Gussie Clarke From The Foundation: Reggae Anthology on 2LP
VP Records' vintage imprint 17 North Parade opens its vaults to present a new Reggae Anthology from one of the most influential Jamaican producers and businessmen Gussie Clarke. The comprehensive double-disc compilation From The Foundation, spans Gussie's catalog of hit productions from the 1970s until today. All the music has been re-mastered and is coupled with deluxe packaging and extensive liner notes. In addition, the vinyl edition features exclusive tracks not available on the CD and digital version.
In the early 1970s, Clarke's breakthrough success with deejay-style vocalists like Big Youth and I Roy put him at the forefront of the new rebel sound because he was able to blend this style with more instrumental records. The first portion of the anthology includes a previously unreleased version (featuring Big Youth) of Clarke's 1972 debut with U-Roy's "The Higher The Mountain" plus a never-before-heard extended version of Dennis Brown & Lennie Hibbert's "To The Foundation."
The second half of the collection delves into Clarke's productions during the late 1980s when he launched his own Music Works studio. This was around the same time when the digital reggae era began, so the studio was fully equipped and ready to adopt the new style, but was still able to maintain the traditional roots reggae sound with musicians recording live instrumentation. The Music Works label focused on this new digi-roots style, incorporating keyboard and computer programmed riddims.
Gussie continued to gather some of the best songwriters, musicians, background singers, arrangers, engineers and mixers Jamaica had to offer. Standout tracks include Home T, Cocoa Tea & Shabba Ranks' "Pirates Anthem," and Gregory Isaacs‘ monumental 1988 summer smash "Rumours." The riddim of the latter track triggered more breakthrough hits like J.C. Lodge's iconic "Telephone Love."
Gussie Clarke's music legacy lives on as he influences much of the music today. The icon shares his works on this timeless Reggae Anthology and proves that real roots remain strong when they are from the foundation.