VP Records’ vintage imprint 17 North Parade opens its vaults to present a crucial reissue from one of the most influential Jamaican producers Gussie Clarke, who has consistently churned out hits since the 1970s until today. Gussie Presenting The Right Tracks, which was originally released in 1976, captures Clarke’s early work during a definitive era for reggae.
On July 22, 17 North Parade will reissue the original vinyl LP in its entirety with previously unreleased Gussie productions for the first time on CD. The newly-compiled double disc set will contain all re-mastered tracks and deluxe packaging with extensive liner notes and the original LP artwork. Originally recorded and mixed inside Kingston’s legendary Channel One studio and King Tubby’s Tubby studio, this collection includes Gussie’s work with a true parade of Jamaican greats, including Horace Andy, Leroy Sibbles of The Heptones, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Delroy Wilson, Augustus Pablo, Leroy Smart and Jacob Miller. In addition to this release, there will be a vinyl companion piece (carrying the same name) of 11 essential tracks from the CD version available the same day.
On August 5, reggae enthusiasts will also be able to collect a limited edition 7 inch vinyl box set of rare Gussie Clarke productions designed to augment the 2CD collection. The set, entitled Gussie Presenting The Right Sevens, features original recordings of foundation classics from Leroy Smart and The Mighty Diamonds, extremely rare Augustus Pablo and Mikey Dread sides and previously unreleased gems from Leroy Sibbles and Tommy McCook.
In the early 70s, Gussie’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, often featuring the talents of Augustus Pablo, Old Boys Inc., The Simplicity People or The Society Squad.
In an excerpt from the set’s liner notes, Gussie Clarke explains his thought process during at the time. “There’s no ‘how it comes about’ with these names. I’m that kind of person who’s always thinking outside the box. There wasn’t any logic to it! It’s just a love for the difference and the uniqueness of things. Everybody had a sound and a style and I’d switch the musicians round to get a different vibe and a different feel.”
“I had the songs and in those days compilations were a good idea. I said ‘why not?’ and ‘The Right Tracks’ is appropriate now because they are the right tracks,” he adds.
The Right Tracks series is the first installment of many Gussie Glarke collections that will drop this year. 17 North Parade will also unleash a newly-compiled vinyl LP of Gussie Clarke productions with reggae icon Augustus Pablo titled Born To Dub You (Aug 25), plus a 2CD/DVD Reggae Anthology for Gussie Clarke’s Music Works label slated for Fall 2014.