The Rockers Story: The Mystical World of Augustus Pablo

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Jamaica's Augustus Pablo took what was essentially a child's toy, the melodica, and turned it into something else again. The exotic, eerie, slightly Far Eastern and delicately mournful sound that Pablo coaxed from the instrument soon became a staple of Jamaican reggae and dub releases in the 1970s. Given his reticent nature, though, and his tendency to avoid the limelight, Pablo never achieved commercial stardom (if indeed that was ever even an aim of his) and while his influence on modern Jamaican music is immense, he actually only had one hit on the island, his 1971 single "Java," which single-handedly ushered in the so-called "rockers" style (the version collected here...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Jamaica's Augustus Pablo took what was essentially a child's toy, the melodica, and turned it into something else again. The exotic, eerie, slightly Far Eastern and delicately mournful sound that Pablo coaxed from the instrument soon became a staple of Jamaican reggae and dub releases in the 1970s. Given his reticent nature, though, and his tendency to avoid the limelight, Pablo never achieved commercial stardom (if indeed that was ever even an aim of his) and while his influence on modern Jamaican music is immense, he actually only had one hit on the island, his 1971 single "Java," which single-handedly ushered in the so-called "rockers" style (the version collected here is a re-do from 1982). This five disc (four discs of music and a disc of videos) overview of Pablo's life and canon probably won't change that, but this kind of survey of his vital and unique achievements in the recording studio is exactly what his many admirers have been waiting for, and for the most part, it delivers the goods in fine style. Every aspect of Pablo's talent is touched on here, from his session work with seemingly every musician on the island, his innovative dub efforts, his fascinating solo projects, and his later work as a producer and nurturer of new talent. Among the key tracks included here are "East of the River Nile" (in its definitive 1977 version), "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown" (a restructuring of "Cassava Piece" and an acknowledged dub classic), and the intriguing "AP Special," which features Pablo playing the xylophone (Pablo could play countless instruments, including guitar, piano, and organ, as well as the melodica). Pablo was partial to minor key arrangements, and the so-called "Far East" sound that resulted from this fascination is as haunting as it was influential and pervasive, and aside from maybe Yabby You, few Jamaican musicians pursued the dark, lonely beauty of the minor keys with Pablo's focused devotion. This set shows the breadth and consistency of Pablo's musical vision, but it really isn't for the casual listener, since Pablo's sound can get a bit overwhelming and it really doesn't vary a whole lot, so a single disc selection like Original Rockers or East of the River Nile might make for a better starting point for those new to this utterly unique musician.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/24/2008
  • Label: Shanachie
  • UPC: 016351456823
  • Catalog Number: 45068
  • Sales rank: 95,621

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 East of the River Nile (2:51)
  2. 2 False Rasta - Jacob Miller (2:32)
  3. 3 555 Crown (2:34)
  4. 4 555 Dub (2:41)
  5. 5 Love Won't Come Easy (5:33)
  6. 6 Take It Easy - Dillinger (3:21)
  7. 7 Frozen Dub (2:52)
  8. 8 Baby I Love You So - Jacob Miller (2:28)
  9. 9 Cassava Piece (2:32)
  10. 10 King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown (2:33)
  11. 11 Skanking Easy (2:36)
  12. 12 Skanking Dub (2:42)
  13. 13 Blackman Heart - Junior Delgado (3:08)
  14. 14 Africa Must Be Free (By the Year 1983) (2:29)
  15. 15 Park Lane Special (2:49)
  16. 16 Keep on Dubbing (3:07)
  17. 17 Selassie Verandah (3:20)
Disc 2
  1. 1 El Rockers - Jah Iney (2:44)
  2. 2 Changing World (3:15)
  3. 3 Havendale Rock (2:41)
  4. 4 Why Do Black Men Fuss & Fight (5:55)
  5. 5 Rockers Meet King Tubby Ina Fire House (4:03)
  6. 6 Ap Special (2:49)
  7. 7 Earth Wind & Fire (5:51)
  8. 8 Think Twice (3:01)
  9. 9 Israel in Harmony (6:48)
  10. 10 Vibrate On - Lee "Scratch" Perry (4:39)
  11. 11 Silent Satta (4:06)
  12. 12 Black Forces (2:25)
  13. 13 Ital Sip (3:35)
  14. 14 Thunderclap (2:34)
  15. 15 Let's Get Started - TeTrack (3:42)
  16. 16 Pablo Dread Ina Red (3:08)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Earth's Rightful Ruler (4:39)
  2. 2 Jah Light (2:15)
  3. 3 Entrance to Jah World (6:35)
  4. 4 King David's Melody (3:20)
  5. 5 Short Man Dub (3:17)
  6. 6 Ragamuffin Year (4:14)
  7. 7 Java (3:27)
  8. 8 Upful Living (4:52)
  9. 9 Rude Boy - Junior Osborne (3:53)
  10. 10 Creation Blues (3:47)
  11. 11 Drums to the King (7:02)
  12. 12 One Day (3:48)
  13. 13 Zion Way Dub (3:45)
  14. 14 Eastern Code (4:05)
  15. 15 No War - Willie Williams (3:53)
  16. 16 Drum Song (3:55)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Iggy Iggy (3:01)
  2. 2 Pablo in Dub (3:00)
  3. 3 Hap-Ki-Do (3:34)
  4. 4 Stop Them Jah (5:51)
  5. 5 Humble Yourself - Trimble (3:18)
  6. 6 Humble Version - Rockers All Stars (3:04)
  7. 7 Foxhole (3:42)
  8. 8 Son of Man Dub - Rockers All Stars (4:00)
  9. 9 One in the Spirit - Sister Frica (8:27)
  10. 10 Twin Seal (6:27)
  11. 11 Can't Keep a Good Man Down - The Immortals (3:01)
  12. 12 Can't Keep a Good Man Dub Down - The Pablo All-Stars (2:53)
  13. 13 Freedom Fighter (3:57)
  14. 14 Third Eye (3:11)
  15. 15 Third Eye Version - Augustus Pablo's All-Stars (3:08)
  16. 16 Zion a Fe Lion (2:33)
  17. 17 Abashanti Dub - Rockers All Stars (2:49)
  18. 18 Full Up (4:24)
Disc 5
  1. 1 Frozen Dub
  2. 2 Rockers Rock
  3. 3 [Bonus Material]
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Augustus Pablo Primary Artist, Track Performer
Technical Credits
Herbie Miller Liner Notes
Augustus Pablo Producer
Lee "Scratch" Perry Producer
Robert Vosgien Mastering
Kate Simon Cover Photo
Leonard Chin Producer
Karen Y. Scott Photo Courtesy
Loll Bell-Brown Liner Notes
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