Posted by : Monkey SKA domingo, 2 de julio de 2017

When not only my album of 2004, but for many people the best release of 2004, Bitty McLean's "Peckings Presents... On Bond Street With The Supersonics" was released by Peckings, - Chris and Duke, the owners and managers of Peckings, sons of the legendary George who was the founder of the Peckings Studio 1 record store, specialized in Studio One and Treasure Isle label releases out of Shepherds Bush, London, UK - there was an overwhelming response of reggae listeners worldwide, and with the exception of a couple of 7"s they have now released a follow-up album that is great enough to be competitive to be my album of 2006. Opening this album is an excellent "Walk Away From Love (Remix)" with Delroy Easton 'Bitty' McLean perfectly fitting the lyrics and melody of former Temptation's lead singer David Ruffin's Motown scorcher "Walk Away From Love" to a remix of 1967 Alton Ellis' 'Rock Steady'-riddim. Kelly Makeda delivers a great version of Lionel Richie's "Easy" over the same riddim, followed by Lady Lex also over Alton's 'Rock Steady'-riddim relicking his "Breaking Up" that he recorded in 1968 for both Duke Reid's Treasure Isle and Coxsone Dodd's Studio One. Saxophone player Mark 'Saxa' Overton contributes the wicked instrumental "Tribute To Duke Reid a.k.a Just Cool". Next up is the beautiful 1967 Techniques' 'Love Is Not A Gamble'-riddim, first taken on by UK lovers rock stalwart Peter 'Mr. Honey Voice' Hunningale for his very fine "Take A Little Longer", followed by young R'n'B singer Kelly Makeda doing her second tune on the album, a brilliant version of Mariah Carey's "Shake It Off". Veteran lovers rock icon Janet Lee Davis contributes a wicked version of Mario Winans' 2004 R'n'B hit "I Don't Wanna Know" as last rendition over this riddim, before Bitty McLean's "Baby Tonight (Remix)" is featured over The Sensations' 1968 'Those Guys'-riddim (in 1971 used by Coxsone Dodd for John Holt's "I'll Be Lonely") remixed here in such a fashion that it's even more obvious what a gifted singer and songwriter Bitty is and Natijah, the daughter of reggae legend Little Roy, delivers the very fine "Can't Get Away" over the same riddim. Amidst all these treasures, there is still one stand-out track, Bitty McLean's superb take on "This Train" over the latin-jazz tinged stomping 'Woman A Come'-riddim - recorded (originally as "Dunga Gun Malungu") in 1964 by Baba Brooks & Marguerita 'The Rumba Queen' Mahfood, the girlfriend of Don Drummond, who stabbed her to death in the early hours of New Year's Day 1965 - followed by the excellent version of it "Holy Mount Zion" featuring the beautiful saxophone melodies of Dean 'Cannon' Frazer. Alton Ellis' 1968 'I Can't Stand It'-riddim is the perfect backing for Peter Hunningale's glorious take on the Scott Davis penned but of course most famous in its Elvis Presley version "In The Ghetto", followed by two more very impressive versions, with the excellent female vocals returning courtesy of Natijah on "Open My Gate" and Lady Lex on "Love Doctor". Vivian Jones is as convincing delivering John Holt's Studio One scorcher "Stranger In Love" as Frankie Paul was 2 months ago over it when the riddim was renamed by Joe Frasier as 'Fingerprint'. Then Bitty McLean delivers his "Never Let Me Go" absolutely flawless over the same riddim, adding a whole new dimension to the Johnny Ace tune that was sung to rocksteady fame in 1967 by Slim Smith & The Uniques, followed by the Mark 'Saxa' Overton "Tribute To Tommy & Roland a.k.a. Summer Breeze" of course dedicated to the great saxophone players Tommy McCook and Roland Alphonso, and used on the 2004 Bitty McLean album for "Tell Me" and included as it's straight 1971 instrumental 1971 "Ranglin On Bond Street". Another beautiful tune from "On Bond Street With The Supersonics" gets a dubbed up (heavy bass) treatment with Bitty himself at the controls for the "Make It With You Remix", over the seminal riddim for the Techniques' take on Curtis Mayfield's "Queen Majesty" in 1967, that is also featured as "King Majesty" with Dean Frazer blowing the melody of "Make It With You" for a superb rocksteady instrumental. Lady Lex is getting a third tune on this album, and that's more than justified by her (sounding authentically like 80s lovers rock) take on the 1951 King Pleasure (king of the vocalese style of jazz and blues) tune "I'm In The Mood" for love, that was in 1965 a big hit for Lord Tanamo retitled "I'm In The Mood For Ska" and again (with the aid of a - I believe it was for chicken - commercial it was used for) under its original title in 1990, over the Conquerors' 1968 'Lonely Street'-riddim, that is also used for Bitty McLean under the moniker of Jah Mittoo on his organ workout "Tribute To Winston Wright a.k.a. Silhouette" that closes this magnificent album. It says "Old Skool Young Blood Volume 1" and probably the only album that could be real competition for this one to become my album of the year would be either Volume 2 or a one-riddim album featuring the not included on this album Peckings releases over the Techniques' 1968 'My Girl'-riddim. This is the album everyone should buy this year, 'unexpectedly' it lives up to the extreme high expectations "On Bond Street" spawned more than a year ago.
TrackList :

Walk Away From Love (Remix) - Bitty McLean
Easy - Kelly Makeda
Breaking Up - Lady Lex
Tribute To Duke Reid a.k.a. Just Cool - Mark 'Saxa' Overton
'Love Is Not A Gamble'-riddim
Take A Little Longer - Peter Hunningale
Shake It Off - Kelly Makeda
I Don't Wanna Know - Janet Lee Davis
'Those Guys a.k.a. I'll Be Lonely'-riddim
Baby Tonight (Remix) - Bitty McLean
Can't Get Away - Natijah
'Woman A Come'-riddim
This Train - Bitty McLean
Holy Mount Zion - Dean 'Cannon' Fraser
'I Can't Stand It'-riddim
In The Ghetto - Peter Hunningale
Open My Gate - Natijah
Love Doctor - Lady Lex
'Stranger In Love a.k.a. Don't Bother Me'-riddim
Stranger In Love - Vivian Jones
Never Let Me Go - Bitty McLean
'Ranglin On Bond Street'-riddim
Tribute To Tommy & Roland a.k.a. Summer Breeze - Mark 'Saxa' Overton
'Queen Majesty'-riddim
Make It With You (Remix) - Bitty McLean
King Majesty - Dean 'Cannon' Fraser
'Lonely Street'-riddim
I'm In The Mood - Lady Lex
Tribute To Winston Wright a.k.a. Silhouette - Bitty McLean (Jah Mittoo)

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