When Rhythm Was King

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
With the wealth of compilations from the Studio One vaults that Heartbeat has made available, it can get harder and harder with the passing years to organize them around fresh themes. The concept driving the selection of the 18 songs from 1966-1979 comprising When Rhythm Was King seems to be, in large but not whole part, to present original versions of numerous tracks that have been "versioned" many times since their initial release -- more than 100 times in some cases, according to the liner notes. Muddying the clarity, there are also a few recordings which are themselves "versions" of Studio One releases. While the practice of multiple "versions," or covers, of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
With the wealth of compilations from the Studio One vaults that Heartbeat has made available, it can get harder and harder with the passing years to organize them around fresh themes. The concept driving the selection of the 18 songs from 1966-1979 comprising When Rhythm Was King seems to be, in large but not whole part, to present original versions of numerous tracks that have been "versioned" many times since their initial release -- more than 100 times in some cases, according to the liner notes. Muddying the clarity, there are also a few recordings which are themselves "versions" of Studio One releases. While the practice of multiple "versions," or covers, of well-liked songs in general and these songs in particular is the angle emphasized in this CD's annotation, it's perhaps better approached by the general reggae fan as simply a good varied compilation of assorted Studio One productions from the era, some of which are off the beaten track and not easy to find on reissues. Some pretty big reggae names are represented, including the Heptones, Bob Andy, Sugar Minott, Dillinger, Alton Ellis, and Dennis Brown; some relatively unfamiliar artists to the non-reggae specialist are mixed in as well. While reggae versions are often known for taking some liberties with the structure and arrangement of the original prototypes, most of these cuts are, in contrast, pretty down-to-earth songs and performances, with some great romantic singing even on some fairly unheralded recordings, like Basil Daley's 1968 single "Hold Me Baby" and from the same year Ernest Wilson's "Undying Love." If you want some rather wacky tunes that are far from the love ode approach, there are Dillinger's "Natty Kung Fu" and Johnny Osbourne's "Can't Buy Love," which lifts its melody from "Fiddler on the Roof." In a more serious spiritual vein, Dennis Brown's "Created by the Father" is a standout. For the hardcore collector, there are a few alternate/original/extended mixes that are previously unreleased or previously unavailable on CD. It's likely, though, that these rarities will be of secondary concern to most people likely to enjoy the compilation, who will simply appreciate the chance to hear a classy batch of Studio One/Clement Dodd efforts that might not come to their attention through more high-profile reggae reissues.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/11/2007
  • Label: Heartbeat / Pgd
  • UPC: 011661783010
  • Catalog Number: 617830
  • Sales rank: 370,353

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Compliment to Studio One - Michigan & Smiley (2:28)
  2. 2 Please Be True - Alexander Henry (2:38)
  3. 3 Why Oh Why - Ernest Wilson (2:57)
  4. 4 Hold Me Baby - Basil Daley (2:31)
  5. 5 Natty Kung Fu - Dillinger (3:12)
  6. 6 Come on Home - Sugar Minott (3:21)
  7. 7 Unchained - Bob Andy (2:38)
  8. 8 Undying Love - Ernest Wilson (3:16)
  9. 9 Me and You - Carlton & the Shoes (3:10)
  10. 10 Mad Mad - Alton Ellis (4:07)
  11. 11 Things a Come Up to Bump - The Bassies (2:39)
  12. 12 Back out with It - The Wailing Souls (3:09)
  13. 13 Can't Buy Love - Johnny Osbourne (2:16)
  14. 14 Created by the Father - Dennis Brown (4:22)
  15. 15 Take a Ride @@Al Campbell (3:03)
  16. 16 Smile - The Silvertones (2:59)
  17. 17 Fattie Fattie - The Heptones (2:44)
  18. 18 Candid Eye @@'Im & Dave (2:30)
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Album Credits

Technical Credits
Alton Ellis Composer
Errol Crusher Bennett Composer
Cedric Brooks Composer
Clement "Coxsone" Dodd Composer, Producer, Engineer
Winston "Pipe" Matthews Composer
Lloyd McDonald Composer
Sylvan Morris Engineer
Toby Mountain Mastering
Ernest Wilson Composer
Anthony Fairclough Composer
Joshua Blood Liner Notes
Carlton Manning Composer
Gilmore Grant Composer
Lester Bullocks Composer
Caroline Dodd Executive Producer
George Blake Composer
Basil Daley Composer
Leroy Sibblies Composer
Alexander Henry Composer
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