The Wire (8/01, p.68) - "...Of the 25 reissues by the UK's premier reggae label...this is one of the best..."
The Wire (8/02, p.70) - "...[This] selection of tracks has yet to be bettered..."
NME (Magazine) (6/9/01, p.39) - 10 out of 10 - "...A mystical dub masterpiece..."
Personnel: Augustus Pablo (vocals, piano, Clavinet, melodica, organ); Dillinger, Clive, Paul K, Hugh Mundell (vocals); Earl "Chinna" Smith (guitar); Dirty Harry (tenor saxophone); Bobby Ellis (trumpet); Don D Junior (trombone); Robby Shakespeare, Aston "Family Man" Barrett (bass); Carlton Barrett (drums).
Recorded at Dynamic Sounds and Channel One Studios, Kingston, Jamaica.
Digitally remastered by Robert Vosgien at CMS Digital, California.
Includes liner notes by Chris Lane.
Personnel: Augustus Pablo (melodica, piano, Clavinet, organ); Earl "Chinna" Smith , Aston "Family Man" Barrett (guitar); Richard "Dirty Harry" Hall (tenor saxophone); Bobby Ellis (trumpet); Vincent Don D Junior Gordon (trombone); Lloyd "Tinleg" Adams, Carlton "Carly" Barrett (drums).
Liner Note Authors: Dave Hendley; Noel Hawks.
Recording information: Channel One Recording Studio, Kingston 13, Jamaica; Dynamic Sounds Recording Studio, Kingston, Jamaica; Randy's Studio 17, Kingston, Jamaica.
Photographer: Jean-Bernard Sohiez.
Arranger: Augustus Pablo.
This strong set proves why Augustus Pablo was one of the most distinctive talents to emerge from Jamaica in the 1970s. As a musician and producer, Pablo pioneered what became known as "the Far Eastern style" in reggae by playing haunting, snake-charmer phrases on his melodica over deeply atmospheric dub tracks. Pablo was also known for his taste in collaborators, and ORIGINAL ROCKERS is no exception, with mixing from King Tubby, guest vocals from Dillinger (on the entrancing "Brace a Boy"), and Robbie Shakespeare and the Barrett brothers (Family Man and Carlton) serving up impeccable rhythms throughout.
Musically, ORIGINAL ROCKERS is a memorable excursion into dub land, with heavy, stuttering beats beneath bouncing bass, while guitar and horn lines ricochet through the echo-filled production. Through this, Pablo's organ, piano, clavinet, and melodica lines create ghostly textures and piercing melodies. Like the best dub, Pablo's is dense and spare at once; it is structurally minimal but dense, and its carefully selected instrumental lines (the naive, unearthly sound of the melodica, in particular) evoke sensations of both melancholy and comfort. ORIGINAL ROCKERS is a fine introduction to Pablo's unique, appealing musical vision.