Bless Up

Bless Up

Monday, December 30, 2013

Conroy Smith Holiday Treat

Conroy has always been one of my favorite artists from the golden years of dancehall. Often times off the radar, and very underrated, he is not known much outside from the digi heads who eat his material up. Don't know if it's because his lack of a major LP release, or not staying with any one label or sound long enough, or plainly because his career spanned only the digital years... but Conroy is not recognized in many reggae circles. Eighties dancehall is often overlooked by reggae books, shows, historians, etc anyway, so this is no surprise (digital often used as a negative term!). Either way, Conroy killed it back then, and hopefully will start to get the recognition he deserves. I've posted some of his tunes on here already, and here are a few more... he didn't appear on LP's or compilations much either, so most of his work in on 7'' and 12'' vinyl.

Conroy Smith - Secret Admirer 7'' [198x Rockers Master International Original Pressing]

One thing I've always loved is his ability to hold a note for so long... which he would use as his calling card. The beginning of this song is a perfect example, and showcases Conroy riding the classic RMI version of the Kuff riddim, best known from Courtney Melody and Danny Dread's Call Me Angel cover.

Conroy Smith - Girl Yu Mus Be Stallion 7'' [1987 Napthalie Roy Original Pressing]

Nice little robotic version of Answer riddim. Not to be confused with the UK artist Raymond Naptali...

Conroy Smith - Original 7'' [198x Powerhouse Original Pressing]

This track was first recorded for George Phang on the Upon The Roof riddim (same as Big Youth's Things Friend), but Tubby liked it so much that he had him cut a clash version of it called Original Sound for the Soundclash Dubplate Style Vol. 1 LP. That later version is way tuffer, but this one is still a nice piece of history.

Conroy Smith - Facts Of Life 7'' [198x Progressive Original Pressing]

On the label of Derrick Howard aka Eric Bubbles of the African Brothers.
Conroy dwells on karma and the socioeconomic system.

Conroy Smith - Uptown Girl 7'' [198x Techniques Original Pressing]

Great cut of Modern Girl riddim, which was originated by Winston Riley when he was part of rocksteady group The Techniques, and released as I'm In The Mood in the 60's. A lot of the great 80's digi riddims actually had foundations in Studio 1 (Clement Dodd) and Treasure Isle (Duke Reid) riddims, but they weren't named until later as they were recycled more and more. Again Conroy touches upon class issues, comparing stuck up Uptown girls versus struggling Downtown girls.

No comments:

Post a Comment