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United Reggae mixtape - Killers Without Fillers #2 - Lloyd Charmers Special

United Reggae mixtape - Killers Without Fillers #2 - Lloyd Charmers Special

United Reggae mixtape - Killers Without Fillers #2 - Lloyd Charmers Special

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New episode special Lloyd Charmers of our 100% vinyl mixtape. 

Tracklist:

1. Lloyd Charmers – African Zulu
2. The Uniques – Gipsy Woman
3. The Uniques – My Woman's Love
4. The Hippy Boys – Seven Heaven
5. Lloyd Charmers – Things Going Wrong
6. Lloyd Charmers – Safari
7. The Marvels – Rock Steady / Lloyd Charmers – Travelling On 
8. Lloyd Charmers – Oh Me Oh My / Lloyd Charmers – Ishan Cup 
9. Willie Lindo & Lloyd Charmers – Drum Song
10. Alton Ellis – It's a Shame
11. The Messengers – Crowded City
12. Ken Boothe – Ain't no Sunshine
13. The Messengers – Is it because I'm black
14. Lloyd Charmers – Darker Than Blue
15. Ken Boothe – Freedom Day + Version
16. Tall T & the Touchers – Touching the President
17. Everton Dacres – Jah Jah a Come + T Charm – Psalm 91
18. Lloyd Charmers – Slavery + Version
19. Lloyd Charmers – Skin Tight + Version

Killers Without Fillers #2 - Lloyd Charmers Special

Of all the unsung heroes of Jamaicain music, Lloyd Charmers is maybe one of the most underrated – and yet one of the most talented. As a keyboard player, singer, producer and arranger, he has made a wide contribution to the Jamaican music and its soulful side. From his ska duo The Charmers to the founding of his Splash label, through forming the Hippy Boys (precursor of the Upsetters), he is involved, one way or another, in some of the best material out of the island. This mixtape is a tribute to Mr Charmers, who has tragically passed away 2 years ago from a heart attack while driving in London. His musical legacy lives on.

Born Lloyd Tyrell, Lloyd Charmers started his carreer in the very beginning of Jamaicain music industry, as one half of The Charmers duo (the other half beeing Roy Willis). Like many other artists, they tried their luck at Studio One, without much success, and did some songs for Prince Buster. By the end of the 60's the duo split, and Lloyd joined Slim Smith and Jimmy Riley to form the second line-up of the Uniques. The reunion of these three talents gave birth to the fantastic Absolutely Uniques album, which featured the famous cover of Curtis Mayfield's Gipsy woman. Thus began one of the thread of his career: turning soul classics into reggae grooves. Few people in reggae succeed in this exercice as well as Lloyd Charmers did. Thanks to the Chung brothers' Now Generation Band, and the input of some typical soul arrangments (like strings), Lloyd Charmers produced and sang a lot of great covers. Some of them featured in the mixtape: The Marvels (Aretha Franklin's Rock steady), Alton Ellis (The Spinners' It's a shame), Ken Boothe (Bill Withers' Ain't no sunshine and Syl Johnson's Is it because I'm black) and Lloyd Charmers himself (Curtis Mayfield's Darker than blue and Ohio Players' Skin tight). And these are just some examples: you can find tons more in his discography. A lot of those tunes were released under the Splash label that Lloyd launched in the early 70's. And you can hear in all of them the Charmer's touch: with all his ability, as a musician, singer and producer, it's obvious that M. Charmers was very involved in all the process, from rehearsals to distribution. He has his "sound". A soulful, oily sound.

Lloyd CharmersIn 1968, not only Charmers was doing harmony in the Uniques, but he was also forming the Hippy Boys band, with non others than the Barrett brothers, Glen Adams and Alva Lewis. With this pre-Upsetters formation, Charmers released the Reggae is Tight album, a masterpiece of that fast early-reggae skinheads are so fond of. Some of his organ-led instrumentals songs from this period are very high-rated by record collectors: tunes such as Safari, African Zulu, and the wicked Seven Heaven recorded for Sonia Pottinger (and recently reissued on 45 by Onlyroots).

Later in the 70's, Lloyd Charmers also did some heavyweight roots tunes. The first to come to mind is the sound-system anthem Jah Jah a Come by Everton Dacres. In this mixtape, you will find an uncommon alternate cut of this riddim, with psalmaudic voice preaching over beautiful harmonies. Far better than the Everton Dacres' version, in my opinion. You will also come accross the militant Slavery by Charmers himself : "Things are mash up ina dis ya society !" Listen to that bassline! On the roots side of thing, you will aslo hear Ken Boothe's golden voice, wondering "Which day is gonna be the freedom day", or singing inside the Messengers (Ken Boothe + BB Seaton + Barry Brown + Lloyd Charmers, what an all-stars!). Ken and Lloyd worked a lot together in the early 70's, Charmers even produced for Boothe the Everything I Own LP that made the chart in UK.

To conclude, I'm going to quote The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, as I can't say it better than they did : "[…] it's obvious that the versatile and extremely gifted Lloyd Charmers has indeed had many sides in his long career, ranging from falsetto-voiced singer to soulful organist, from prolific producer and songwriter to purveyor of some of the bluest material to come out of Jamaica [...] But despite this all he remains one of the most undervalued reggae figures in the history of Jamaica's popular music."

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