2018/08/16 - Gussie Clarke - Dub Anthology Collectors Edition – 3CD+DVD – Music Works Records 2018

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Augustus “Gussie” Clarke was born in rural Jamaica on March 26, 1954. Gussie lost his mother so early in life that he has no memory of her. After being housed in an approved school, he was adopted by Miss Iris Robinson of Kingston, who sent him to Calabar Primary School and the illustrious Kingston College (High School).
During his second year at Kingston College, in 1966, Gussie developed the daily habit of arriving at school very early so that he could maximize the revenues from selling rides on his bicycles.
Propelled by a compelling inner force, which he simply calls destiny, he combined his earnings from his “bicycle-ride” business with saved lunch money to buy a pre amplifier, turntable, speaker and power amplifier parts.
He also learnt to make speaker boxes in woodwork class. Miss Robinson engaged a technician to make a power amplifier as a birthday gift for him. Gussie had a series of barter deals which lead to the establishment of King Gussie Hi-Fi. This extremely driven young entrepreneur had now joined the ranks of famous men whose heavy-bass sound systems pounded out reggae music in its infancy and provided the medium for the birth of DeeJay music, a genre that would eventually spawn American rap.
Operating out of an old wooden house downtown, Gussie imported records through a friend in New York and supplied sound systems with international records and Dub specials. He also explored other dimensions in the music industry which saw him voicing a song at the renowned Downbeat Studio 1.
In 1972, the seasoned 18-year-old launched his record producing career. His first artiste was the legendary pioneer DeeJay U-Roy, who recorded a single entitled “The Higher The Mountain”. That debut record by Clarke became a classic. This track marked the official beginning of Gussie's long term love affair with music and helped him establish himself as one of the top producers of all time that Jamaica had to offer. It paved the way for a career marked by vision, planning, focus, organization, integrity and ultimately success. Always breaking new ground, Gussie Clarke always stood out because of his professional operation in an industry that has been laden with creative talent but lacking in efficient administration.
Through the 1970s and early 1980s he worked with artists such as Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Augustus Pablo, Leroy Smart, and The Mighty Diamonds, including the latter's influential "Pass the Kouchie" in 1981.With an uncanny knack of picking winners, throughout his career, he has produced crucial records for a number of outstanding Jamaican artistes such as U-Roy, I-Roy, Freddie McGregor, J.C. Lodge, Coco-T, Home-T, Thriller-U and Shabba Ranks, Maxi Priest as well as among others.
In the late 1980s, Clarke adapted to the new dancehall style of reggae, but stood out from other producers by attempting to produce glossier recordings with greater potential to cross over internationally.
In 1987, while he was still recording at Music Mountain and Dynamic Sounds studio, the first record to bare hints of this newly embraced digital sound came from the release of The Mighty Diamonds' The Real Enemy. "Gang War", the first single off the album released on his Music Works label showcased this new digi-roots style, incorporating keyboard and computer programming driven riddims, compared to the known traditional roots reggae sound with players of live instruments recording in the studio. This release stood out as the first transitional record for Clarke and his production blending old-school roots reggae to the newly embarked digital dancehall riddims to take shape for the coming years.
In 1988 Gussie launched his Music Works studio, equipped and ready to fully adopt the digital reggae era, successfully as a producer returned with hit records and singles for many Jamaican and UK artist alike. He continued to gather some of the best songwriters, musicians, background singers, arrangers, engineers and mixers Jamaica had to offer. By mid-year, the first full-length albums to showcase the masterfully crafted, dominant sounds of the Music Works studio, was The Mighty Diamonds' Get Ready and Gregory Isaacs' Red Rose For Gregory, and both released just months apart. The latter of the two saw the spawn of the monumental "Rumours" track described as a hard-hitting, bass-heavy driven electro-dancehall stomp. To great success, Clarke produced several artists off the following Rumours aka Telephone Love one riddim compilation and generated heavy Jamaican radio rotation off other tracks showcased on the Music Works Showcase '88 release. To an enthusiastic changing and accepting reggae music market, thus began the new sound of '90s Jamaica. Some of the notable hits from this creative era include “Telephone Love” by J.C. Lodge, “Just A Little Bit Longer” by Maxi Priest, “Twice My Age” by Shabba Ranks and Krystal, “Rumours” by Gregory Isaacs, Two Wicked album by Aswad and Mr. Loverman by Shabba Ranks.
Gussie Clarke was perhaps the first Jamaican producer to issue regular royalty statements to artistes, and one of the earliest to engage in music publishing via his Dub Plate Music Publishers entity. By this time, he developed a peerless reputation as the leader of a team that produced magical chart-topping sounds.
He is widely acknowledged as a stickler for quality, with a penchant for astute personal selection and a special feel for combinations that work well. The consensus of the music industry is that Gussie recruits the best engineers to build, maintain and operate his studios, the best musicians to lay down tracks and arrange his recordings and the best administrators to help him run the business.
Despite his early success and his sterling reputation in Jamaica and abroad, Clarke did not rest on his laurels. Always the bold mover, he took a giant step in 1993 when he relocated his famous Music Works studio into a more spacious property on Windsor Avenue in Seymour lands, an upscale Kingston suburban area and renamed it Anchor Recording Company.
The original studio, it’s logotype proudly affixed to an exterior wall, became Studio I at the new complex. But the flagship of the relocated Music Works is the new Studio II, rated one of the best in Jamaica. The recording centre is completed by a small Studio III,and Studio IV (1997) a mecca for young musical artistes and producers.
Many of Clarke's releases were issued on his own record labels Anchor and Music Works, as well on the Greensleeves, VP, Pow Wow and Shanachie labels.
In the mid-'90s, he predominantly released albums on the Gone Clear Distribution label for newcomer artists such as Daddy Rings with the herbalist ragga tune, and in combination style with Cocoa Tea, "Herb Fi Bun", female dancehall diva Sasha, veteran reggae saxophonist and longtime musical associate Dean "Cannon" Fraser, and a reunited appearance effort with The Mighty Diamonds for the rare and underrated album release “Stand Up”.
Some of Clarke's mid- to late '90s releases were still licensed to record labels such as Ambassador Music, Greensleeves and VP Records. Soon after his final produced full-length album for the late Dennis Brown, titled Stone Cold World in 1999 for VP Records, Clarke's productions quietened, with the occasional one-off single or re-issue compilation formats of previously released material re-sequenced and repackaged.
In 2006, Clarke produced the one-riddim compilation album Consuming Fire for VP Records' Riddim Driven series. The same year saw him as co-producer for international star Rihanna's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" released off her Girl Like Me studio album.
In October 2014 the Institute of Jamaica awarded Clarke a bronze Musgrave Medal for his contribution to music.
The year 2016 saw the rebranding of the Anchor Group of companies. This evolution gave birth to the Gussie Clarke Music Group. The Gussie Clarke Music Group has five companies that covers opportunities and development through partnership for songwriters and creators of music (PitchWorks Music), music publishing (Dub Plate Music Publishers), recording studios (Anchor Recording Studios), media duplication and packaging (Anchor Media Products & Services) and online mixing and mastering (Anchor Mix and Mastering).
Just now in 2018 is out this tremendous release: “Gussie Clarke Dub Anthology” !

A package (in a DVD box) with 3 cd’s (79 tracks) and a DVD, featuring several Jamaican reggae/dancehall pioneers such as Mutabaruka, U Roy, Danny Dread, Sylvain Morris, Soljie, Jah Screw, Bongo Herman, Papa Jaro, Flabba Holt and more. It’s a riveting panel discussion about all the aspects of dub. Furthermore the package offers a booklet with nuff interesting facts and a retro styled poster.

CD1 includes the 1978 album “Black Foundation Dub”, originally released in limited numbers in Jamaica on Gussie’s Roots Sounds label and featured material produced by Gussie from the period 1973-78, but the first 5 tracks are dubs/instrumental versions of Big Youth’s “Screaming Target” album. “Honesty” is a wicked cut of the “Slaving” riddim. “I Am Alright” is the instrumental cut to “Loving Pauper”. Then the “Black Foundation Dub” album, starting with the instrumental of Dennis Brown’s vocal hit “Funny Feeling”. “Murderer” explores the “Skylarking” riddim. The title track “Black Foundation” is a bass-heavy dub of Delroy Wilson’s moving take on the soul classic “Is It Because I’m Black?” while “Big Or Small” is a swinging horn mix of Delroy Wilson’s take on the rousing soul number “All In This Thing Together”. “Creation Dub” is a stripped-down mix of KC White’s take on the Temptations’ classic hit “Born To Love You”. “Rockers Time” is a chugging, upfront ’70s synth-led rockers cut of Gregory Isaacs’ faithful take on Bob Andy’s versioned Studio One classic “My Time”. The rest are bonus tracks from several periods. A 1978 dub take of Jackie Paris’ “There’s No Other”, from 1984 comes “Unruly Dub”, which is the dub to “Unruly Pickney” by The Mighty Diamonds. There’s ’80s synth dub such as the “Body Guard” but also a 1974 dub version of Dennis Peart’s “Mouth Of The Wicked”.

CD2 features the complete 1978 album “Dread At The Controls Dub”, a fantastic ‘mellow’ dub album, very enjoyable, even if you’re not a dub fanatic! Great reworkings of classic riddims such as “Mixed Up Stuff”, a flute driven lick of “Danger In Your Eyes” done by The Mighty Diamonds, and “Dread At The Controls” that comes across the “Ain’t That Loving You” riddim. “Bad Company” is a wonderful version of Jackie Paris’ tune “There Is No Other”. “Golden Locks” is the dub to Delroy Wilson’s soulful take on The Modulations'”Worth Your Weight In Gold”.
What follows are bonus tracks and Mighty Diamonds dubs. The obvious “Kuchie Vibes” is present here, but also a surprising vibraphone driven dub (‘Creation Foundation”) of “To The Foundation”. “Party Wise” rides the “Party Time” riddim. In 1981 Lloyd Parks impressed with “Into The Night”… check for the dub version right here! In 1976 Gussie poured out a combination album by Leroy Smart and The Mighty Diamonds. From this set comes the dub version (“The Meek”) of the song “Meek Shall Inherit”. Furthermore this disc offers nuff extremely stripped down dub versions such as “Fancy Rock”, “Burial”, “Music Works Theme” and “All I Have Is Love”.

CD3 includes some of Gussie’s personal Dub Selections. Some of the tunes are very recognisable. “Love (Was All I Had)” is a sweet and easy skanking dub to Marcia Aitken’s early ’80s cover of the rocksteady song of the same name, originally by Phyllis Dillon. Then there’s the highly enjoyable dub to Hortense Ellis’ hit tune “Unexpected Places”. “Losing You” is also a mellow dub version across Dobby Dobson’s Studio One hit “Seems To Me I’m Losing You”. From a later period are the clear and crisp digi-dub cuts “Jealousy”, “Neon Lights” and “No Camouflage”, dub versions from the late 80s Dennis & Gregory album “No Contest”. Delroy Wilson voiced for Gussie his “Dancing Mood” classic, who released it as the flip side of Gregory’s “Private Beach” single. Here’s the strong dub version with the same name. In the early ’80s reggae veteran Johnnie Clarke released a single for Gussie: “Jamaican Music” b/w “Gonna Love You More”. Check out the appealing dub/instrumental takes! The powerful dub of J.C. Lodge’s “Selfish Lover” makes a decent impression, and the same goes for “Let Off Supm”, dub version of the massive 1985 hit by Dennis and Gregory. The last four tunes refer to icons of reggae music: Randys North Parade and Randys in NYC, producer Joe Gibbs and producer Alving Ranglin.

This is an extremely important piece of history, of course for Mr. Augustus “Gussie” as a music producer, but also an extremely important piece from the story of Jamaican Music.




1. Be Careful

2. Tippertone Rock

3. One of These Fine Days

4. Honesty

5. I Am Alright

6. Funny Feeling

7. Murderer

8. Late Arrival

9. Rocking Vibration

10. One Way

11. Loving Pauper

12. Black Foundation

13. No No No

14. Free Zone

15. Big or Small

16. Creation Dub

17. Rockers Time

18. Body Guard

19. Revolution

20. Live for Today

21. Unruly Dub

22. Pam’s Night

23. Mouth of the Wicked

24. Realize Dub

25. There's No Other

26. On My Own

27. One More Time

28. Searching

29. Goal Digga


1. Double Bubble

2. Michael Campbell Theme

3. The Meek Dub

4. Mixed up Stuff

5. Bad Company

6. Dread at the Controls

7. Loving Sounds

8. Hot Steppers

9. Midnight Clappers

10. Golden Locks

11. Creation Foundation

12. Batchelor Style

13. Kouchie Vibes

14. Burial

15. Fancy Rock

16. Music Works Theme

17. Willy Red

18. Declaration of Rights

19. Party Wise

20. Patrick's Case

21. All I Have Is Love

22. I Wanna Be with You

23. Into the Night

24. The Meek

25. More Reasons Than One

26. Baby Be True

27. Things


1. Bamsta

2. Together We Will Stay

3. Hear Me Now Star

4. Love (Was All I Had)

5. Throw Me Corn

6. Unexpected Places

7. Losing You

8. Dancehall Time

9. Dancing Mood

10. Let off Supm

11. Jamaican Music

12. Gonna Love You More

13. Come On

14. Jealousy

15. Neon Lights

16. Night Nurse

17. Octogan Rhythm

18. Police and Theives

19. Selfish Lover

20. Faith Can Move Mountains

21. No Camouflage

22. Randy's North Parade

23. Randy's Nyc

24. Joe Gibbs Attitude

25. Gg’s Ranglins


Feat. Discussion with several Jamaican reggae/dancehall pioneers such as Mutabaruka, U Roy, Danny Dread, Sylvain Morris, Soljie, Jah Screw, Bongo Herman, Papa Jaro, Flabba Holt, etc.