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U-Roy - Version Galore

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Version Galore

U-Roy

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"Versions galore, you can hear them by the score, I could give you some more for sure," U-Roy shouts out on the title track of Version Galore, and indeed he could and did, recording scores and scores of versions of classic Jamaican hits. This album gathers up a dozen of some of his earliest, all cut for Duke Reid at Treasure Isle studio between 1969 and 1970. Included is one of his chartbusters, a version of the Paragons' "Wear You to the Ball." Paragon vocalist John Holt was responsible for bringing the DJ to Treasure Isle, and U-Roy repaid the singer by versioning a clutch of classic Paragons' songs, five of which appear here. The DJ was obviously a fan, and chatted along to the songs as one would to an old friend, most noticeably on "The Tide Is High" (Blondie would later have a hit with a cover of the original) and "Happy Go Lucky Girl." There again, on "Flashing My Whip," a version of the group's "Only a Smile," U-Roy demands that the trio put a smile on their face, a bit difficult considering the song's intrinsic heartbreak. The DJ's ease with these golden oldies allowed him to adeptly sing along, call out for the vocalists to sing on cue, wander off in other lyrical directions, and still find the perfect spot for his catch phrases. But this talent didn't end with the Paragons and rocksteady, "True Confessions," for example, was a ska-fired, doo wop-inspired hit for the Silvertones, and U-Roy motors away on this with equal ease. Interestingly enough, though, it's evident that without the vocals as a lyrical launch pad, the DJ is rather at a loss. Thus the two instrumentals here are actually the weakest tracks. But it was early days, and U-Roy's verbal gymnastics would fill in the gaps soon enough.
© Jo-Ann Greene /TiVo

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Version Galore

U-Roy

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1
Your Ace From Space
Tommy McCook
00:02:53

Tommy McCook, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

2
On the Beach
U-Roy
00:02:40

U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

3
Version Galore
U-Roy
00:02:58

U-Roy, MainArtist - The Melodians, MainArtist - Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

4
True Confession
U-Roy
00:02:38

U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist - The Silvertones, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

5
Tide Is High
U-Roy
00:02:43

The Paragons, Performance, MainArtist - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

6
Things You Love
U-Roy
00:02:53

The Jamaicans, Performance, MainArtist - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

7
The Same Song
U-Roy
00:02:57

The Paragons, Performance, MainArtist - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

8
Happy Go Lucky Girl
U-Roy
00:03:08

The Paragons, Performance, MainArtist - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

9
Rock Away (You'll Never Get Away)
The Melodians
00:03:03

U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist - The Melodians, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

10
Wear You to the Ball
U-Roy
00:02:31

The Paragons, Performance, MainArtist - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

11
Don't Stay Away
U-Roy
00:02:36

U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist - Phyllis Dillon, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

12
Hot Pop
U-Roy
00:02:43

Tommy McCook, Performance - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist - The Supersonics, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

13
Wake the Town
U-Roy
00:02:42

Tommy McCook, MainArtist - U-Roy, MainArtist - Winston Wright, MainArtist - Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

14
Big Boy & Teacher
U-Roy
00:02:47

U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

15
This Station Rule the Nation
U-Roy
00:02:36

Tommy McCook, Performance - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist - The Supersonics, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

16
Love I Tender
U-Roy
00:02:29

U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1971 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

17
Tom Drunk
U-Roy
00:02:32

Hopeton Lewis, Performance, MainArtist - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

18
True, True
U-Roy
00:02:09

Ken Parker, Performance, MainArtist - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

19
I'm Flashing My Whip
U-Roy
00:02:53

The Paragons, Performance, MainArtist - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

20
Do It Right
U-Roy
00:02:15

U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist - The Three Tops, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

21
Drive Her Home
U-Roy
00:01:58

Hopeton Lewis, Performance, MainArtist - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

22
Behold
U-Roy
00:02:53

Tommy McCook, Performance - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist - The Supersonics, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

23
Way Back Home
U-Roy
00:02:52

Tommy McCook, Performance - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist - The Supersonics, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

24
Everybody Bawling
The Melodians
00:02:22

U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist - The Melodians, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

25
Ain't That Loving You
U-Roy
00:02:37

Alton Ellis, Performance, MainArtist - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

26
Do Re Mi (aka Super Boss)
The Melodians
00:02:38

U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist - The Melodians, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1971 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

27
My Girl
U-Roy
00:02:42

The Techniques, Performance, MainArtist - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1971 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

28
Peace and Love
U-Roy
00:02:39

The Jamaicans, Performance, MainArtist - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

29
Words Of Wisdom
U-Roy
00:02:38

Tommy McCook, Performance - U-Roy, Performance, MainArtist - The Supersonics, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

DISC 2

1
On the Beach
The Paragons
00:02:33

The Paragons, Composer, MainArtist - Tommy McCook, Composer - The Supersonics, Composer - Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

2
You Have Caught Me
The Melodians
00:03:13

Tommy McCook, Composer - The Melodians, Composer, MainArtist - Duke Reid, Producer - The Supersonics, Composer - Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

3
True Confessions
The Silvertones
00:02:42

The Silvertones, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1966 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

4
The Tide Is High
The Paragons
00:02:43

The Paragons, Composer, Performance, MainArtist - Tommy McCook, Composer, MainArtist - Sonia Pottinger, Producer - The Supersonics, Composer, MainArtist - Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

5
Things You Say You Love
The Jamaicans
00:02:46

Tommy McCook, Composer - The Jamaicans, Composer, MainArtist - The Supersonics, Composer - Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

6
The Same Song
The Paragons
00:02:46

The Paragons, MainArtist - Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1968 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

7
Happy Go Lucky Girl
The Paragons
00:03:11

The Paragons, Composer, MainArtist - Tommy McCook, Composer - The Supersonics, Composer - Lyn Taitt, Composer - Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1966 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

8
You Don't Need Me
The Melodians
00:03:08

Tommy McCook, Composer - The Melodians, Composer, MainArtist - Duke Reid, Producer - The Supersonics, Composer - Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

9
Wear You to the Ball
The Paragons
00:02:37

The Paragons, MainArtist - Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

10
Don't Stay Away
Phyllis Dillon
00:02:33

Tommy McCook, Composer - The Supersonics, Composer - Phyllis Dillon, Composer, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

11
Hopeful Village
The Tennors
00:02:29

The Tennors, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

12
Girl I've Got a Date
Alton Ellis
00:02:29

The Flames, Composer, Performance - Alton Ellis, Composer, Performance - Alton Ellis & The Flames, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1966 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

13
Love Is Not A Gamble (Tears on My Pillow)
The Techniques
00:02:38

Winston Riley, Composer - The Techniques, MainArtist - Bruce Ruffin, Composer - Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

14
Mothers Tender Care
The Ethiopians
00:03:05

The Ethiopians, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1970 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

15
Crying Every Night (These Eyes)
Stranger Cole
00:02:31

Stranger Cole, MainArtist - Wilburn Cole, Composer - Byron Smith, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1971 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

16
True, True, True
Ken Parker
00:02:13

Ken Parker, Composer, Performance, MainArtist - Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1968 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

17
Only a Smile
The Paragons
00:02:56

The Paragons, Composer, MainArtist - Tommy McCook, Composer - Duke Reid, Producer - The Supersonics, Composer - Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

18
Do It Right
The Three Tops
00:02:28

Duke Reid, Composer, Producer - The Three Tops, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

19
Everybody Bawling
The Melodians
00:02:23

Brent Dowe, Composer - The Melodians, MainArtist - Arthur Reid, Producer - Tony Brevett, Composer - Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1969 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

20
Ain't That Lovin' You (For More Reasons Than One)
Alton Ellis
00:02:49

Arthur "Duke" Reid, Producer - Alton Ellis & The Flames, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

21
Last Train to Ecstasy
The Melodians
00:03:00

The Melodians, Performance, MainArtist

© 2002 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Trojan Recordings Ltd., a BMG Company

Album Description

"Versions galore, you can hear them by the score, I could give you some more for sure," U-Roy shouts out on the title track of Version Galore, and indeed he could and did, recording scores and scores of versions of classic Jamaican hits. This album gathers up a dozen of some of his earliest, all cut for Duke Reid at Treasure Isle studio between 1969 and 1970. Included is one of his chartbusters, a version of the Paragons' "Wear You to the Ball." Paragon vocalist John Holt was responsible for bringing the DJ to Treasure Isle, and U-Roy repaid the singer by versioning a clutch of classic Paragons' songs, five of which appear here. The DJ was obviously a fan, and chatted along to the songs as one would to an old friend, most noticeably on "The Tide Is High" (Blondie would later have a hit with a cover of the original) and "Happy Go Lucky Girl." There again, on "Flashing My Whip," a version of the group's "Only a Smile," U-Roy demands that the trio put a smile on their face, a bit difficult considering the song's intrinsic heartbreak. The DJ's ease with these golden oldies allowed him to adeptly sing along, call out for the vocalists to sing on cue, wander off in other lyrical directions, and still find the perfect spot for his catch phrases. But this talent didn't end with the Paragons and rocksteady, "True Confessions," for example, was a ska-fired, doo wop-inspired hit for the Silvertones, and U-Roy motors away on this with equal ease. Interestingly enough, though, it's evident that without the vocals as a lyrical launch pad, the DJ is rather at a loss. Thus the two instrumentals here are actually the weakest tracks. But it was early days, and U-Roy's verbal gymnastics would fill in the gaps soon enough.
© Jo-Ann Greene /TiVo

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