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"The Bristol Reggae Explosion" - Best of the 70's and 80's

by Various Artists



“The Bristol Reggae Explosion - Best of the 70’s and 80’s”

Released on CD and Digital Download 25th May 2018 via Bristol Archive Records

Eight years ago, Bristol Archive Records released “The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978 – 1983”, probably the first attempt to document the development of a localised British reggae scene and capture that unique period of the late seventies and early eighties. Despite many hurdles, it was a time that allowed the music to thrive as a voice for a mostly disenfranchised black Bristolian community centred around the inner-city areas of St. Pauls and Easton. The rich vein of recordings made against the odds and ranging from roots through dub to Lovers’ Rock, struck a chord with a worldwide audience and allowed us to continue our musical exploration with a further two volumes painting a vivid picture of a scene that was in danger of being forgotten and lost to history.

With the first two volumes deleted and before we continue the story of Bristol reggae with further volumes, we decided we should keep many of the best tracks readily available with a single album compiled from the first three Bristol Reggae Explosions, “The Bristol Reggae Explosion – Best of the 70's and 80's”
This new compilation contains 17 tracks kicking off with “Africa (Is Our Land)”, the Dennis Bovell produced classic from Joshua Moses, originally released in 1979 on the More Cut label and a record that regularly fetches three figures for original copies purely on its musical strengths. Joshua makes a second appearance with “Rise Up”, a track taken from “Joshua To Jashwha Thirty Years in The Wilderness” which gives a career spanning overview of one of Bristol's most unique voices.
Another distinctive voice is Bunny Marrett represented by his rare 1980 12” cut, originally released on Shoc Wave, “Times Are Getting Harder”, a nice slice of underground British roots. In contrast, his second contribution is the more jazz influenced “I'm Free”. With a musical career spanning more than fifty years Bunny can probably lay claim to be the patriarch of the local scene. Founding members of Talisman Dennison Joseph and Dehvan Othieno started their musical careers more than forty years ago as Revelation Rockers. Under both names Talisman lead the field with three contributions, “Jah Praises”, “Takin' The Strain (Cave Mix)” and the 7” mix of “Dole Age”. It's good to know that this label's reissues helped encourage Talisman to reform in 2010 and since then they've gone from strength to strength, even surpassing the great performances they gave in the seventies and eighties.
Two other bands that share very similar line-ups are Zion Band and Restriction, the latter being formed by members of the former. The two bands provide a brace of nice early eighties tracks, “Twelve Tribes” and “Four Point Plan”, both originally released on scarce local 12” pressings. The St. Paul's riot of 1980 provides inspiration for 3-D production's “Riot”, an overlooked gem when originally released on 7” and a single which is very difficult to find, even in Bristol. Like the rest of the tracks on the album it's worthy of wider exposure.
The late great Popsy Curious, who provided this label with so much encouragement and support, showcases his own unique style with “Chant Down Bobby Rome” before making a second appearance with an entirely different approach as part of Vibes with “My Love”. Vibes also featured Veereal and the vocal talents of Winston Minott who lent his distinctive voice to Cool Runnings on the soulful “Playhouse” and “You Can't Pay Me”. Unfortunately, female voices are somewhat scarce in the reggae world, but we were able to include Sharon Bengamin's top drawer slice of Lovers’ Rock “Mr. Guy. Last and by no means least is another veteran of the Bristol scene Dennis McCalla aka Dallas and “Peacemaker”.
“The Bristol Reggae Explosion – Best of the 70’s and 80’s” is the perfect introduction to the amazing underground reggae scene that flourished without any support from major labels and bears testimony to the talents of the original Bristol bass sound. The album is released on CD and digital download on 25th May 2018, distributed by Shellshock and available from leading retailers and on major digital platforms.

ARTIST: Various Artists
TITLE: “The Bristol Reggae Explosion - Best of the 70’s and 80’s”
RELEASE DATE: 25th May 2018
LABEL: Bristol Archive Records
DISTRIBUTION: Shellshock / Discovery
BARCODE: 5052571076026


released May 25, 2018

1. Africa (Is Our Land) - Joshua Moses
(Joshua Moses / Dennis Bovell 1978) Archive Publishing Ltd / Copyright Control 1978

2. Times Are Getting Harder - Bunny Marrett
(Bunny Marrett 1980) Archive Publishing Ltd 1980

3. Rise Up - Joshua Moses
(Joshua Moses / Mikey Taylor Hall 1983) Archive Publishing Ltd 1983

4. Takin' The Strain (Cave Mix) – Talisman
(Taylor 1983) Hue & Cry / Warner Bros Music 1983

5. Riot - 3-D Production
(John Carley 1980) Archive Publishing Ltd 1980

6. Four Point Plan – Restriction
(Restriction 1983) Copyright Control 1983

7. Twelve Tribes - Zion Band
(Duncan 1982) Copyright Control 1982

8. Jah Praises - Revelation Rockers
(Taylor 1979) Archive Publishing Ltd 1979

9. Wicked Men (Dub) - Alfred McIntosh
(Mcintosh/Talisman 1983) Archive Publishing Ltd 1983

10. Dole Age (7" Mix) – Talisman
(Joseph/Talisman 1981) Recreational Music 1981

11. Chant Down Bobby Rome - Popsy Curious
(Barrett 1989) Archive Publishing Ltd

12. Playhouse - Cool Runnings
(Condover/Minott 1983) Archive Publishing Ltd 1983

13. I'm Free - Bunny Marrett
(Marrett 1983) Archive Publishing Ltd

14. You Can't Pay Me - Cool Runnings
(Condover/Minott 1983) Archive Publishing Ltd

15. My Love – Vibes
(Barrett/Minott/Morrison 1988) Archive Publishing Ltd

16. Mr. Guy - Sharon Bengamin
(Walsh 1980) Archive Publishing Ltd

17. Peacemaker - Dennis McCalla
(McCalla 1984) Archive Publishing Ltd

Track 1 originally released on More Cut Records

Track 2, 16 originally released on Shoc Wave Records

Tracks 3, 4, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 all previously unreleased until released on previous compilations by Bristol Archive Records

Track 5 originally released on Third Kind Records

Track 6 originally released on Restriction Records

Track 7 originally released on Zion Band Records
Track 10 originally released on Recreational Records

Track 17 released on Rain Tree Records

Track 1 engineered by Dennis Bovell. Recorded at Gooseberry Studios London. Produced by Dennis Bovell

Track 2 recorded at Crescent Studios Bath. Produced by Fitzy

Track 3 recorded by UK Scientist at Right Track Bristol

Track 4 recorded by Andy Allen at Cave Studios, St Pauls, Bristol. Produced by Talisman

Track 5 recording location unknown. Engineered and Produced by Ronald Green

Track 6 engineered and mixed by Mad Professor. Recorded at Ariwa Sound Studios London

Track 7 engineered and produced by Liam Henshall at Right Track Bristol

Track 8 recorded at Crescent Studios Bath. Engineered by Glen Tommey and David Lord. Produced by Revelation Rockers

Track 9, 10 recorded at Crescent Studios Bath. Engineered by Glen Tommey and David Lord. Produced by UK Scientist

Track 11 recorded and mixed at Jungle Red Studios Bristol. Produced by Chuncs E Hutchinson RIP

Track 12, 14 recorded by Liam Henshall at Right Track Bristol. Produced by Liam Henshall and Cool Runnings

Track 13 recorded at Right Track by Liam Henshall. Produced by Bunny Marrett

Track 15 recorded at Shan Studios, Lockleaze, Bristol. Produced by Vibes

Track 16 produced by Gene Walsh. Recording location unknown

Track 17 recorded at Horizon Studios, Weston Super Mare. Produced by Dennis McCalla. Arranged by Street Life

Compiled by Martin Langford March 2018

All tracks mastered by Steve Street

High resolution transfers by Adrian at Great Bear and Martin Langford

All recordings owned by the original artists / original labels and licenced to Bristol Archive Records

(p)&© Bristol Archive Records
All rights reserved

Thanks to:

Martin Langford, Steve Street, Gene Walsh / Joshua Moses / Mikey Taylor Hall RIP / Shoc Wave Team / Fitzy, Brendan, Bekele, Dennison, Chris / Talisman / Revelation Rockers, John Carley / Ronald Green / Third Kind / Glen Crooks, Rob Smith / John Hollis / Restriction, Adrian at Great Bear, Lloyd Harris / Chris Parker / Recreational, Bunny Marrett / Startled Insects / Tony Orrell, Mackie, George Condover, Mark Tuck, Winston Minott / Cool Runnings, Dave Massey, Richard Lewis, Neil Fraser, Dennis Bovell, Andy Allen, Liam Henshall, David Lord, Glen Tommey, Popsy, Ayannah, Vee, Dennis McCalla aka Dallas, Sharon Bengamin, Reynold Duncan and the Arts Opportunity project and all the musicians who played on these tracks.

Photo credits: Thanks to the original photographers and artwork designers with whom copyright remains on their work.

Front cover photo licenced from the late, great Popsy Curious RIP

Design and artwork by samgilesdesign@gmail.com

This album is dedicated to Popsy Curious RIP (my dear friend)
Mike Darby – Bristol Boys Make More Noise!

Email – info@bristolarchiverecords.com



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Bristol Archive Records is a record label dealing in reggae, punk, rock, metal, pop and post punk 1977 onwards.

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