Brown Sugar I'm In Love With A Dreadlocks: Brown Sugar and The Birth Of Lovers Rock 1977 - 80

    Soul Jazz Records
    Preview
    • Brown Sugar – Black Pride
    • Brown Sugar – Our Reggae Music
    • Brown Sugar – Hello Stranger
    • Brown Sugar – I'm In Love With A Dreadlocks
    • Brown Sugar – Hurtin' (with Dennis Bovell)
    • Brown Sugar – I'm So Proud
    • Brown Sugar – Runaway Love
    • Brown Sugar – Dreaming Of Zion
    • Brown Sugar – Loving Dreadlocks Dub
    • Brown Sugar – You and Your Smiling Face
    • Brown Sugar – Do You Really Love Me
    • Brown Sugar – Proud
    • Brown Sugar – Confession Hurts

    Soul Jazz Records are releasing this first ever collection of the pioneering British reggae Lovers Rock group Brown Sugar including rare singles, dubs and extended mixes. The album comes with extensive sleevenotes and interviews with Dennis Bovell, Pauline Catlin, John Kpiaye and Winston Edwards (Studio 16).

    Brown Sugar were formed by three young teenage girls – Pauline Catlin, Caron Wheeler and Carol Simms in South London in 1976. In the short period of time 1976-1980, the group – working with Dennis Bovell on the mixing desk and John Kpiaye (‘Brownie T) in the studio – recorded barely a handful of singles on the new Lovers Rock label, a number of which went to the top of the UK reggae charts. But success stopped there, and with no album release and no industry support the group broke up in the early 1980s.

    Following their split Caron Wheeler became the lead vocalist for the hugely successful group Soul II Soul, Carol Simms launched a solo career as Kofi (re-making a number of Brown Sugar songs with producer Mad Professor) and Pauline Catlin returned to education.

    Despite their relatively low-key mainstream public exposure Brown Sugar (and the label on which their first records appeared) announced to the world a new genre of reggae music, Lovers Rock, which spoke for the first time with the sensibility of a new segment of British society; that of first generation-born Black British female youth.

    And while Lovers Rock became synonymous with sweet love songs, Brown Sugar’s music in fact expressed far more; a righteous pride and consciousness in being Black and British, a political stance more often associated with UK roots groups like Black Slate, Aswad, Misty in Roots and other British reggae acts in the late 1970s. Brown Sugar were in fact their own genre of ‘conscious lovers rock’ – an expression of ideological black cultural pride.

    Brown Sugar’s handful of three-minute love songs (often plus extended dubs) somehow manage to encapsulate all the complexities of identity, sexual politics and youthful righteousness of Afro-Caribbean youth living in Britain in the 1970s. Songs such as ‘I’m in Love with A Dreadlocks’, ‘Our Reggae Music’, ‘Black Pride’ and ‘Dreaming of Zion’ spoke with a straightforward righteousness and consciousness that few roots groups could hope to match. The fact that they were all teenagers is even more striking.

    In the mid-70s British reggae came into being as first generation Black Britain was able to find a voice able to express the issues of growing up British with Caribbean roots. This came about in two different ways – the British roots music of (essentially male) groups such as Aswad, Steel Pulse and Black Slate – and Lovers Rock, the expression of a black essentially (but not totally) female consciousness – Brown Sugar, Louisa Mark, 15-16-17, Marie Pierre, Janet Kay, Carroll Thompson, Jean Adebambo and others. And significantly, while British roots music was a variant on a Jamaican style, Lovers Rock was uniquely British – the first authentic British reggae sound.

    Dennis Bovell comments, “For Lovers Rock we needed a pulpit, a way of saying ‘this is the style’. Sound systems were already saying ‘this is lovers,’ brandishing it in the dance. Our intention was to create a style of music that my generation could identify with – one that had a beat, and you could dance to with your partner in a sound system setting.”

    Dennis Bovell’s mixes for the group gave a further dimension to Brown Sugar records – a sound system mentality, adding sound effects and dub elements. ‘I’m in Love with A Dreadlocks’ was the debut release for both Brown Sugar and the Lovers Rock label, a fitting calling card for both. The record was a hit on many sound systems across the UK, reaching the top of the reggae charts.

    John Kpiaye: “They never put out an album. And all these records were seven-inch singles; when 12-inches turned up it just killed the seven-inch.”

    Although the career of Brown Sugar was short-lived, their legacy and influence remains significant and now, 40 years on from these first records, all of the members are still involved in music. Pauline Catlin has recently re-launched her career under a new moniker, Shezekiel; Carol Simms, aka Kofi, remains a successful solo artist, one of the queens of Lovers Rock; Caron Wheeler, after leaving Soul II Soul at the end of the 1980s, embarked on a solo career, before re-joining the soul super-group which she continues to front to this day.

    This new collection brings together all the groups essential recordings for the first ever time and is released as double gatefold heavyweight vinyl + free download (+ full sleevenotes), CD with large booklet, and digital album.

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    • Alton Ellis – A Fool
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    • Fernando Yvosky – Barcos De Papel
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    • Betty Harris – Mean Man
    • Betty Harris – I'm Gonna Git Ya
    • Betty Harris – Ride Your Pony
    • Betty Harris – Show It
    • Betty Harris – I Don't Wanna Hear It
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    This is the new edition of Soul Jazz Records’ long out of print first New York Noise collection, Dance Music From The New York Underground 1978-82. This...
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    Count Ossie & The Mystic Revelation Of RastafariTales Of MozambiqueSoul Jazz Records
    Soul Jazz Records are releasing Count Ossie and The Mystic Revelation’s seminal 1975 album Tales of Mozambique in an expanded double album/single CD/digital...
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    • View full info and tracklisting
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    • Godwin Omobuwa and his Soundmakers – You Cheat Me
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    • View full info and tracklisting
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    Fantastic new collection of rare and classic killer ska from the legendary Skatalites, one of the most important groups in the history of Reggae.This...
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    Lloyd McNeill QuartetAsha (1969)Soul Jazz Records
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    • – Callie Roots
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    • – Dakar
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    Soul 70Collectors 7" Box SetSoul Jazz Records
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    • Arnold Blair – I Won The Big Deal
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    Lloyd McNeill QuartetWashington Suite (1970)Soul Jazz Records
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      Israel VibrationMiddle East / Greedy DogTop Ranking Sound
      Jamaican trio Israel Vibration are one of Reggae's great vocal groups from the 1970s roots era. The trio re-formed in 1988, signed to the RAS label and...
      • Israel Vibration – Middle East
      • Israel Vibration – Dub Of The Middle East
      • Israel Vibration – Greedy Dog
      • Israel Vibration – Greedy Dub
      BRSSpring Dom EP (feat. Medlar remix)Wolf Music
      Wolf Music reissue a golden era house gem from the early 00s with bonus remix from Medlar. 'Spring Dom' is one of those timeless records that even 15 years...
      • BRS – Spring Dom
      • BRS – Spring Dom (Medlar Remix)
      • BRS – Clubtronic
      • BRS – Miss You
      • 12" EP£8.99
        Out of stock
      SenyaShow Some LoveTop Ranking Sound
      Olive “Senya” Grant was a gifted songwriter and performer hailing from east Kingston. Blessed with a beautifully melodic voice and fused with the eternal...
      • Senya – Show Some Love
      • Senya – Show Some Love (Version)
      Esther PhillipsHome Is Where the Hatred Is / I've Never Found a ManKudu
      Wicked version of the Gil Scott-Heron classic, 'Home Is Where The Hatred Is' from soul queen, Esther Phillips!
      • Esther Phillips – Home Is Where the Hatred Is
      • Esther Phillips – I've Never Found a Man (To Love Me Like You Do)
      • 7"£6.99
        Out of stock
      Chris BowdenTime Capsule (1992)Soul Jazz Records
      The stunning and ground-breaking album from the composer and saxophonist Chris Bowden back in print 20 years on! “This is the album that connected it...
      • Chris Bowden – Natural Selection
      • Chris Bowden – Mother And Daughters Now Mothers
      • Chris Bowden – Forbidden Fruit
      • Chris Bowden – Epsilon Transmission
      • Chris Bowden – Epsilon
      • Chris Bowden – Love Lies Bleeding
      • Chris Bowden – Time Capsule
      • Chris Bowden – Mind And Matter
      • Chris Bowden – Retrospective
      • Chris Bowden – Solo
      • Chris Bowden – Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA)
      • Chris Bowden – Life Support
      • Chris Bowden – Telescopic One
      • Chris Bowden – Telescopic Two
      • Chris Bowden – Telescopic Three
      • Chris Bowden – Sane
      • Chris Bowden – Angel Falls
      • Chris Bowden – Mothers Too
      • Chris Bowden – Deaf Out
      Carroll ThompsonHopelessly In Love Universal Sound
      Soul Jazz Records/Universal Sounds are issuing this seminal 1981 reggae album from Caroll Thompson.Thirty years on, this long out-of-print album stands...
      • Carroll Thompson – Yesterday
      • Carroll Thompson – I'm So Sorry
      • Carroll Thompson – No, You Don't Know
      • Carroll Thompson – Sing Me A Love Song
      • Carroll Thompson – Mr. Cool
      • Carroll Thompson – Merry-Go-Round
      • Carroll Thompson – Simply In Love
      • Carroll Thompson – When We Are As One
      • Carroll Thompson – What Colour?
      • Carroll Thompson – Hopelessly In Love
      • CD£11.99
        Out of stock
      • New LP (180g)£16.99
        Out of stock
      • MP3 Release£7.99
        In stockAdd to Bag
      SpacearkDon't StopMr Bongo
      Awesome private press modern soul / disco cut from Spaceark, not featured on any of their albums. A private press treasures from a dynamic group of musicians...
      • Spaceark – Don't Stop (Vocal)
      90 Degrees Of ShadeHot Jump-Up Island Sounds From The CaribbeanSoul Jazz Records
      Soul Jazz Records’ new album 90 Degrees of Shade features the music of the Caribbean – Mambo, Calypso, Mento, Merengue, Latin Jazz and much more. The...
      • The Eloise Trio – Come To The Caribbean
      • Cachao – Trombon Criollo
      • Duke Of Iron – Bambouche
      • Lucho Azcarraga – Tamboritos Panamenos
      • Alfredito – Timbales
      • King Scratch – Christmas Time In Nassau
      • Guy De Rosier Orchestra – Panono M'Tombe
      • Noro Morales Orchestra – Mississippi Mambo
      • Peanuts Taylor – Nassau Blues
      • Katherine Dunham Ensemble – Nago
      • Hubert Porter – Rum and Coconut Water
      • The Bay Street Boys – Donkey Wants Water
      • Guy Du Rosier Orchestra – Anatole
      • Sonny Burke Orchestra – West Indies
      • Dioris Valladares – Los Dos Merengues
      • Julio Gutierrez – Theme For Conga
      • Hubert Porter – Mary's Lamb
      • Count Lasha – Perseverance
      • Tito Puente – Swingin' Mambo
      • The Duke Of Iron – Fifty Cents
      • Katherine Dunham Presents The Singing Gods – Maiz
      • Fajardo y sus Estrellas – El Aguardiente
      • The Eloise Trio – Anna Macao
      • Lord Fly – Whai, Whai, Whai
      • Gina Martin – Omo Belli
      • Billo's Caracas Boys – Bombele
      • King Scratch – Liza See Me Hear
      • Cortijo – Con La Punta Del Pie Teresa
      • The Calypso Steel-O-Rama Band – Java
      • Super Ensemble Nemours Jean-Baptiste – Rinmin Ce Folie
      • Lord Lebby – Dr. Kinsey Report
      • Celia Cruz – Yembe Laroco
      FRNT BZNZZCool It, Pump The BrakesAloha Got Soul
      Raw electronic boogie business from Hawaii based talent, FRNT BZNZZ! Killer wares via Aloha Got Soul!
      • FRNT BZNZZ – Cool It, Pump The Breaks
      • FRNT BZNZZ – My House Under The Overpass
      Busty BrownSoon I'm Gonna Make ItPressure Sounds
      A superb single by the vocalist Busty Brown who is somewhat of a mystery other than that he recorded for the usual roll call of Jamaican producers such...