May 31, 2013

The Ladies At Joe Gibbs

ARTIST: various artists
TITLE: The Ladies At Joe Gibbs
LABEL: 17 North Parade
Joe Gibbs was a TV repairman who started selling 45s in his shop and eventually became one of Jamaica’s top record producers. This well-curated collection picks 15 tracks by female singers who recorded for Gibbs in the 70s and 80s. The key item here is 11, the first dancehall single with female vocalists and indisputably one of the greatest recordings ever made in Jamaica. Tracks 4 and 10 provide fascinating footnotes – the latter is a version of the original riddim upon which 11 is based, and the former is the only known recording of a different, thoroughly obscure female dancehall duo. Versions (Jamaican for “covers”) are a staple of reggae – 9 is a country song by Charlie Pride that June Lodge turned into a lover’s-rock classic, 13 is Hortense Ellis (Alton Ellis’s younger sister) taking on a gem by Ann Peebles, 15 remakes a Stephanie Mills hit, and 12 is a cover of a song the Bee Gees wrote for the immortal (well, not exactly) Samantha Sang. Another strong compilation from the VP label group, digging into the wealth of Jamaica’s amazing back catalog.
TOP TRACKS:    4    9    10    11    13    15
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    1    7    8    12    14

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