Jimmy Radway & The Fe Me Time All Stars - Dub I
Pressure Sounds - #PSCD 61 - November 18, 2008
For a time, in the early to mid seventies, a number of Jimmy Radway's records outsold those of far more celebrated producers of the period but the absence of respect, financial reward and the duplicity of much of the music business eventually proved too much for his creative and original talent. Jimmy Radway, a real producer who "produced all the way", overcame a multiplicity of difficulties to make records that were a labour of love from start to finish and his legacy is a collection of some of the greatest records of the 'classic' roots reggae era. He was a man who really knew music but, after getting to know how the Kingston music business 'worked, decided to retire and retreat to the tranquility of the countryside where he still resides. His parting shot was the long lost long playing masterpiece of dub entitled 'Dub I'.
Dub was in its infancy in 1975 by which time Jimmy Radway had accumulated an enviable catalogue of some of the heaviest roots records ever made and Pete Weston at Micron was not slow to realise the potential of a collection of remixed Radway tracks. 'Dub I' showcased the rhythms of some of Jimmy's greatest hits from his Fe Me Time and Capricorn Rising iabels remixed by Jamaica's greatest ever recording engineer Errol 'Errol T' Thompson. Opening with Desmond Young's sombre 'Warning' and working through Errol Dunkley's 'Black Cinderella (versioned by both Big Youth and Augustus Pablo), Leroy Smart's 'Mother Liza' & 'Mirror Mirror' and Hortense Ellis' 'Hell And Sorrow' the powerful rhythms and driving horns are underscored and emphasised throughout by Errol T's subtle, sympathetic mixing.
"Dub I was mixed at Joe Gibbs by Errol T.. All mixed in a day.... Unfortunately Micron folded shortly after they pressed a few hundred copies. So I really did not have any high expectations about the record "Jimmy Radway 'Dub I' has subsequently become something of a Holy Grail for collectors of reggae music and, in this instance, its rarity really is matched by its brilliance. Too often records are revered only because they are rare but there can be little doubt that if 'Dub I' had had the benefit of the backing of the Micron Music promotion machine working at full strength that it would now occupy a place in that very exclusive category of classic early dub albums. But the timing of the release of 'Dub I' was completely wrong and only three hundred copies were pressed in the dying days of Micron Music. An international release of 'Dub I' at the time would have secured and ensured Jimmy Radway's reputation for ever but, over thirty years later, it has finally been given a belated official release through Pressure Sounds. It's never too late... and right now is the right time for Fe Me Time.
The set has been totally remastered, resplendent in the original black and white cover artwork, with all the usual excellent Pressure Sounds graphics, photographs and extensive liner notes based around a recent reflective interview with Jimmy Radway. The Compact Disc features five bonus dub/instrumental tracks including 'The Great Tommy McCook' and dubs to Leroy Smart's 'Happiness Is My Desire' and Joy Lindsay's 'This Child Of Mine'.