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Monday, 31 August 2020

"Freedom/Fire Corner" by CLANCY ECCLES and THE DYNAMITES – January 1970 UK LPs on Trojan/Clandisc Records with 26 Bonus Tracks from 1968, 1969 and 1970 (February 2020 UK Doctor Bird 2CD Reissue – Andy Pearce Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...


 





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"...These Sounds...Leads The Way..."

Doctor Bird Records of the UK (part of Cherry Red) continue their stunning reissue series of all things Trojan Records and affiliated – making available again in 2020 the early releases of Trojan's much-loved 'TTL' Reggae, Rock Steady and Ska LP series issued in bulk between 1969 and 1970 (14 schillings and six old pence to you and I, back in the Brixton Cat days). This time we get two early 1970 UK debut albums from Jamaican Producer, Singer and Player CLANCY ECCLES and his band THE DYNAMITES – the Eccles solo set "Freedom" being new to CD.

Eccles was 29 years old in December 1969 and had already been playing music for a decade, his huge hits on Coxsone and (Nu) New Beat Records back home stretching back as far as the beginning of the Sixties. In fact the early 1970 British debut album "Freedom" (TTL 22) with that famous shot of him riding a motorbike through the Island scrubs had only one new recording on it - itself an update of his 1961 45-classic "Freedom" originally issued on Coxsone Records in Jamaica. The other eleven cuts were largely successful 7" singles A and B-sides ranging from 1967, 1968 and 1969 - so the album was a mop-up greatest hits set of sorts (see detailed list below for catalogue numbers and release dates). The 12-Track Dynamites debut offered four previously released sevens nestling alongside eight new exclusive tracks. Both have been in the Record Collector Rare Record Price Guide for years at hefty sums – original vinyl copies in better than VG grade - particularly difficult to find.

Trojan allocated 'Clandisc Records' to all Clancy-related output - the LP sleeves displaying the Trojan Logo and catalogue number but the labels actually being Clandisc (issues for this label ranged between October 1969 and October 1972). And as if these two rare LPs weren't enough, Doctor Bird amps up this 2CD set with a whopping 26 more Period Bonuses including Previously Unreleased and Six Jamaican Tracks/Singles not originally available in the UK – all of it Remastered by a fave Audio Engineer of mine – Andy Pearce (uncredited). There is a bike-shop of parts to wade through, so once more let's get Fattie Fattie with Auntie Lulu (if you know what I'm saying)...

UK released Friday, 14 February 2020 - "Freedom/Fire Corner" by CLANCY ECCLES and THE DYNAMITES on Doctor Bird DBCDD-050 (Barcode 5013929275034) is a 50-Track 2CD Reissue Offering Two Early 1970 UK LPs on Trojan/Clandisc Records with an Added 26 Period Bonus Tracks that plays out as follows:

CD1 by CLANCY ECCLES (70:02 minutes):
1. Freedom (1969 Remake of a 1961 Coxsone song, exclusive to TTL 22) [Side 1]
2. What Will Your Mother Say (1967 UK 45 on Pama PM 701, A-side - for B-side see Track 14)
3. Two Of A Kind (1968 UK 45 on Pama PM 729, B-side of "Push It Up", credited to THE TERMITES)
4. The World Needs Loving (1969 UK 45 on Clandisc CLA 201, A-side)
5. Dollar Train (1969 UK 45 on Clandisc CLA 201, B-side)
6. Constantinople (March 1969 UK 45 on Trojan TR 648, A-side - for B-side see Track 20)
7. Fattie Fattie (May 1969 UK 45 on Trojan TR 658, A-side - for B-side see Track 20 on CD2) [Side 2]
8. Auntie Lulu (May 1969 UK 45 on Trojan TR 658, B-side)
9. Shu Be Du (1969 UK 45 on Duke DU 9, credited as "Bag-A-Boo" on the B-side of "Auntie Lulu" by Slickers)
10. My Girl (April 1969 UK 45 on Trojan TR 649, B-side of Val Bennett's "Demonstration")
11. I Need You (1968 UK 45 on Nu Beat NU 006, credited as "I Really Love You" on the B-side of "Festival 68" - for A-side see Track 15)
12. Mount Zion (aka Mounzion) (1969 UK 45 on Clandisc CLA-202, B-side of "Vigorton 2" by King Stitt - for A-side see Track 10 on CD2)
Tracks 1 to 12 are the LP "Freedom" – released January 1970 on Trojan/Clandisc TTL 22 (label actually says Clandisc only)

BONUS TRACKS:
13. Open Up (March 1970 UK 45 on Clandisc CLA 209, A-side)
14. Darling Don't Do That (1967 UK 45 on Pama PM 701, A-side - for A-side see Track 2)
15. Festival 68 (1968 UK 45 on Nu Beat NU 006, A-side - for B-side see Track 11)
16. The Revenge - wrong credit - info unknown
17. Bangarang Crash (A Check It) - wrong credit in booklet; probably Trojan TR 647 from March 1969, A-side - for B-side see Track 13 on CD2
18. The Fight (1969 UK 45 on Pama PM 712, A-side - for B-side see Track 21)
19. Don't Brag Don't Boast (aka "Bag-A-Boo") (1969 UK 45 on Duke DU 9, credited as "Bag-A-Boo" on the B-side of "Auntie Lulu" by Slickers)
20. Deacon Don (March 1969 UK 45 on Trojan TR 648, B-side - for A-side see Track 6)
21. Great (Beat)  (1969 UK 45 on Pama PM 712, B-side – for B-side see Track 18 on CD1)
22. Chinaman (United We Stand) (January 1969 UK 45 on Trojan TR 638, B-side of "Dulcemania" by Drumbago and Dynamites)
23. Oh My Lover  (August 1968 UK 45 single on Pama PM 740, B-side of "How Come" by Lloyd Terrel - Clancy Eccles is credited as 'Mrs. Miller' on the A-side)
24. Beat Dance (December 1969 UK 45 on Clandisc CLA-206, B-side of "The Ugly One” by King Stitt)
25. Fattie Fattie (Alternate Version) - PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED  

CD2 by THE DYNAMITES (66:24 minutes):
1. Eternally [Side 1]
2. Sam-Fie
3. I Did It
4. This Is The Night
5. One Way Street
6. John Public (June 1969 UK 45 on Duke DU 30, B-side of "Fire Corner" by Clancy Eccles)
7. Skokiaan (Mr Midnight) (1969 UK 45 on Clandisc CLA 200, B-side of "Who Yea" by King Stitt - B-side credited as "Mr Midnight" only on some copies) [Side 2]
8. Soul Language (aka "Moonwalk")
9. Say What You Say
10. Vigorton 2 (1969 UK 45 on Clandisc CLA-202, A-side - for B-side by Clancy Eccles see Track 12 on CD1)
11. Next Corner
12. Fire Corner (June 1969 UK 45 on Duke DU 30, A-side - for B-side see Track 6 on CD2) 
Tracks 1 to 12 are the LP "Fire Corner" – released January 1970 in the UK on Trojan/Clandisc TTL 21 (label actually says Clandisc only)

BONUS TRACKS:
13. Rathid by The Dynamites (March 1969 UK 45 on Trojan TR 647, B-side of "Bangarang Crash" - for A-side see Track 17 on CD1)
14. Who Yea by King Stitt (1969 UK 45 on Clandisc CLA 200, A-side - for B-side by Clancy Eccles see Track 7 on CD2)
15. City Demonstration by Val Bennett (April 1969 UK 45 on Trojan TR 649, A-side - for B-side "My Girl" by Clancy Eccles see Track 10 on CD1)
16. On The Street by King Stitt (November 1969 UK 45 on Clandisc CLA 203, B-side of "Foolish Fool" by Cynthia Richards)
17. Mercilina by The Dynamites (Not originally released in the UK)
18. Silbert Dragon by Winston Wright & The Dynamites (Not originally released in the UK)
19. Lick It Back by King Stitt (Not originally released in the UK)
20. Last Call by Silver Stars [actually "Tribute To Drumbago" by The Dynamites] (May 1969 UK 45 on Trojan TR 658, B-side - for A-side see Track 7 on CD1)
21. Rough Road by Winston Wright & The Dynamites (Not originally released in the UK)
22. I For I by King Stitt (Not originally released in the UK)
23. Sweet Africa by Clancy Eccles (January 1969 UK 45 on Trojan TR 639, A-side)
24. The Lion by The Dynamites (May 1970 UK 45 on Clandisc CLA 208, B-side of "Madamoiselle" by J. Higgs)
25. Dance Beat (Version III) by Clancy Eccles and King Stitt (Not originally released in the UK)

The 16-page booklet is the usual feast of info and visuals - a wall of those Jamaican New Beat 45s you just don't see at any record fair - the lovely colour artwork for both British albums – black label repros of The Dynamites LP – a German 45 pic sleeve on Fontana for "Fattie Fattie" with "Last Call" by the Silver Stars on the flipside (although it actually plays "Tribute To Drumbago" by The Dynamites) - a page of nine UK 45s on Duke, Clandisc and Trojan - trade adverts and LP reviews for the "Freedom" LP and Discography info on all 50 songs (some of which I've corrected above).

TONY ROUNCE - long-time associate writer for Ace Records - has handled the liner notes and does a typically bang-up job - for instance highlighting that "John Public" is in fact a remake of the African instrumental "Tom Hark" and that "Say What You Say" on Side 2 of The Dynamites album features the organ-keyboard prowess of Winston 'Brubeck' Wright. He points out that ace Saxophonist Val Bennett is here too on many tracks. An unsung hero of the scene, Val contributed to one of the most beloved British instrumental hits of the late 1969 period - the no. 5 placed "Return Of Django" by The Upsetters - a Lee Perry song and a true highlight on the November 1969 "Tighten Up Volume 2" compilation LP (that album also featured Clancy’s "Fattie Fattie"). The Audio as you can imagine fluctuates wildly from shockingly good to more than acceptable (this is late Sixties Reggae and Rock Steady after all) - but as its Andy's careful transfers – each listen always feels like an upgrade to me. To the music...

No more sighing, no more crying, go home to my father and be free – Clancy sings as he rides his motorbike across the fields of his beloved country and opens his debut album account with a 1969 remake of "Freedom". We slip back to 1967 for "What Will Your Mother Say" (Clancy and his gal are in love) while that organ sound on "The World Needs Loving" is fantastically clear and present. Other faves include the cool of "Dollar Train", the long-to-hear those joy-bells ringing of "Shu Be Du", the fruitily witty "Auntie Lulu", the weight-busting shuffle of "Fattie Fattie" (dig those girl singers) and the ‘we want to go back home’ of "Mount Zion" that closes out the album – an LP that doesn’t feel like a clump of 45s bunged together hoping to be coherent.

If I’m honest, as much as I like the parent album, the Bonus Cuts on CD1 and CD2 are fabulous stuff – the reggae until morning comes of "Deacon Don", the don’t you brag and don’t you boast and stop acting like a "Bag-A-Boo", the hold me close duet vocal smooch of "Oh My Lover" (dig those guitar changes) – very cool stuff and sounding toppermost.

Most folks will know the shouting swing-with-me song "Fire Corner" by The Dynamites from the "Tighten Up Volume 2" compilation - that wicked organ fill jumping out of your speakers as the tune makes your feet shuffle like a man in need of a penny. Other goodies include the echoed organ chugging instrumental "I Did It" with its irresistible neck-jerking rhythm and the this-is-mad call to arms that is "Vigorton 2" again with fantastic soloing from Winston Wright. And on it goes with heaps more where that came from.

Doctor Bird Records are in their third year of releases (since 2018) that frankly bring a wee tear to my aging myopia (this is their fiftieth title with many more to come). Long may the freedom train keep firing up like this...

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