Lovers Rock volume 2

Back once again with a seven inch selection by me and post production tweaking, polishing and shining from the man like Paul Meme (check the link for Paul’s new postpunk and techno mixes also).

You would think from some of the coverage of Lovers Rock that songs about love and relationships were unique to that particular late 70s London reggae subgenre. But of course heartache has been a staple of Jamaican music since before reggae even existed.

This mix deviates slightly from “pure” Lovers Rock – as if such a thing was possible. It includes tunes from the sixties to the noughties, UK and JA productions.

There’s some pop madness, some sweet soul and some boshing one drops included. Enjoy!

Tracklist

1. Audley Rollins – What’s Your Name (Matador 7″)
2. Alton Ellis & Phyllis Dillon – Remember That Sunday (Treasure Isle 7″)
3. The Silvertones – Two Time Lover (Studio One 7″)
4. Harry Hippy – Cover Me (Pioneer 7″)
5. Ronnie Davis – I Won’t Cry (Love 7″)
6. Gregory Isaacs – Sunshine For Me (African Museum 7″)
7. John Holt – If I Were A Carpenter (Striker Lee 7″)
8. Chantells – Waiting In The Park (Phase 1 7″)
9. Terry Linen – Your Love Is My Love (Raggedy Joe 7″)
10. Leroy Gibbons – To The End Of Time (House of Hits 7″)
11. Tony Curtis – Let’s Go (House of Hits 7″)
12. Bobby Kray – Silly Games (Sun Land Mix) (no label 7″)
13. Lukie D – Young Love (Special Delivery 7″)
14. Gyptian – Pretty Darling (Special Delivery 7″)
15. Oba Simba – Whistling Bird (Special Delivery 7″)
16. Tairo – La Vie Qu’Je Mene (Special Delivery 7″)
17. Ava Leigh – La La La (Virgin 7″)
18. Toni Braxton – Yesterday (Sticky’s Lovers Remix) (Atlantic 7″)

Track by track

1. Audley Rollins – What’s Your Name (Matador 7″)
2. Alton Ellis & Phyllis Dillon – Remember That Sunday (Treasure Isle 7″)
3. The Silvertones – Two Time Lover (Studio One 7″)
4. Harry Hippy – Cover Me (Pioneer 7″)
5. Ronnie Davis – I Won’t Cry (Love 7″)

I don’t know much about these tunes, they are just things I’ve picked up on the off chance over the years and loved. The first three all came from the bargain bins under the spiral staircase in Rough Trade in Covent Garden. For about 20 pence each. Finding random records for 20p is something that is disappearing along with many of the record shops mentioned in this post.

6. Gregory Isaacs – Sunshine For Me (African Museum 7″)
7. John Holt – If I Were A Carpenter (Striker Lee 7″)

With hundreds of Gregory love songs to choose from, the one that leapt out isn’t about his tumultous times with the ladies at all! “Sunshine for me” is about staying humble and keeping thing in perspective, in stark contrast to the invulnerable blinging gangsta supervillains one hears so much about. But how will that sit with the laydeez? John Holt poses that very question in a cover of American crooner Bobby Darin’s 1966 standard.

8. Chantells – Waiting In The Park (Phase 1 7″)

Another tune about male vulnerability with incredible vocals. Many of us have been stood up, but I suspect we haven’t hung around in the park all night expectantly, even if we were “promised something that’s nice”.

9. Terry Linen – Your Love Is My Love (Raggedy Joe 7″)

This was an absolutely massive tune around the turn of the Century, loving up the millennium! The sort of cover version that sorts the people who love music in all its pop glory from the record nerds. Everyone knows the Whitney version, right? What I hadn’t realised was that the song was originally a reggae-lite affair, written by Wyclef Jean. Terry’s take is much more to my liking. To be honest, most things not produced by Wyclef are more to my liking, but his bonkers selection of dubplate specials always raises a smile.

10. Leroy Gibbons – To The End Of Time (House of Hits 7″)
11. Tony Curtis – Let’s Go (House of Hits 7″)

These turned up at a visit to Dub Vendor in Clapham Junction a couple of years ago. Beautiful upbeat modern productions and some killer vocals as well.

12. Bobby Kray – Silly Games (Sun Land Mix) (no label 7″)

Much was made of Mr Kray around 2007 when this debut was released. In fact me, him and Ava Leigh (more of whom in a minute) were all quoted in a piece The Times ran on white people in reggae. I’ve not heard much of him since – and I daresay he is sat somewhere pondering my whereabouts also…

I think I probably picked this up from Dub Vendor in Ladbroke Grove on one of my trips up west with a box of Woofah for Honest Jons. “Silly Games” loops back to the Janet Kay original on our Lovers Rock Volume 1 mix. I believe Dennis Bovell is involved with this tough relick too.

13. Lukie D – Young Love (Special Delivery 7″)
14. Gyptian – Pretty Darling (Special Delivery 7″)
15. Oba Simba – Whistling Bird (Special Delivery 7″)
16. Tairo – La Vie Qu’Je Mene (Special Delivery 7″)

More modern riddim magic, from the same Dub Vendor haul as the “House of Hits” tunes above. I like the way this mixes up superstars like Gyptian with complete unknowns. The backing track is based on Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg’s “Je T’aime” which is audacious, and I like the way that performing a literal cover of that tune has been resisted.

17. Ava Leigh – La La La (Virgin 7″)

Ava was another great white hop, who briefly fared quite well (compared to Bobby Kray at least). “Over The Brdige”, her collaboration with Manasseh, was one of my top reggae tunes of the noughties and it’s rumoured that she did this tune with London soundsystem stalwarts Abashanti-I. Youtube is littered with some good tunes by her, and you’d think that she would do OK post-Winehouse and alongside Joss Stone. Alas, it doesn’t seem that Ava’s initial momentum has been maintained by the biz thus far.

“La La La” was on her first single for Virgin in 2007, backed with “Mad About The Boy”. Both tunes have subsequently been reissued and repackaged (in the words of Morissey) but not re-evaluated just yet.

18. Toni Braxton – Yesterday (Sticky’s Lovers Remix) (Atlantic 7″)

I must confess to not being a huge fan of La Braxton, so this remix by Heatwave collaborator and 2step DON Sticky was a proper bolt from the blue. A seismic production which gives the diva vocals a much better background in my humble opinion. Sticky should be remixing everyone like this, by law. Rihanna next, please?

12 Comments

  1. STN says:

    Relick looks like a TOPY spelling of ‘relic’. Hmm.

  2. CHRIS J says:

    Nice selection – enjoy reading your ‘sleevenotes’ as well.
    That Silvertones tune is fantastic, what a bargain!

  3. MATT B says:

    Ooooh, looking forward to d/l this tonight!
    (Hi John! Hi Droid! ;) )

  4. JOHN says:

    Hi Matt! Hope you like it :-)

    STN – yeah I should hyphenate better, I reckon :-)

    Chris – yes it’s a real gem, thanks for commenting!

  5. MATT S says:

    listening now and liking a lot :)Thanks

  6. MIKUS says:

    beautiful mix john, maybe even better than part one! many thanks

  7. COZMIKBREW says:

    lovely mix,suiting this rainy evening jus fine

  8. MARC DAUNCEY says:

    Brilliant John! My girlfriend LOVED the last one, reminded her of all the big tunes from her youth in South London. We are both excited to see you’d done volume 2. Keep up the good work mate, these are fantastic and get constant plays.

  9. STEVE says:

    hi john and paul steve from uk dance here this realy takes me back to my youth in the 70s round stoke newington and dalston boy i can taste the goat curry

  10. JOHN says:

    Great comments from all over! Thank you guys, lovely to hear from some UK-Dance veterans…