Funky Nassau: The Compass Point Story 1980-1986

Funky Nassau: The Compass Point Story 1980-1986

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On a session-to-session basis, in slightly varying combinations, drummer Sly Dunbar, percussionist Uziah "Sticky" Thompson, bassist Robbie Shakespeare, keyboardist Wally Badarou, guitarists Barry

Overview

On a session-to-session basis, in slightly varying combinations, drummer Sly Dunbar, percussionist Uziah "Sticky" Thompson, bassist Robbie Shakespeare, keyboardist Wally Badarou, guitarists Barry Reynolds and Mikey Chung, and engineer Alex Sadkin made up the in-house team at Island founder Chris Blackwell's Compass Point, a studio located just outside Nassau in the Bahamas. As Blackwell recalls in David Katz's excellent liner notes to this set, titled Funky Nassau: The Compass Point Story 1980-1986, "I wanted a new, progressive sounding band. I wanted a Jamaican rhythm section with an edgy mid range and a brilliant synth player." That's what he got, and more, and it made -- or, in the case of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, enhanced -- some of the most advanced and adventurous music of the '80s, a great deal of which went down a storm in clubs across the planet. The "Compass Point All-Stars," as they were called, were as malleable as they were distinctive -- check the range between Grace Jones' Warm Leatherette, Joe Cocker's Sheffield Steel, Black Uhuru's Chill Out, and Gwen Guthrie's Portrait, all of which sound clearly connected, plump, bright, and ringing. For the most part, the choices pulled together for this disc are representative, if somewhat arbitrary; just about any other Compass Point track from Jones, Guthrie, or Sly & Robbie would've been as functional. There are several golden truffles pulled up here that were previously known only to the most keen: Guy Cuevas' skywalking "Obsession" (off a France-only 12"), Cristina's wobbling "You Rented a Space" (produced and written by Robert Palmer, it is the oddest thing he did, "The Silver Gun" excepted, but it wasn't released until a reissue of Cristina's Sleep It Off), and a Sly & Robbie goof-off in the best possible way -- a delirious cover of Yarbrough & Peoples' "Don't Stop the Music," issued under the name Bits & Pieces. The collective's output documented throughout these seven years doesn't loom as largely as that of the teams that made Motown or Stax, but when it comes to unduplicated behind-the-scenes innovation of the last 35 years, you can put them up there with the Mizell brothers, the Chic Organization, Martin Hannett, Jam & Lewis, the Bomb Squad, and Timbaland.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/11/2008
Label:
Strut Records
UPC:
0730003303326
catalogNumber:
33033

Tracks

Album Credits

Technical Credits

Wally Badarou   Composer
Adrian Belew   Composer
David Byrne   Composer
Jerry Harrison   Composer
Grace Jones   Composer
Robert Palmer   Producer
Lee Oskar   Composer
Lizzy Mercier Descloux   Producer
Ian Dury   Composer,Producer
Lonnie Jordan   Composer
Papa Dee Allen   Composer
Chris Blackwell   Producer
Harold Brown   Composer
David Katz   Interviewer,Sleeve Notes
B.B. Dickerson   Composer
Tyrone Downie   Producer
Sly Dunbar   Producer
Brian Eno   Composer,Producer
Chris Frantz   Composer,Producer
Lynn Goldsmith   Composer,Producer
Jerry Goldstein   Composer
Chaz Jankel   Composer,Producer
François Kevorkian   Producer,Remixing
Alex Sadkin   Producer
Robbie Shakespeare   Producer
Steven Stanley   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Remixing
Tina Weymouth   Composer,Producer
Larry Levan   Producer,Remixing
Alisa Peoples   Composer
Jonah Ellis   Composer
Chien Jaune   Producer
Guy Cuevas   Composer
Gordon Sumner   Composer

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