Monday, April 29, 2013

The Monarchs

A wonderful catchy ska single that reminds me of another by Desmond Dekker called "Get Up Edina" .  On the Blue Beat label from 1964. Nothing about them on the internet - not that I could discover anyway.

Wikipedia says of the Blue Beat label  - "Blue Beat Records was founded in 1960 in London, England, as a sub-label of Emile E. Shalit's Melodisc Records. Melodisc, which was founded in London in in 1947, specialised incalypso and mento music. It focused on American-influenced Jamaican blues and R&B, which later evolved into ska following the positive response in the United Kingdom to Laurel Aitken's Melodisc release of "Lonesome Lover". Shalit put Sigimund "Siggy" Jackson in charge of the label, and Jackson subsequently chose the name Blue Beat, which he said was an adaptation of "It sounds like blues and it's got a great beat" or "Blues Beat", which apparently was a generic term for Jamaican blues music at the time.

The first Blue Beat release was Aitken's "Boogie Rock", which was licenced from Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's Downbeat label. The label's distinctive blue covers and silver logo first appeared with Blue Beat's third release, "Manny Oh" by Higgs & Wilson. The label reached licencing agreements with the majority of major Jamaican producers and released many home-produced recordings by Jackson featuring English-based artists such as The Marvels. Even some Prince Buster hits, including "Wash-Wash", were recorded in London, and included well-known UK musicians such as Georgie Fame. Blue Beat released around 400 singles and over a dozen albums between 1960 and 1967. Prince Buster became the label's biggest star, with songs such as "Al Capone".
Jackson established a Blue Beat night at the Marquee Club in London, and fashion accessories featuring the label's logo became popular. Many Blue Beat recordings were played alongside soul music in dance clubs such as the Twisted Wheel in Manchester. In addition to appealing greatly to the West Indian community in the UK, the music became associated with the British mods of the early to mid-1960s, as well as the skinheads of the late 1960s. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Blue Beat records became highly collectible amongst those who regarded records like Prince Buster's "Al Capone" as classics.
When the ska rhythm slowed to rocksteady around 1966, Melodisc started a new sub-label, FAB, and Blue Beat stopped issuing new releases after 1967 (although the back catalogue continued to sell for several years). Jackson left to work for EMI, where he founded the Columbia Blue Beat label.The original Blue Beat label was revived in 1972 for a short run of obscure releases including John Holt's "Ok Fred" and "Sad News" singles."

The Monarchs  -  Sauce and Tea

The Monarchs  -  Fay Is Gone

1 comment:

Ben The Balladeer said...

Original release on Prince Buster VOP 45 by Prince Buster and Winston Dyes