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THE OBSERVER ROOTS | New 2CD compilation coming soon from Doctor Bird…

THE OBSERVER ROOTS | New 2CD compilation coming soon from Doctor Bird…

THE OBSERVER ROOTS | New 2CD compilation coming soon from Doctor Bird…   

  • Includes numerous roots classics.
  • ‘Showcase’ LP new to CD.
  • Features a host of reggae superstars.

By the latter half of the 1970s, Winston ‘Niney’ Holness was widely acknowledged by reggae aficionados as being one of Jamaica’s most celebrated record producers. A pioneer of the roots sound, his output over the preceding years had included scores of best-selling 7” singles, performed by many of the island’s greatest performers, among whose number were the supremely gifted Leonard Dillon and Freddie McGregor.

The recording careers of both of these esteemed artists dated back to the 60s, with Dillon writing and recording numerous major hits with his group, The Ethiopians, most famously his UK chartbuster, ‘Train To Skaville’. The long run of hits abruptly ended in 1975 following the tragic death of Dillon’s friend and singing partner Stephen Taylor, but after two years away from the recording studio he was finally ready to record once more, with his return marked by the widely acclaimed Ethiopians’ LP ‘Slave Call’, which featured a brand-new line-up of the group.

In contrast, McGregor’s success until this time had been relatively modest, although the quality of his work, cut for a variety of producers had remained consistently high. In 1979 he recorded a number of superior sides for Niney, culminating in his best-selling ‘Mr.

McGregor’ album, featuring such roots classics as ‘Rasta Man Camp’, ‘Jah Can Count On I’ and ‘Rasta Have Faith’. Two years later, the singer and producer collaborated once again to record another hugely popular ‘Showcase’ (issued in the UK as ‘Lover’s Rock Jamaica Style’) LP, the popularity of which firmly cemented McGregor’s now lofty standing on the reggae scene.

This collection, which comprises the aforementioned albums along with the cream of Niney’s output from 1978 demonstrates his undisputed skill as a producer as well as with the often-sublime talents of a number of reggae music’s most accomplished performers, at the very height of their music-making powers.



1  Ethiopian National Anthem

2  Slave Call

3  Guilty Conscience

4  Hurry On

5  Nuh Follow Babylon

6  Train To Skaville

7  Culture

8  Obeah Book

9  Let It Be Me

10  I Love Jah


11  Black Is The Highest Culture– The Jewels

12  Through The Fire I Come – The Heptones

13  Cry Cry– Junior Delgado

14  Rocking Chair - Delroy Wilson

15  Move On– The Heptones

16  Blood And Fire (1978 version) – Niney

17  Jah Jah Higher Than High – The Rockstones

18  Well Hot - Mighty Diamonds & The Heptones

19  Warrior – Horace Andy

20  Mr Know It All– Gregory Isaacs

21  Book Of Rules – The Heptones

22  Left With A Broken Heart – Ken Boothe

23  Mix Up - Niney & The Morwells




1  We Got Love

2  Walls Of Jericho

3  Jah Can Count On I

4  Oh No Not My Baby

5  Why Did You Do It

6  Zion Chant

7  Rastaman Camp

8  Do Good

9  Brandy

10  Rasta Have Faith


11  Lovers Rock JA. Style / Lovers Version

12  The Overseer / Overseer Version

13  Love One Another

14  Jah Will Bless You

15  Chant It Down / Chant It Version

16  Sitting In The Park / In The Park Version


17  Follow This Ya Sound

18  Roman Soldiers Of Babylon