Archive for July 7, 2012


We post this album in honour to Sugar Minott who died two years ago.

Few artists had the impact on Jamaica’s dancehall scene as Sugar Minott. His releases provided the blueprints for the rise of the contemporary dancehall style, he was also equally influential as a producer, and his extraordinarily popular sound system helped launch numerous new DJs into the limelight.

Lincoln Barrington Minott was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on May 25, 1956. He began his career in the sound systems while still a child, working as a selector for the Sound of Silence Keystone outfit, before launching his own Gathering of Youth sound system just as he hit his teens. There, too, he carried on merely as the selector. However, in 1969, Minott decided to take the mike himself, not as a DJ, but as a singer, one third of the African Brothers roots trio, alongside Tony Tuff and Derrick Howard. The group initially made its way around the amateur talent show circuit, but eventually linked up with the Micron label. African Brothers released a number of singles over the next few years, including “Party Night,” “Gimme Gimme African Love,” and “A Di System” cut with producer Jah Bunny. The trio also began self-producing (its first attempt was “Torturing”), and then launched its own Ital label. By this time, the trio’s Abyssinians influence was becoming prominent, as can be heard on “Righteous Kingdom,” “Youths of Today,” and “Lead Us Father.”

In 1974, African Brothers cut “Mysterious Nature” with producer Rupie Edwards, which brought them to the attention of Studio One. Their debut song for that label, “No Cup No Broke, was also their last, and the trio split to pursue solo careers. (Tony Tuff would continue his cultural career before switching with great success to dancehall.) In 1987, the Uptempo label gathered up the African Brothers singles for the compilation album Collectors Item, crediting it to Sugar Minott & the African Brothers. Coxsone Dodd was keen to keep Minott, whose talents extended beyond vocals and into session work as both a guitarist and drummer. However, the artist had an even more innovative talent tucked away — an extraordinary ability to compose new lyrics to old songs.

In a scene split between toasters and deep roots, Minott had invented an entirely new style and Dodd was quick to take advantage. It was pure serendipity, or incredible forethought, that the rhythms the pair used were ones that would soon be tearing up the dancehalls. It took a few releases for the Jamaican public to catch on, but by 1978, Minott had his first hit with the single “Vanity.” More quickly followed and before the year was out, he released his debut album, Live Loving, which many credit as the first true dancehall album. It would revolutionize the entire Jamaican musical scene. Minott’s follow-up album, 1979’s Showcase, was equally revolutionary and included not just dub versions, but featured the hip new syndrums that would soon rule the dancehalls. Both albums also doubled as hits collections, and included such smashes as “Wrong Doers,” “Oh Mr. DC,” “House Is Not a Home,” and such Niney Holness-produced chart-busters as “No Vacancy,” “Give Thanks and Praise,” and “Babylon.”

In 1983, the Hitbound label gathered up a batch of the Holness-produced hits on With Lots of Extra, making up the numbers with extra songs that were equally good. The singer scored another major hit with “Never Too Young,” produced by Prince Jammy, who also oversaw Minott’s third album, 1979’s Bitter Sweet. But that did little to prepare listeners for Minott’s third full-length release that year, the phenomenal Ghetto-ology, a deeply roots album featuring such tracks as “Dreader Than Dread,” “Never Gonna Give Jah Up,” and “Africa Is the Black Man’s Home.” A superb dub companion remixed by King Tubby in one of his final projects accompanied the album, and in 2000 the Easy Star label appended this to Ghetto-ology’s CD reissue. The album was the beginning of Minott’s move into a dread sound. Black Roots, its follow-up, picked up precisely where its predecessor left off and continued down the deep roots path. However, Roots Lovers, also released in 1980, showed a seismic shift in direction as Minott moved strongly into the lovers rock arena, while still maintaining a roots approach. Minott’s energy and enthusiasm seemed boundless and this year also saw the launch of his own labels, Youth Promotion and Black Roots. He debuted his new labels with the self-produced “Man Hungry” and followed it up with “Hard Time Pressure.” That latter single was Minott’s British debut and went down a storm. That, coupled with the success of Roots Lovers in a U.K. in the feverish grip of lovers rock frenzy, prompted the singer to relocate to London after he played Reggae Sunsplash that same year.

In the 2000s Minott remained a popular live performer, with his studio work largely limited to guest appearances, although he released the occasional album as leader, including 2008’s New Day, featuring appearances by Toots Hibbert, Sly Dunbar, Dwight Pickney, and Andrew Tosh. Sugar Minott had been diagnosed with heart problems in 2009, and died on July 10, 2010 following his admittance to a Kingston hospital after he had complained of feeling poorly. He was 54 years old.

“Live Loving” was released in 1977 on Studio One.

Tracklist:
1. Jahoviah
2. Hang On Natty
3. Change Your Ways
4. Give A Hand
5. Come On Home
6. A House Is Not A Home
7. Live Loving
8. Love Gonna Pack Up
9. Jah Almighty
10. Jah Jah Lead Us

Sugar Minott – Live Loving (1977)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Advertisements
We post this album in honour to Sugar Minott who died two years ago.

Few artists had the impact on Jamaica’s dancehall scene as Sugar Minott. His releases provided the blueprints for the rise of the contemporary dancehall style, he was also equally influential as a producer, and his extraordinarily popular sound system helped launch numerous new DJs into the limelight.

Lincoln Barrington Minott was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on May 25, 1956. He began his career in the sound systems while still a child, working as a selector for the Sound of Silence Keystone outfit, before launching his own Gathering of Youth sound system just as he hit his teens. There, too, he carried on merely as the selector. However, in 1969, Minott decided to take the mike himself, not as a DJ, but as a singer, one third of the African Brothers roots trio, alongside Tony Tuff and Derrick Howard. The group initially made its way around the amateur talent show circuit, but eventually linked up with the Micron label. African Brothers released a number of singles over the next few years, including “Party Night,” “Gimme Gimme African Love,” and “A Di System” cut with producer Jah Bunny. The trio also began self-producing (its first attempt was “Torturing”), and then launched its own Ital label. By this time, the trio’s Abyssinians influence was becoming prominent, as can be heard on “Righteous Kingdom,” “Youths of Today,” and “Lead Us Father.”

In 1974, African Brothers cut “Mysterious Nature” with producer Rupie Edwards, which brought them to the attention of Studio One. Their debut song for that label, “No Cup No Broke, was also their last, and the trio split to pursue solo careers. (Tony Tuff would continue his cultural career before switching with great success to dancehall.) In 1987, the Uptempo label gathered up the African Brothers singles for the compilation album Collectors Item, crediting it to Sugar Minott & the African Brothers. Coxsone Dodd was keen to keep Minott, whose talents extended beyond vocals and into session work as both a guitarist and drummer. However, the artist had an even more innovative talent tucked away — an extraordinary ability to compose new lyrics to old songs.

In a scene split between toasters and deep roots, Minott had invented an entirely new style and Dodd was quick to take advantage. It was pure serendipity, or incredible forethought, that the rhythms the pair used were ones that would soon be tearing up the dancehalls. It took a few releases for the Jamaican public to catch on, but by 1978, Minott had his first hit with the single “Vanity.” More quickly followed and before the year was out, he released his debut album, Live Loving, which many credit as the first true dancehall album. It would revolutionize the entire Jamaican musical scene. Minott’s follow-up album, 1979’s Showcase, was equally revolutionary and included not just dub versions, but featured the hip new syndrums that would soon rule the dancehalls. Both albums also doubled as hits collections, and included such smashes as “Wrong Doers,” “Oh Mr. DC,” “House Is Not a Home,” and such Niney Holness-produced chart-busters as “No Vacancy,” “Give Thanks and Praise,” and “Babylon.”

In 1983, the Hitbound label gathered up a batch of the Holness-produced hits on With Lots of Extra, making up the numbers with extra songs that were equally good. The singer scored another major hit with “Never Too Young,” produced by Prince Jammy, who also oversaw Minott’s third album, 1979’s Bitter Sweet. But that did little to prepare listeners for Minott’s third full-length release that year, the phenomenal Ghetto-ology, a deeply roots album featuring such tracks as “Dreader Than Dread,” “Never Gonna Give Jah Up,” and “Africa Is the Black Man’s Home.” A superb dub companion remixed by King Tubby in one of his final projects accompanied the album, and in 2000 the Easy Star label appended this to Ghetto-ology’s CD reissue. The album was the beginning of Minott’s move into a dread sound. Black Roots, its follow-up, picked up precisely where its predecessor left off and continued down the deep roots path. However, Roots Lovers, also released in 1980, showed a seismic shift in direction as Minott moved strongly into the lovers rock arena, while still maintaining a roots approach. Minott’s energy and enthusiasm seemed boundless and this year also saw the launch of his own labels, Youth Promotion and Black Roots. He debuted his new labels with the self-produced “Man Hungry” and followed it up with “Hard Time Pressure.” That latter single was Minott’s British debut and went down a storm. That, coupled with the success of Roots Lovers in a U.K. in the feverish grip of lovers rock frenzy, prompted the singer to relocate to London after he played Reggae Sunsplash that same year.

In the 2000s Minott remained a popular live performer, with his studio work largely limited to guest appearances, although he released the occasional album as leader, including 2008’s New Day, featuring appearances by Toots Hibbert, Sly Dunbar, Dwight Pickney, and Andrew Tosh. Sugar Minott had been diagnosed with heart problems in 2009, and died on July 10, 2010 following his admittance to a Kingston hospital after he had complained of feeling poorly. He was 54 years old.

“Live Loving” was released in 1977 on Studio One.

Tracklist:
1. Jahoviah
2. Hang On Natty
3. Change Your Ways
4. Give A Hand
5. Come On Home
6. A House Is Not A Home
7. Live Loving
8. Love Gonna Pack Up
9. Jah Almighty
10. Jah Jah Lead Us

Sugar Minott – Live Loving (1977)
(192 kbps, front cover included)