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Darker Than Blue: Soul From Jamdown 1973-1980

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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4 used from £19.99

Product details

  • Audio CD (9 July 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blood & Fire
  • ASIN: B00005LEW1
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,588 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Ghetto Funk - The Boris Gardiner Happening
  2. Collie Stuff - The Chosen Few
  3. Slipping Into Darkness - Carl Bradney
  4. Is It Because I'm Black? - Ken Boothe
  5. Get Involved - Freddie McGregor
  6. Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City - Al Brown
  7. Mango Walk - In-Crowd
  8. Ain't No Sunshine - Ken Boothe
  9. Gypsy Woman - Milton Henry
  10. Give Me Your Love - Junior Murvin
  11. For the Love of You - John Holt
  12. It's a Shame - Alton Ellis
  13. I'm Your Puppet - Jimmy London
  14. Get Ready - Delroy Wilson
  15. Darker Than Blue - Lloyd Charmers
  16. Why Can't We Live Together? - Tinga Stewart
  17. Baltimore - The Tamlins
  18. Hotter Reggae Music - Welton Irie

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By freewheeling frankie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Jun. 2007
Format: Audio CD
This compilation is way outside the usual area covered by reggae reissue label Blood & Fire, i.e. 1970s roots & dub. Apart from the first track, which is not a cover but a wicked slice of organ-led instrumental funk, the album entirely consists of reggae cover versions of classic soul tunes. Now this could in consequence have been a really rubbish compilation, because nearly every Jamaican singer or vocal group has covered numerous soul songs, often perfunctorily, but the quality control here is of the highest order, with no tracks less than very good.

Stand out tracks on such a consistent album are hard to find, but personal faves include both the Ken Boothe tunes (his superb take on Ain't No Sunshine is as good a version as anyone has recorded, had he been born in the USA he would have been one of the major soul stars of the 1960s/70s); The In Crowd's wicked floor-filler Mango Walk; Carl Bradney's Slipping Into Darkness; Delroy Wilson's fine version of the Temptations' Get Ready (the best of at least 3 versions he recorded) and Alton Ellis's lovely It's A Shame. But it's all good - not an album where you have to use the next track button. Shame they never did a second volume but apparently licensing a multi-producer album like this was a nightmare.
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Format: Audio CD
B&F 's penultimate release of 2001, and one of their finest to date. In their typically methodical approach to re-releasing Jamaican popular music, they draw the reggae listener's attention to the massive influence that was U.S. Soul music.
If one element of this music stands out above all others, it is the exquisite performances that the artists have put to tape. John Holt's - For The Love of You is sublime...the bassline on Milton Henry's - Gypsy Woman simply awesome...Carl Bradney - Slipping into Darkness head-noddingly funky and if by track 18 you still aren't smiling then I'm sure Welton Irie's take on Grandmaster Flash will no doubt have won you over.
This record may be a detour from the label's previous output, however it is fantastically entertaining and important and should be overlooked at the listener's peril.
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Format: Audio CD
Reggae Revive specialist label `Blood and Fire', whose catalogue is made up entirely of classic raw roots music from the 70's have taken the strange step of releasing a various artists album of mediocre soul covers. No doubt the idea is to broaden the appeal of the label by perhaps bringing it to the attention of a wider audience.
The packaging and overall sound quality are once again superb, which is remarkable considering that most if not all are sourced from 25-30 year old vinyl. However the majority of songs are covered by singers whose best days were already behind them, and seems to beg the questions, a) were these songs recorded through a lack of inspiration, and/or b) were these songs recorded to hopefully gain a cross-over hit at the end of a flagging career.
Who knows the answers? Most tracks are decent if uninspired re-interpretations, and most are pretty tedious. One or two tracks tend to stand out, the title track "Darker Than Blue", and the Tamlins "Baltimore" with the Sly & Robbie rhythm section providing a backing that was fairly interesting at the time. Welton Irie provides a US rap inspired toast, which was in turn inspired by JA DJ-style of delivery. The rest, while unlikely to cause offence is instantly forgetable, even more so when compared to the astonishingly original and ground breaking work of Yabby You, King Tubby, Big Youth, and The Congos all of whose finest work is already released on the same label.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa1a72930) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1ac27ec) out of 5 stars BLOOD & FIRE'S VERY BEST 16 Oct. 2001
By Locks Lion - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
DARKER THAN BLUE: Manchester's Blood & Fire crew has been responsible for digging up and dusting off some of the most scorching reggae ever recorded, and SOUL FROM JAMDOWN seems to me to be the very pinnacle of their considerable achievements so far. Whereas earlier B&F collections tended to focus on a particular artist or producer, this release attempts to capture a specific sound : that is, the apocalyptic meeting of reggae and classic American soul music of the 60s and 70s. For Steve Barrow and Mark Ainley the JAMDOWN project has obviously been a labour of love, and their dedication and diligence is reflected in the sheer quality of the material on offer here. Push play, and tune in to sixty-four minutes of flying sparks, as some of Jamaica's most talented musicians meld the raw appeal of reggae to the smooth soul sound of black America. Highlights? The whole disc is one big highlight, but stand-outs would have to include Boris Gardiner's driving organ workout (keys courtesy of Leslie Butler) GHETTO FUNK; Milton Henry's searing take on GYPSY WOMAN; Al Brown's superb reading of AIN'T NO LOVE; and the forgotten Upsetter gem SLIPPING INTO DARKNESS, a deep vibration courtesy of the otherwise unkown Carl Bradney. In short, this collection is ALL KILLER from start to finish; scroll back up top, and put this one in your shopping cart immediately.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa19095dc) out of 5 stars Amazing Renditions - Great Funky Reggae 26 Sept. 2006
By KC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I admit I was a little leery, I thought it would simply be some weak reggae-fied 60's soul tracks - more novelty than anything (or worse - steel drums) but these are top notch re-interpretated reggae-funk with meaningful performances.

There are some killer cuts that not only remind you that 1960's soul/r&b was not just fun and games - it held meaning and ask real questions - and this CD shows that that message is universal.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaaa72e4c) out of 5 stars ...hotter reggae music! 31 Aug. 2005
By L Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
if it were possible to rate this record higher, i surely would! it is impeccable! from older reggae artists found covering classic soulful american jams, EACH ONE of these classic tracks consistently smokes! ...from lighter, more melodic songs like (give me yer love) to bass-heavy, rock-steady tunes like (just 'cos i'm black) this album is phenominal for ANY occasion! vocal arrangements influenced by 'motown's' best talents. SWEET, easy bass and drum grooves with popular music. very difficult to find THIS many classics on one record! (perhaps try the old trojan records comps.) but be CERTAIN not to pass THIS one up! few other albums will have you grooving all the way through!

AND in addition, the photography inside the booklet is priceless! fantastic photos of life in the heart of jamaica.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1909fe4) out of 5 stars Darker Than Blue 18 July 2010
By Trevor McKesey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a classic compilation, though it is only one cd, the folks that put it together know their past in reggae music. It is possible to match this compilation in one cd but to surpass it, no way. This cd brings the past to the present and into the future. Enjoy it.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa190f7bc) out of 5 stars A brilliant compilation 11 April 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
A brilliant compilation, a particular favourite is "Is it because I'm black"
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