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Put On Your Best Dress – Sonia Pottinger’s Rock Steady 1967-1968

Put On Your Best Dress – Sonia Pottinger’s Rock Steady 1967-1968

Mp3 @ 192 kbps, cover included

Audio CD (December 12, 1995)
Label: Attack UK Old
ASIN: B0000083PT

Say you’ll never leave me again
Say you’ll never deceive me again
Say you’ll never love no other one but me

In an industry dominated by a handful of male producers, Sonia Pottinger emerged during the rocksteady and early reggae years of the late ’60s to cut songs worthy of the competition.

Often recording at Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle studio and employing Lynn Taitt & the Jets as a backup band, Pottinger mostly focused on vocal tracks by both solo singers and harmony groups.

This fine compilation on Attack features many classic examples, including the Gaylads’ “Hard to Confess,” the Melodians’ “Little Nut Tree” and “Swing and Dine,” Ken Boothe’s “Say You,” and Monty Morris’ title track.

Reflecting Pottinger’s breadth, the disc also includes an early DJ side by Charlie Ace, a rudeboy standard by the Valentines, and some calypso and nyahbinghi-inspired work by Patsy and the Basie Band.

With only a few overlapping tracks, this collection works as a nice complement to Heartbeat’s equally impressive Pottinger disc, “Musical Feast”. Enjoy!

From www.uncarved.org:

Rocksteady is the holy grail for serious reggae obsessives – a narrow timeframe, a long time ago, means you can look down your nose at all the 70s/80s/90s/00s stuff, and discount ska as well. (Although obviously few people go that far).

It’s great though, languid, soulful, musical. Timeless – and the foundation for so much of what was to follow. Steve Barrow compiled this during his brief stint with Trojan in the early 90s. It has none of the expansive sleevenotes or restored sound quality he’d go on to pioneer at his own Blood & Fire, but so what. 80p to get this out of the library and you sometimes see it cheap around town as well…

Nodding off on the train back from Chelmsford, Essex scenery whizzing by as The Conquerors’ kick off with “What an Agony” a killer on the Shank I Shek riddim… up there with stalag and other foundational bizness, but maybe the only reggae backing track to be named after a chinese military leader (Chiang Kai Shek). A weird line of flight from Baba Brooks to rocksteady to Yabby U (Zambia) right through to Ward 21 (Ganja Smoke)…

https://i2.wp.com/www.discogs.com/image/A-150-389595-1147100596.jpegThe Valentines bust in the door and tell me in no uncertain terms to stop with the trainspotterisms. “Blam Blam Fever” is their reminder that all of the gun panic is nothing new “rudeness and gun is the talk of this town. The gun fever is bad, the gun fever”. One of them has an incredible bassy voice, which can only be a good thing (bonus spotter question – has there ever been a group with a higher vocal range than the Congos?). Didn’t this get rerubbed by the Pioneers as “Reggae Fever” and become a skinhead anthem?

The Vibrators. Hold that thought. “Move Up” is outstanding, punping dancefloor soul of the highest order. A post-independence call to unity, but we’ll gloss over the nationalism this time innit…

Monty Morris is telling me to play it cool, The Melodians are asking me out for a dance and a meal, but I’ve only got ears for Johnny and the Attractions this afternoon. “Young Wings Can Fly” – on first hearing one of the best tunes ever recorded. Mmmmm. “At every crossroads follow your heart”. Wise words, Johnny…

And my heart belongs to Patsy & The Count Ossie Band right now. Patsy sounds like one of the Motown babes from the 60s – sweet vocals clear as glass… is she there in the studio doing that dance where the arms only seem to move at the elbows… in a black shimmery dress? If she is then who let Count Ossie and the crew in, eh?

Berry Gordy wouldn’t have allowed a load of unkempt rasta encampment dwellers within a 5 mile radius of the studios, but Ms Pottinger gets them right in there, pounding it out behind Patsy. Motown meets Nyabinghi – only in Jamaica. And let’s remember – “Nyabinghi” has been translated as “Death to the white oppressors and their black allies”. Is that a dagger, Patsy, or are you just pleased to see me?

People talk about progress and how things tend to get more liberal as time goes on, but there no way you’d get a reggae group these days called The Gaylads singing about how “It’s hard to confess to a love that’s wrong” these days. In fact there is another blog entry to be written about the lack of songs about vulnerability these days…

The Melodians pipe up with sweet vocals which sound all the sweeter when Charlie Ace bum rushes the show inna early deejay style: “Huuuuuuuuuuuurgh! Deliver it brother, deliver it!”. Hell yes….

Waking up, fuzzy, not quite believing my ears: “Say you’ll never leave me again / say you’ll never deceive me again / say you’ll never love no other one but meeeeeeeeee” Something claws to the surface of my dozy head. Something is trying to organise this with something else in there. I am the spotter robot, I never sleep. Who’s the singer? Ken Boothe. Was this reversioned later? Is it on some compilation somewhere? I dunno. Play it again… “Say Yoooooooo” And then it hits me – I can see the Vaughan Oliver sleeve… Colourbox.

Rewind…

Tracklisting

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Amazon Music Sampler Amazon Music Sampler Windows Media
1. What A Agony ‘);var link = krexLink(‘/gp/recsradio/radio/B0000083PT/ref=pd_krex_dp_001001?ie=UTF8&track=001&disc=001’); document.write(link + ‘Listen Listen Listen
2. Blam Blam Fever ‘);var link = krexLink(‘/gp/recsradio/radio/B0000083PT/ref=pd_krex_dp_001002?ie=UTF8&track=002&disc=001’); document.write(link + ‘Listen Listen Listen
3. Move Up ‘);var link = krexLink(‘/gp/recsradio/radio/B0000083PT/ref=pd_krex_dp_001003?ie=UTF8&track=003&disc=001’); document.write(link + ‘Listen Listen Listen
4. Play It Cool ‘);var link = krexLink(‘/gp/recsradio/radio/B0000083PT/ref=pd_krex_dp_001004?ie=UTF8&track=004&disc=001’); document.write(link + ‘Listen Listen Listen
5. Swing And Dine ‘);var link = krexLink(‘/gp/recsradio/radio/B0000083PT/ref=pd_krex_dp_001005?ie=UTF8&track=005&disc=001’); document.write(link + ‘Listen Listen Listen
6. Young Wings Can Fly Listen
7. Pata Pata Rock Steady Listen
8. All In One Listen
9. Put On Your Best Dress Listen
10. Tell It To me Listen
11. Hard To Confess Listen
12. Won’t You Come Home Listen
13. Little Nut Tree Listen
14. Creation Version Listen
15. I Need Your Loving Listen
16. Say You Listen

Big thanks to the original poster

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June 24, 2008 Posted by | music_RockSteady, Sonia Pottinger, _MUSIC | Leave a comment