Sunday, February 26, 2012


As you reggae fiends know, rhythms (riddims, if you will) can get used and reused many times over. If it's a good one, a studio may use it for a backing track or dub meat for years, sometimes decades. "Real Rock" by the Sound Dimension was recorded in 1967, and has been used dozens of times, as recently as 2003 (see NY Times link below for some of them). Many of the instrumentals get credited to a faceless studio band with revolving members, and some ultimately get released as "solo" instrumentals credited to the player of the melody holding instrument dubbed over the backing tracks. Often they're created spontaneously, as if the singer is on a pee break, hatching from just a few notes. The rhythms are a hot property for the studio owner, but that doesn't stop other studios from copying them as some sort of organic sampling. There's a few here you may recognize as backing tracks to something you've heard before, and a few of the lead instrument variety. And there's one below by Jackie Mittoo, a frequent member of several studio bands, where he takes off, straddling the Memphis groove of Booker T and the MGs and reggae.

Sound Dimension - Rockfort Rock mp3 at Leave You Wanting Less
Sound Dimension - Drum Song mp3 at Leave You Wanting Less
Sound Dimension - Reggae In the Grass mp3 at Reggae Top Site
Sound Dimension - In Cold Blood mp3 at Reggae Top Site
Sound Dimension - First Come First Served mp3 at Reggae Top Site
Soul Vendors - Swing Easy mp3 at DJ No DJ
Soul Vendors - Musical Happiness mp3 at DJ No DJ
Jackie Mittoo - Hang 'em High mp3 at Passion of the Weiss
Tommy McCook - Dancing Version mp3 at Reggae Top Site
Tommy McCook - A Version I Can Feel With Love mp3 at Reggae Top Site
Tommy McCook - (Music is My Occupation) mp3 at Boogie Woogie Flu
"Real Rock" Through the Ages
at the New York Times A rundown of some of the songs that have used Sound Dimension's "Real Rock" rhythm over the years.

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