"Solid Gold U-Roy" standard 2LP black vinyl edition out now

Article Contributed by Big Hassle Media | Published on Sunday, January 16, 2022

U-Roy is releasing the standard 2LP black vinyl of his critically acclaimed album SOLID GOLD U-ROY today. The album can be purchased HERE. This vinyl release follows Trojan Jamaica/BMG's offering of the Limited Edition 2LP Gold Vinyl exclusively available at VP Records retail outlets in Queens, NY, and Miramar, FL, and via VP Reggae HERE.

Both of these vinyl releases follow the creation of the official music video for U-Roy Feat. Jesse Royal’s “Small Axe (Jamaica Soundsystem Remix).” Directed by Daryl Higgins and Executive Produced by Gabriel Jagger for whynow alongside Trojan Jamaica co-chiefs Zak Starkey and Sharna “Sshh” Liguz, the new video interpolates historic footage of U-Roy and the newly Grammy-nominated Jesse Royal captured during sessions for the late reggae icon’s acclaimed new album, SOLID GOLD U-ROY, alongside iconic scenes from the legendary 1978 Jamaican film, Rockers (courtesy of Blue Sun Film Co.) featuring cameos by reggae superstars including world-renowned bassist Robbie Shakespeare, whose recent passing is still being mourned by the entire music community. Big Youth, Gregory Isaacs, Kiddus I, Ras Michael and The Sons of Negus, drummers Sly Dunbar and Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace, percussionist Bongo Herman, engineer Sylvan Morris, guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith, and horn players Bobby Ellis, Cedric “Im” Brooks, David Madden, Tommy McCook, and Richard “Dirty Harry” Hall all make appearances too. U-Roy feat. Jesse Royal’s “Small Axe (Jamaica Soundsystem Remix)” is streaming now via YouTube.
“I absolutely loved working with Zak and Sshh to create the ‘Small Axe’ video,” says Jagger. “It is such a privilege to work on this amazing track from U-Roy and Jesse Royal that breathes new life into Bob Marley’s iconic song.”
Rockers is one of our favorite movies,” say Starkey and Liguz, “and we are blessed to have worked with Kiddus I, Big Youth, Horsemouth, Bongo Herman, Robbie Shakespeare, and other musical giants featured in the film, and we recently mixed a Gregory Isaacs tune. All of these guys represent the ‘Small Axe’ that is going to chop down ‘the big tree’”

The original version of U-Roy & Jesse Royal’s “Small Axe” can be found on the acclaimed new album, SOLID GOLD U-ROY, available now via Trojan Jamaica/BMG.

The dub-powered new take on Bob Marley’s classic early hit, “Small Axe” sees the late, great Daddy U-Roy trading big vocals with Kingston, Jamaica-based singer-songwriter Jesse Royal over an indelible riddim that is rich with instrumentation and reverb, yet leaves enough space as to highlight the contrasting deliveries of the singer and deejay, as well as the guitar and piano by Zak Starkey, organ by Robbie Lyn, and fresh backing vocal arrangements courtesy of Robbie Shakespeare, Tony Chin, and Sharna “Sshh” Liguz.
On hearing U-Roy & Jesse Royal’s version of “Small Axe,” legendary producer and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell commented, “I love the unique production sound, it’s “f*cking great!”
“It was and always will be an honor and a pleasure to work on U-Roy’s recordings,” says Zak and Sshh. “We miss him, but our mission is to keep his legacy strong with the music that lives on. Jesse Royal gives a stand-out performance with passion and talent that we have come to know from ‘the small axe’. Maximum Respect!”
“We are all from the same bloodline,” says Jesse Royal. “Products of one of the greatest places on Earth! Walking talking blessings. The session for me was a school, as whoever knows me knows that I’m an avid studier when it comes to the ones who set it! The vibrations are always high, as the respect is mutual, and for me the level of gratitude was undeniable! Incredible concept that the team came up with, and brilliant execution by the musical team. Truly honored to be a part of such an amazing project!”
SOLID GOLD U-ROY – which also features appearances from such icons as Ziggy Marley, Shaggy, Mick Jones of The Clash, Santigold, Sly & Robbie, David Hinds of Steel Pulse, Big Youth, Tarrus Riley, Rygin King, Richie Spice, and Scientist – has proven one of this year’s most celebrated releases.
Produced by Starkey and Liguz, with Martin “Youth” Glover (of Killing Joke), and mixed by David Sardy (Toots & The Maytals, Oasis, The Who), SOLID GOLD U-ROY further boasts a stellar band of superstar personnel comprised of Zak Starkey on guitar, as well as reggae royalty, including Sly Dunbar on drums, Robbie Shakespeare on bass and backing vocals, Tony Chin on guitar and backing vocals, Robbie Lyn on keyboards, Stingwray on trumpet, and the maestro Dean Fraser on saxophone and backing vocals.
The album recently spent several weeks atop the NACC (North American College & Community Radio) World charts, confirming that U-Roy's uniquely timeless sound has been fully embraced by a new generation of fans. Influential on-air personalities at key stations offered their thoughts:
"U-Roy has always been a huge staple in my musical collection,” shared Santa Monica-based KCRW’s Jason Kramer. He continued, “this new album is special because U-Roy also seamlessly passes the torch to the future of reggae music. His infectious toasting makes you want these songs never to end on this final Solid Gold masterpiece of classic songs. Most important when I was a youth staying in Boston Beach near Port Antonio, I remember vividly U-Roy played over the bar sound system. His sound just amplified the importance of Jamaican music and culture. Even though I was visiting, I felt like I was home."
"Solid Gold U-Roy is a beautiful celebration of his inimitable style and far-reaching impact on music. The inspired updates sound stellar and bring U-Roy's timeless flavor to a new generation of music lovers," added Seattle-based KEXP’s Kid Hops.
Originally scheduled for release in 2020, SOLID GOLD U-ROY now serves as a musical memorial to the one and only U-Roy, who sadly passed away on February 17 of this year. One of the most profoundly influential reggae stars of his generation, U-Roy left behind an unmatched legacy as an originator of the chatty rhythmic vocal style known as toasting – a key foundational element in the development of rap and hip hop in the 1970s. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, drummer and joint frontman of The Roots, paid tribute to U-Roy as “the god of toasting,” adding that “without him, we wouldn’t have the concept of hip-hop.”