KSLP054

Don Carlos processes one of reggae’s most distinctive voices, his vocal
mannerisms being instantly recognisable over a tune, yet he remains one of
Jamaica’s best kept secrets. We look back to some of his finest moments that
set the tone for his popularity that was to follow in the Dancehall period of Reggae.

Born Don McCarlos, in the notorious Waterhouse district of Kingston, Jamaica.
He began his singing career in 1973, where alongside Garth Dennis and
Derrick ‘Ducky’ Simpson he formed what would become one of reggae’s foremost
contenders, Black Uhuru. Their first recording would be a version of Curtis Mayfield’s
‘Romancing to the Folk Song’. Released under the name Uhuru
(the Swahili word for Freedom) on the Top Cat label, it saw limited underground
success. This would lead to a split in the ranks seeing Dennis leaving to join
The Wailing Souls and Don going solo under his now trimmed down monicker of Don Carlos.

After working with various producers and honing his sound, the late 70’s would see his
arrival at the door of producer Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee. Work began matching Don’s collection
of tunes against some of Bunny’s finest rhythms. His voice seemed to ride over the chosen
classic Channel 1, Harry J’s studio cuts as if they were made for each other, and it’s this
period in Don Carlos’s career that we concentrate on this release. Most of Don’s classics
are represented here. Such great cuts as ‘Spread Out’ which see’s him riding over the
‘Queen of the Ghetto’ rhythm in fine form. ‘My Brethren Party’ giving new life to Slim Smith’s
‘Give Me Love’. Never has he sounded better with his ‘Ababa John I’ cut being matched
against the ‘Real Rock’ rhythm and his ‘Booming Ball’ reworking Alton Ellis’s ‘I’m Just a
Guy’ to fine form. All classic’s and some surprises were found when we went back to the
original master tapes.Like Don working a cut to the Melodians ‘Rivers of Babylon’ and
a fine version of Alton Ellis’s ‘Too Late’ that have been lost until now.

Don Carlos would again return to the Black Uhuru fold and balance his solo career
alongside Uhuru’s touring commitments. But as a fore taster to his rising star soon to
be set in the 1980’s Dancehall period, we find this set hard to beat. We hope you find
some magic as we have unearthing and compiling these lost treasures.

Respect Jah Floyd.



CD Track Listing

1 Ababa John I
2 Booming Ball
3 Johnny Big Mouth
4 Lazer Beam
5 Back Wey With Your Mix Up
6 My Brendren Party
7 Love And Affection
8 Late Night Blues
9 Satta Massa Gana
10 Just Groove With Me
11 Spread Out
12 My Baby Just Cares For Me
13 Money And Women
14 Stop Fussing And Fighting
15 Tribulation*
16 Better Must Come*
17 Sweet Africa*
18 To Late To Turn Back Now*
•CD Bonus Track

Vinyl Track Listing

Side 1
1 Ababa John I
2 Booming Ball
3 Johnny Big Mouth
4 Lazer Beam
5 Back Wey With Your Mix Up
6 My Brendren Party
7 Love And Affection


Side 2

1 Late Night Blues
2 Satta Massa Gana
3 Just Groove With Me
4 Spread Out
5 My Baby Just Cares For Me
6 Money And Women
7 Stop Fussing And Fighting


Musicians Include:
Carlton ‘Santa’ Davis, Sly Dunbar: Drums
Robbie Shakespeare, Earl’Flabba’ Holt: Bass
Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith: Guitar
Earl ‘Wire’ Lindo: Rhythm Guitar
Winston Wright, Robbie Lynn: Organ
Keith Sterling, Jackie Mittoo, Augustus Pablo: Keyboards & Piano
Tommy McCook: Saxophone
Bobby Ellis: Trumpet

Recorded at: Channel 1,Randy’s Studio 17, Harry J’s & King Tubby’s
Produced By: Bunny Lee
Design by: Gary@Voodoo London
Photography: Courtesy of Bunny Lee
Manufactured Under Licence From: E.Lee
All tracks copyright control