Augustus Pablo (1954-1999) was the master of melodica and one of the most revered talents in reggae music. This reissue of the classic album "Original Rockers" with remastered sound and a 16-page extended booklet is available now from Greensleeves Records an imprint of VP Music Group.
The original 1979 Greensleeves ‘Original Rockers’ compilation was instrumental in bringing the music of Augustus Pablo to an international audience and with this 23 track set we pay tribute to that landmark release with a crucial selection of further cuts of the original albums classic rhythms including some rare sides making their album debut.
When Greensleeves originally released the LP in 1979 and carefully selected Pablo's best self-productions from his early days between (1972-75).
This official deluxe edition includes sleeve notes courtesy of Noel Hawks and is made with full approval of the original compilers:
“We were enthusiastic about Augustus Pablo at the time and he was becoming more well known so we just thought it would be nice to have a compilation of some of the music that had really impressed us in the previous four or five years. So they’re old records in one sense but, having said that, those rhythms were still very fresh sounding. And one of those things about being enthusiastic is wanting to spread the word...” Chris Lane
“I took the box of 45’s round to Chris Cracknell’s and this box of 45’s were, to me, probably the most personally valuable thing that I owned at that time and then we recorded them on to a reel to reel Revox and I sequenced them in an order that would... hopefully... impress Chris and Chris. I didn’t just pull them out of the box randomly... as I recall. And I played them in an order that would have a sense of flow... dynamically... but I remember always being surprised that the order I’d laid them down in was exactly the way they came when the LP finally materialised.” Dave Hendley
“Dave put the record together and I did the sleeve notes. We took the photos in the back of Greensleeves shop in Shepherds Bush... they’re my records that cigarette smoke was blown all over while Jean-Bernard was photographing them. We were trying to get a cloudy, mystical effect but I’m not sure if it really worked out like that! But it was Dave’s compilation...” Chris Lane
Pablo also sent up alternate dub mixes to ‘Tubby’s Dub Song’ and ‘Brace A Boy’, which could not be included due to reasons of space on ‘Original Rockers’, but both are featured on this release. It’s next to impossible to sum up the concept, stark elegance and appeal of Pablo’s music in words but Dave and Chris, who were writing about this music when it was actually being recorded and released, come very close.
“This was a body of work that was, and still is, absolutely musically unique and still sounds incredibly contemporary. I know people have hyped up the dub thing and Tubby’s influence on this, that and the other and the whole concept of remixing but no-one has ever, ever improved or come even close to creating the audio experience you got from listening to those Pablo tunes... particularly the dub sides. They just put you in another place and dub is very much about what’s left out as about what’s put in.
But the musicality of the way those sides are mixed is absolutely extraordinary... it is genius... it’s one off genius. King Tubby to me is up there as a unique innovative character with Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix... someone who really pushed the boundaries of the artistic areas they were working in.” Dave Hendley
The songs have been recorded in the legendary studio of the great King Tubby including all-stars musicians like Barrett brothers, Earl Chinna Smith, Robbie Shakespeare, etc, and deejays like Dillinger, Leroy Sibbles, all shines in this collection.
To celebrate the release, his daughter and DJ, Isis Swaby of Rockers International, hosted several listening sessions in New York and Florida throughout the month, where she played select songs from the album interspersed with influential and inspired tracks that complement her father's sound.
7 Stars !
PS: My all time favourite INSTRUMENTAL from Pablo is here - "AP Special".
Augustus Pablo – Original Rockers (Deluxe) – CD
01. Rockers Dub - Rockers All Stars
02. Up Wareika Hill - Augustus Pablo
03. Cassava Piece ('79 Style) - Augustus Pablo
04. Pablo's Theme Song - Augustus Pablo
05. Jah Dread - Pablo All Stars
06. Brace A Boy - Dillinger
07. Thunder Clap - Augustus Pablo
08. Park Lane Special - Pablo All Stars
09. New Style - Augustus Pablo
10. AP Special - Augustus Pablo
11. Love Won't Come Easy - Leroy Sibbles
12. Love Won't Come Easy - The Heptones
13. Mountain View Dub - Augustus Pablo
14. Cassava Rock - Big Youth
15. Tubby's Dub Song - King Tubby
16. Tubby's Dub Song (dub version 2) - King Tubby
17. Jah Dread (7" version) - Pablo All Stars
18. Brace A Boy ( dub version 2) - Augustus Pablo
19. Tribalist - Augustus Pablo
20. Lightning Flash - Pablo All Stars
21. Africa Dub - Augustus Pablo
22. Young Generation - Bongo Pat
23. AP Special (version 2) - Augustus Pablo