Wailing Souls - Classic Cuts 1978-1984 - Greensleeves
Greensleeves have re-releasing there old catalogue for a while now. But this and the Barrington is something new - its a compilation of the 12" by a certain artist for the label and with Greensleeves you are talking about a serious amount of 12". Which are now well sort after. And that was to be expected. They set a standard that few other companies came close to with the 12". Epic releases that usually contained, DJ cuts and Dub Cuts. And this era 1978 - 1984 had more of them than ever. This set starts off with the first Greensleeves 12" 'War' from the Wailing Souls with the DJ cut coming from Ranking Trevor what a tune. What an incredible tune, and what a way to kick off a label!!! These releases took the Wailing Souls took the group into the premier league of reggae acts and kept them there for so long. It didn't matter if they working for Junjo, Linval, Jo Jo they always gave there very best - and this 12 track x 12" is excellent example of why. There are some great Wailing Souls CDs out there, but with this including some great sleevenotes from Noel Hawks this is probably the best!!!
Wailing Souls at Channel One - Pressure Sounds - CD
Long overdue re-issue of an album that never came out when it should have done! Greensleeves should have released this album way back in the late seventies - they had the big hits with the 12" (one of the first on Greensleeves) with 'War' and 'Jah Give Us Life To Live' - then when everyone was waiting for the album by The Wailing Souls, they released a set by The Heptones !- which is another classic Channel One set - and hopefully they will reissue soon on CD. Some five years after this, Channel One finally released their Wailing Souls on their Empire label. Now some ten years after that - comes the CD, featuring the 12" cuts, DJ's galore and versions by the Revolutionaries. Making it a 16 track essential CD. Including is a booklet featuring extensive notes by Harry Hawk who does a great job, but fails to mention two recent Wailing Souls sets 'Equality' (1999) and 'Souvinier From Jamaica' (2003)both self produced and excellent sets.
Wailing Souls - Square Deal - Studio One
Always good to see another Wailing Souls set available. And when its on the Studio One label its hoped to be something special. Over the years its been said that Coxsone as got enough material for 10 Wailing Souls albums. Anything is possible with Studio One, but the reality with this set is that some of the tunes - have a sound away from Studio One, still good very good. Perhaps its a new approach, even a new band. Yet there is enough old/new tracks here to make sure you know are at Brentford Road. The Wailing Souls are as always in great vocal form, even if its only two of them. They lyrics are interesting as they ever been covering a wide range of topics - always with a slant towards reality - that tradition is a must when it comes to the Wailing Souls.
Wailing Souls - Souvenir From Jamaica - AO Records - CD
Another truly great set from the Wailing Souls - the last set was an incredible return to form and this builds on that in fine style. What really annoyed me about the last CD was the total lack of availablity in the UK of 'Equality'. It was nothing to do with the group or even the label, but it tells you all you need to know about how indifferent the UK scene as become to the people who more or less created it. This set as got all what it takes to be a classic Wailing Souls set. The title track is one of those Wailing Souls tunes that works on both levels. The end result is a song that makes you think. 'Play The Tape' is a lot more direct song about the state of the world. From track seven to track twelve its just classic Wailing Souls. The titles tell you all you need to know. 'World Abomination', 'Nothing Comes Easy', 'Bus Stop' (a very simple but touching song) 'Pacifier'. ' Back Door' ' Make That Change'. Twelve great songs - another fantastic production - with some very talented players of instruments present. Great Vibes - A must.
Wailing Souls - Equality - Reggaeblitz - CD
First impressions can be deceptive. At first I thought this new set from the Wailing Souls was their best in ten years. Listening to it again, I'm beginning to wonder if it's their best album yet!
To try and make sense of this outrageous statement, I will first present the facts. Their first classic set was recorded for Studio One, way back when. Then came the Channel One album that was delayed until Island finally released the Wailing Souls - Wild Suspense set. This was there first and until now best set. 'Firehouse Rock' for Junjo was and is superb, but a self produced set must always be checked first - it should represent all that the artist wants to convey to the public. 'On The Rocks' and 'Stranded' two more self released sets both released on Greensleeves come close to ideal as well.
Yet this set tops them all. The songs are superb every single song touches on a reality theme. The production which features Bobby Digital on the board and Sly and Robbie and the Taxi Gang on instruments is breathtaking - and the vocals and harmonies - well they could not be bettered. Bob Marley & Joe Higgs would be proud of them, I know I am. Welcome back - we all missed you.
Congratulations must also go to Reggaeblitz - this is a fantastic album to launch a label with.