Tuesday, August 18, 2009
NOT the AOTW
I don't mean to take over the AOTW slot if anybody else wants it, and I'll get this out of dropbox if we need more room, but I wanted to share this. I recently found it in a box of CDs, and realized I'd never put it in my iTunes folder. Back when I worked for a newspaper in Boston, we got free CDs from time to time, and this was one of them. It's from Heart Beat, a label in Cambridge Massachusetts that I think might be part of Rounder.
It seems like an interesting fit with RR proper this week, because I think part of the story of these songs relates to the idea of making cover versions. All of these songs were recorded at Studio One, which was presided over by Clement (Sir Coxsone) Dodd. As I understand the story, there was a glitch in Jamaican copyright laws which meant that a song itself could not be copyrighted, only a specific version, which meant that anybody could have their way with old melodies. Apparently Studio One was a main target for the plunderers. Dodd finally decided to fight back by versioning his own back catalogue.
Nice up the Dance is an album of "discomixes." On each track, the vocal section is followed by a long instrumental section designed to keep people on the dance floor. Most songs clock in over 7 minutes, and there are some real gems on here. Alton Ellis, Michigan and Smiley, Horace Andy ...
As a sample, here are two songs I like a lot, but they're all good...
Love is a Treasure - Freddie McKay
Slogan on the Wall - The Viceroys with Tommy McCook and the Discosonics