. Well Pleased And Satisfied – Give Thanks And Praise
5. Leroy Smart – Jah Jah Forgive Them
6. The Morwells – Baby Why Did You Leave Me To Cry
7. The Chanters – Mash Down Babylon
8. The Blackstones – Punk Rockers
9. Al Campbell – Don’t Divide The People
10. Michael Prophet – Evil Doers
11. Viceroys – Yah Ho
12. The Blackstones – Open The Gates
13. Well Pleased And Satisfied – Watermelon Man
14. Pablo Gad – Blood Suckers
15. Yellowman ft. Fathead – Divorced
1. I Roy – Musical Air Raid
2. Big Youth – Love Jah Jah Children
3. Prince Mohamed –My Little Baby
4. King Sighter – Master Of All
5. Dillinger vs Trinity – Rizla Skank
6. Big Joe – Natty Love
7. Jah Stitch – Evilest Thing
8. Prince Mohamed – Skillful Natty Dread
9. King Sighter – Another Scorcher
10. Dillinger vs Trinity – Starsky And Hutch
11. Little Wicked – Sister Sheron
12. Prince Mohamed – African Roots
13. I Roy – Ital Dish
14. Dillinger vs Trinity – Stumbling Block
15. King Sighter – Dollar Fe A Reefer
1. The Revolutionaries – Mafia Dub
2. Phill Pratt – Stay Loose
3. Niney The Observer – Dub Long Rastafari
4. The Aggravators & The Revolutionaries – Garvey Dub
5. Gregory Isaacs – Slum
6. The Revolutionaries – Rueben
7. Page One & The Observer – Jahs Children In Style
8. The Revolutionaries – Judah
9. Niney The Observer – Burning Dub
10. The Aggravators & The Revolutionaries – Guerilla Dub
11. Phill Pratt – Side Walk Artist
12. Gregory Isaacs – Nigger
13. Page One – Rock A Dub
14. Gregory Isaacs – Crofs
15. The Revolutionaries – Creation Dub
1. Janet Kay – Loving You
2. Hortense Ellis – Unexpected Places
3. Pat Kelly – Lonely Man
4. Alton Ellis – Love Message
5. Gene Rondo – Deep Inside
6. Alton Ellis /Tony Jay – Telephone Line
7. Linval Thompson – Love Is The Question
8. Pat Kelly – Love O Love
9. Alton Ellis /Janet Kay – Still In Love
10. Tony Saxton – Love Makes Living
11. Junior English – In Loving You
12. Linval Thompson – My Girl
13. Alton Ellis – Reasons For Loving
14. Hortense Ellis Wooden Heart
15. Pat Kelly –I’m In The Mood