Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Another smooth vocal stylist from the early days of reggae, Delroy Wilson was like a lot of his contemporaries. He got his start in his teens, in the rock steady era, and was already up and running when reggae hit. He had several hits on Studio One, and went on to record at other studios and on other labels, including his own for a short while. Sadly, he died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1995. While there are singers his age that had enjoyed enduring success, he was not to be one of them. In the '83 live video below, some of his moves are pretty smooth, but his gestures and vocal inflections seem a little overreaching, like the the work of a performer who is either buzzed, or struggling to hang on. That's just my impression (and it could be biased, based on his cause of death). Anyway you look at it, it's a sad thing he didn't have the longevity of his peers, because it wasn't for lack of early promise.

But, boy did he have some good stuff. Most of the songs below are early stuff, all top notch, really, I highly recommend you listen to all of them; but do check out that first one, "Adis Ababa." I mean it. Wah-wah and fuzz? Are you kidding me? In a reggae song? Hell yeah! Sounds weird on paper, I know, but this sucker is my favorite song this week, if not since Nora Dean.

Delroy Wilson - Adis Ababa (1973) mp3 at Podcast Battle
Delroy Wilson - Easy Snappin' mp3 at Reggae Top Site (Studio One!)
Delroy Wilson - I Don't Know Why mp3 at Monsefar (Studio One with scratches!!)
Delroy Wilson - This Old Heart of Mine mp3 at Polaroidallaradio
Delroy Wilson - Got To Get Away mp3 at Daniel Johnson Writes
Delroy Wilson - Your Number One mp3 at Daniel Johnson Writes
Delroy Wilson - Have Some Mercy mp3 at Art Decade
Delroy Wilson - This Life Makes Me Wonder mp3 at Stereogum
Delroy Wilson - Conquer Me (via Box.net) mp3 at For the Sake of the Song
Delroy Wilson w/Prince Jammy, Bunny Lee - In A Dancing Mood (studio footage) at YouTube
Delroy Wilson - Live, 1983 at YouTube
Delroy Wilson - Profile at AllMusic (Surprisingly detailed)
Delroy Wilson at Wikipedia
Delroy Wilson at Roots Archive
Other Reggae posts

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