Money Maker (2016 Re-Issue)
Vibe out with this rare, reggae classic!!
So here we have a re-issue of an original old school LP (and rare in Studio One’s catalogue) from 1970 (which was then a limited reissue in 2002) back during the early years of reggae (“ragged style” of dance music) music. Some music history buffs will then automatically ask the question, “does it stand the test of time”? Does that question need to be asked? It was a different time / era? Understanding the context in terms of 1970s reggae and then deconstructing it helps us better to figure things out fairly. You’ve got your bass lines, standard percussion, doleful and mesmerizing horns, hazy organ keyboards and euphoric guitars, all found on this laid back compilation. The instrumental fire power blend keenly into each other as tasty hooks sublimely marinade in your grey matter. I also love the fact that you can hear rhythms being carefully crafted as instruments are being played on certain beats (drums / guitar), while the others are coming in and out which creates a rhythm overlap, of which is a distinct reggae quality. One of my favorite songs on the album that exemplifies this ideal would be “Soul Brother”, although for some reason this song sounds wayyy too close to the outro of the Australian TV comedy “Danger 5″….it’s uncanny? Could this show have riffed this close sounding melody from an obscure / limited released reggae song? “Stormy Night” is another song of note as I enjoyed the harmonies of the horns / organ and the melody. Dynamics are another important style within the genre as we hear certain instruments again, coming in and out at certain volume levels to stir emotions within the listener, which are found aplenty on this compilation.
My review of this elevated, organic album can barely scratch the surface of the history behind this rare recording, and I can’t do it enough justice. You’ll just have to get it yourself and listen to the soft edged density. This compilation is not only a must have for reggae connoisseurs, but also for those that enjoy the genre for it’s instrumentation. Mad love to Coxsone “The Boss” Dodd, Cedric “Im” Brooks (horns), David Madden (horns), Jackie Mittoo (organ), Lloyd Williams (vocals), Earnest Raglin (guitar) and the backing bands for making this master class diamond in the rough that HAS stood the test of time. Coming in at about 32 minutes, less is more in the case of this sculptured reggae mastery.
Studio One Links
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: VARIOUS ARTISTS – MONEY MAKER