Online Exclusive: CARIB COVERS 12" EP
'CARIB COVERS' official 12" EP - a Backatcha Records online exclusive limited to 250 copies.
Featuring four cover versions, released officially for the first time and only available together on this limited hand-stamped Backatcha 12" EP.
A1 Ebony Steel Band - Can't You See Me
A2 Bunny Brown - Off The Wall
B1 Boogsie - Can't You See Me
B2 G.I.'s Brass International - Back Together
Ebony Steel Band's cover of Roy Ayers jazz-funk classic 'Can't You See Me' was recorded in Harlesden, London, at BBMC in the late 80s under the direction of band leader Pepe Francis and DJ Smokey Joe. Now available here as a loud pressing taken from the master tape recording.
Ayers' percussive led hit was an ideal choice for Steelband renditions as heard here, with Boogsie's heavily-bootlegged version also featured on this EP officially for the first time. In 1979, Steelband virtuoso Lennox 'Boogsie' Sharpe recorded the Phase II album in Trinidad at Sharc Studios, a state-of-the-art film production and recording facility located at the old radar tracking station site at Tucker Vally, Chaguaramas. The track features heavyweight drummer Richard Bailey (Bob Marley, Jeff Beck, Incognito) and is produced by his brother and keyboardist Robert Bailey (Osibisa, The Breakfast Club).
Founder and leader of one of Jamaica's most accomplished harmony groups The Chosen Few, the late Bunny Brown recorded his version of 'Off The Wall' on an American East Coast tour in 1980. No stranger to making sought-after cover versions, Brown had established his career at least a decade earlier with producer Derrick Harriott recording 'Phoenix', a version of Glen Campbell's own cover hit 'By The Time I Get To Phoenix'. By the late 70s in New York, rap was on the radio and Jamaican producers like Bullwackie, Keeling Beckford, Glen Adams and Brad Osborne were recording local MC's rhyming over funky backing tracks with hit grooves up on White Plains Road. Similarly, Bunny Brown's version of MJ's 'Off The Wall' is no less uptown with a disco-funk groove dominated by breakbeat appeal and coupled with the Audio Funk MC's (aka Wes) 'Price Is Right' on the B-Side. Released on Prince Tony's JA-based State Line label in 1980, the record remained under cover with only a few collectors ever knowing of its existence until recent years.
Hailing from Saint Kitts & Nevis, G.I.'s Brass International have remained amongst the top-cited brass bands of the Caribbean since they began touring in the 1970s. Featured here is their version of Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway's 'Back Together Again' covered on their 1980 album entitled Replay. Recorded at Ochoa Recording Studio in Puerto Rico, the song is arranged by keyboardist Gairy Knight with a line-up that includes current bandleader, drummer and vocalist Mick Stokes and trumpeters Kenrick and Wingrove Williams. The studio was originally designed in the 1960s for the recording of local Salsa and Latin music and it was a popular location used by touring bands throughout the Caribbean. G.I.'s Brass would return a few years later to back fellow band member Gerard P.J. Browne for the recording of his songs 'Sexy Lady' and 'Keep Dancing' (Backatcha release BK040).