by carl wilson

Speaking of...


Noel Ellis at the Jamaica-to-Toronto show in July.

... of both copyright and "outsiders," there's now a sequel to the notorious and wonderful (and much remixed/reenacted) "Numa Numa Dance" video by the original performer, Gary Brolsma. It's presented pretty blatantly as a commercial gesture, and the song is no patch on the original, though Brolsma still has his charms. Rather than wax elegaic or defensive on this, Zoilus eagerly awaits comment from Douglas Wolk, author of the definitive Numa Numa exegesis.

... of sequels, there's a new entry in the Toronto-reggae/soul-history reissue series from Light in the Attic, to follow the Wayne McGhie and Jamaica to Toronto discs. This one is slightly later than the others, recorded in 1979 here in town by Studio One star Noel Ellis. You can hear some of it on the label's page, including a full MP3 of Rocking Universally, which they claim is the source material for The Clash's Armageddon Armagideon Time - but wait, wasn't Willie Williams' Armageddon Armagideon Time the source? We're back to intellectual property again... (Speaking of which, there's a lot worth reading on music and copyright in the current issue of Wired, including interviews with Beck and with Nettwerk Music's Terry McBride.)

... of Torontopia, I highly recommend innerested internauts go read Adrian Blackwell's essay on "the gentrification of gentrification" from Fuse magazine (which by the looks of recent back issues, has plenty of other relevant material too). Blackwell's article makes me wonder if the dream of city-as-imaginative-playground in some ways serves an agenda quite contrary to the one many participants in the arts and music scenes would like to think - actually helping to occlude the realities of city-as-city. There are counterarguments (the way that Torontopian musicians have gotten involved in the Public Space Committee and City Idol, for instance) but it's a criticism to be taken seriously. (Thanks to TSCI for the pointer.)

| Posted by zoilus on Monday, September 11 at 5:25 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (5)

 

COMMENTS

The liner notes in the Noel Ellis disc are a little confusing; making it sound like "Armagideon Time" and "Rocking Universally" were cut nearly back to back, and had a similar level of influence.

The Armagideon timeline: it was originally based on Studio 1 late 60s house band Sound Dimension's "Real Rock". According to liner notes in Willi Williams 'Messenger Man' reissue, Williams and Jackie Mittoo went to New York in 1979 to meet with Coxsone Dodd, and together they cooked up 'Armagideon Time', overdubbing the Sound Dimension track with new instrumentation, which was Coxsone's style at the time.

In these notes, several weeks passed before 'Rocking Universally' was cut, minus the original Sound Dimension tune underpinning it. 'Armagideon Time' became a huge hit and inspired the Clash, 'Rocking Universally' became a moderate hit - hopefully it will generate more waves with this reissue.

The one constant: Jackie Mittoo, who played on all three recordings. I don't believe he is credited as a writer on any of them, even though he undoubtedly was the sole composer of the original tune. He was paid a weekly salary at Studio One to come up with 3 rhythms a week, some of which ended up being versioned hundreds of times over the ensuing decades. His name sometimes shows up in the credits of latter day versions, but like so many American producers, Coxsone made sure his own name was in the credits even if Mittoo's was not. Intellectual property indeed...

Posted by dacks on September 14, 2006 6:13 AM

 

 

Internauts?

Posted by Sasha on September 12, 2006 3:09 PM

 

 

That's "Armagideon Time," not "Armageddon Time," btw. (For both Willie Williams and the Clash.)

Posted by Matos W.K. on September 12, 2006 1:30 PM

 

 

Sorry about that. Should work now. If not:
http://www.tsci.ca/files/ET_Readings/Fuse_Gentrification.pdf

Posted by zoilus on September 11, 2006 8:42 PM

 

 

Hey Carl, that Fuse article link doesn't work. Can you re-link?

Posted by Ryan M on September 11, 2006 7:30 PM

 

 

 

Zoilus by Carl Wilson