Tuesday, 14 August 2012

SONG FOR TODAY: Augustus Pablo - King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown

'King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown' is a dub instrumental track by reggae musician Augustus Pablo from the 1976 album of the same name. It is a dub version of the Jacob Miller song "Baby I Love You So", also produced by Pablo.  Allmusic claims that the song is "widely regarded as the finest example of dub ever recorded", and it was listed as the third best song ever recorded by Mojo... 

"Augustus Pablo was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica, and learned to play the organ at the Kingston College School. It was at that point an unnamed girl lent him the melodica. Fascinated by the instrument, Pablo rarely put it down. He recorded early tracks including "Higgi Higgi", "East of the River Nile", "Song of the East" and "The Red Sea" between 1971 and 1973 for Aquarius Records. 'East of the River Nile', a unique blend of East Asian and Jamaican sounds, became a moderate hit. The 1972 instrumental 'Java' was a massive hit and launched Pablo's solo career. Pablo's 1974 album 'This Is Augustus Pablo' was followed by a collaboration with the legendary reggae engineer King Tubby, 1975's 'Ital Dub'.

In the later 1970s, Pablo produced a steady stream of hits, including 'Black Star Liner'. He also worked with Dillinger, Norris Reid, I-Roy, Jacob Miller, Te -Track, The Immortals, Paul Blackman, Earl Sixteen, Roman Stewart, Lacksley Castell, The Heptones, Bob Marley, Ricky Grant, Delroy Wilson, Junior Delgado, Horace Andy and Freddy McKay. This period was eventually commemorated with critically acclaimed LPs including King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown (1976) and Hugh Mundell's classic Africa Must be Free by 1983. This was followed by East of the River Nile (1978), Original Rockers (1979) and 'Rockers Meets King Tubby in a Firehouse', another acclaimed hit album.

In the 1980s, Pablo's career slowed significantly. He had begun to establish an American audience and released Rising Sun in 1986 to good reviews and sales. Pablo also produced memorable hits, including "Ragamuffin Year" (Junior Delgado), "Humble Yourself" (Asher & Tremble) and "Far Far Away" (Ricky Grant). In addition, he toured extensively throughout the world, making a memorable live album in Tokyo in 1987. That same year, 'Rockers Come East' re-established his career and he began to release a series of critically acclaimed though somewhat inaccessible albums in the 1990s, including 'Blowing With the Wind' and also producing several, such as 'Night & Day' (single) (Dawn Penn) and 'Jah Made Them All' (Yami Bolo).

Augustus Pablo died as a result of a collapsed lung on 18 May 1999. He had been suffering for some time from the nerve disorder myasthenia gravis."

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