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Every Mouth Must Be Fed: 1973 to 1976

Every Mouth Must Be Fed: 1973 to 1976

Every Mouth Must Be Fed: 1973 to 1976

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Pressure Sounds compilation of classic reggae vocals and versions from the magnificent Micron label

Sampler

Micron - Every mouth must be fed - 2008This new compilation presents a formidable range of tracks from the archives of Micron Music. Although Micron may not be as well-known as some of the big Jamaican labels, it was very influential in the development of the classic reggae sound and it provided an outlet for musicians and producers who would otherwise not have been heard. These twenty tracks have been re-mastered for this new release from those guardians of the reggae heritage, Pressure Sounds. As a business, Micron took many risks in the kind of music it was prepared to support and here we can appreciate the results.

The collection opens with two versions based on the ‘Satta Dread’ rhythm, first from Jah Stitch and then some echo-laden dub direct from King Tubby’s. The rarely heard ‘Our Rights’, by the Defenders, is perfect old-school melodic reggae, accompanied here by its impressive instrumental version. The influence of R and B can never be overlooked in the development of reggae in the 1960s and 70s, and on this album we are also reminded of the impact of Motown. The underrated vocals of Junior Byles bring the Motown song ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’ back to life while I Roy is on top form with ‘Mad Mad Hatter’, based on ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat’ (originally brought from Motown to reggae via Cornell Campbell). The surprises keep coming. Junior Byles offers a vital version of ‘Lorna Banana’, followed by two further versions, including one from Micron producer Pete Weston who did so much to make the Micron label a reality. The album even finds welcome room for a little ska in the shape of ‘Ska Baby’ by Bobby Ellis. Perhaps best of all is ‘Wages of Crime’ by the sadly neglected Joe Higgs, alongside the best version on the album in classic King Tubby style. As well as Pete Weston, Lee Perry and Bunny Lee are involved at the controls on this excellent collection of vocals and versions. Just how much more do Pressure Sounds have locked away in the vaults?

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