Burning Spear at Studio One

I’ve been listening to Burning Spear for almost my entire life.  The first reggae song I ever heard was Spear’s “Door Peep.”  It  stunned me.  His voice and the vibe of that song just shook me to my core.  I have been a fan ever since and several of his albums, namely “Resistance” and “Mek We Dweet” still remain my favorite reggae albums ever.  What is interesting to note is that some of his best known songs were actually initially recorded by Coxsone at Studio One.

Here are two of his classics featuring that golden sound of Studio One.  On the riddim track is the Studio One house band “The Soul Dimensions” led by keyboard king Jackie Mittoo.  Mittoo, of course, would go on to be one of the most influential Jamaican musicians in history before his death in 1990 at age 42.

Among Mittoo’s contributions in the mid to late 1960s were “Darker Shade of Black” (the basis for Frankie Paul’s “Pass the Tu Sheng Peng”), Freddie McGregor’s “Bobby Babylon”, Alton Ellis’ “I’m Still in Love with You”, The Cables’ rocksteady anthem “Baby Why” and Marcia Griffiths’ first hit, “Feel Like Jumping”. He played for Lloyd “Matador” Daley in 1968 and 1969.  In 1970, his song “Peanie Wallie” was versioned by The Wailers, becoming the hit “Duppy Conqueror.”

The riddim tracks, or versions, here are really phenomenal pieces of music.

A great piece by Vivien Goldman which appeared in the February 28, 1981 issue of NME.

New Musical Express (Feb 28, 1981)spear

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