Five Star Review

Israel Vibration: The Same Song Dub

"And you don't know what tomorrow's gonna bring... Life is one big road..." - Cecil "Skelly" Spence.
The next mainstay of classic roots reggae has broken away and headed to its ancestors towards Mount Zion. Cecil "Skelly" Spence from Israel Vibration died on August 26th in a New York clinic at the age of almost 70. For this sad occasion I have for the umpteenth time the "Israel Vibration: The Same Song Dub“ belongs. I'll say it right away: A fascinatingly beautiful record that has accompanied me almost my entire "reggae life". Skelly's death hit me all the harder. This fragile man, to whom we owe such glorious songs as "The Same Song", "Why Worry", "I'll Go Through", "Prophet Has Arise" and many other beautiful songs, has died of complications from an untreatable cancer.

Kingston, Jamaica was the birthplace of reggae harmony group Israel Vibration. After a polio epidemic swept the island in the early 1950s, many children contracted polio. Polio vaccines were still in their infancy, and many children around the world were still contracting this insidious disease. Cecil "Skelly" Spence, Lascelle "Wiss" Bulgin and Albert "Apple Gabriel" Craig met as children when they met at the Mona Rehabilitation Clinic. In the 1970s they formed the roots reggae ensemble Israel Vibration.
After hearing the three men sing in a wooded area outside of Kingston, Hugh Booth, a member of the Twelve Tribes Of Israel, raised funds for the three boys and gave them the opportunity to record their first album. Their first release was the single Why Worry, recorded at Treasure Isle Studios in 1976 and released later that year on the Twelve Tribes label. Due to the popularity the group gained with the release of the single, many Jamaican artists such as Dennis Brown, Inner Circle and even Bob Marley asked them to open for one of their concerts.
Israel Vibration then began collaborating with producer Tommy Cowan, releasing the single "The Same Song" on the Top Ranking label in 1977. The following year, 1978, they released the album of the same name. On "The Same Song" they were joined by members of the Inner Circle Band. The plate and you Dub- counterpart "The Same Song Dub' were internationally successful, leading to a partnership with EMI label Harvest to release the album in the UK.
Now for the Dub-Album: The relatively unknown Jamaican singer/songwriter Paul Donaldson sat at the mixing desk, of whom very little exists. But with the albums The Same Song and The Same Song Dub“ he has set a monument to himself, because both albums are great moments of reggae/Dub. For example, listen to my favorite song “Ball Of Fire” from the Dubalbum, you might hear that an opus like this doesn't show up in reggae heaven every day. Simply a masterpiece full of sadness and fragility. Skelly's voice fragments whizzing through the room make me humbly get on my knees again and again.
Note: There is a second, completely different mix of the album: "Fatman Riddim Section: Israel Tafari', also produced by Tommy Cowan and released on the Lewis brothers' Top Ranking label. Both albums deserve the title "particularly valuable".

RIP Cecil "Skelly" Spence, your live performances will never be forgotten.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

6 Responses to “Israel Vibration: The Same Song Dub"

Thank you for the beautiful and comforting obituary Ras Vorbei !

Unlike you, I listen to the “Same Song Dub“ very very rare. I was so blown away by the Roots album from the first moment and I still am like the first day I saw the Dubs but rarely presented. "Oddly" I just got a few yesterday Dubs from the "Same Song in Dub' hung up at home. And again I had to realize that there were "better" Dubs exist and I still find the vocal disc untouchable.
Yes, and just as I've gotten to know you in the meantime, you'll get a treasure that I've never known before from the treasure chest. "FatMan Rhythm Section Israel Tafari" !!! Is my old "disease" breaking out again here, that I basically find the versions that I don't know or don't have the best, or are they DubIt's actually way better here!?! The "Fatman Dubs" are much more voluminous for my taste and above all with much more Dubequipped with accessories.
So much for the music. I also think your obituary is so nice because you “supplied” some information about Israel Vibration that I didn’t know yet.
And so I also add myself to the list that commemorates Cecil "Skelly" Spence and pays him "last" respects. However, also in the hope that the Dubblog does not become a kind of condolence book for reggae artists. But “….. you don't know what tomorrow's gonna bring” …….

So long ……………… .. lemmi

high lemmi,

unfortunately he will Dubblog slowly but surely a kind of "condolence book". Unfortunately, many of my old heroes go the way of all things earthly.
Drummie Zeb aka Angus Gaye is already on his way to Mount Zion. Therefore, in this context, I would like to refer again to the “ASWAD: A New Chapter Of Dub" refer.
RIP Drummie Zeb


Drummie Zeb has already left us. I can not believe it.
And my last comments about ASWAD were pure BadeVibes because they dared to perform without a band. I still stand by that, but I would have much preferred to be able to praise another nice fresh album from ASWAD.
Well, maybe the many reggae musicians will be spared from dying to death from the heat and drought. I don't know if my "sarcasm" about all the happenings here on earth is rather inappropriate, especially since there are already a lot of people who actually die of hunger - drought death. Whereby the hunger thing is just pure political tricks by mentally ill political tricksters and murderers.

Ok, I really hope Mount Zion really exists and our ReggaeHeroes and ReggaeSheroes are there in their paradise. To be honest, that's where I would like to go, if only because I actually want to listen to reggae for all eternity. In this sense …..

….. Rest In Peace Angus “Drummie Zeb” Gaye

Mmmh yes, maybe I don't get a lot of understanding now, but on the one hand I would like to introduce one of my many favorite tunes from ASWAD and on the other hand I would like to show what I mean by a fantastic, galactic and anyway unearthly trumpet solo. From minute
Due to the current situation (the sword of Damocles is hanging over us), the song is really topical! Which actually still applies to almost all reggae tunes, because unfortunately Babylon has not developed for the better in any way. But on the contrary ! It looks like FaschoBabylon has already won and just needs to tie the sack. Songs like "Free Nelson Mandela" by Burning Spear are no longer up-to-date in terms of lyrics, but they are still very beautiful or very good. And you know "2×3 makes nine and I make the world I like". That's why I say, if someone asks me how I still get along with the lyrics today, "you can see how strong this tune (and reggae anyway) is. Someone from the other end of the world sings, "Free Nelson Mandela" and now it's free! Hopefully he's in Mount Zion by now. I mean Nelson Mandela! Just to prevent misunderstandings, because I'm not in the mood for our "condolence book" to be filled so quickly.
Ok, maybe that was all too much out of my special sewing box, but I didn't think it was that far off the mark.

"I don't want no see Nuclear Soldier! In This Time! Oh no no, don't want no more war crimes” ……………….. Me Too ( lemmi )

("Check off the real situation! Nation was against Nation! Where did it all begin? When will it end? Well it seems like total destruction the only solution!)

Unfortunately, heads of state listen to too much classical music, operas and son' zeugs' - downpressor music, full of stiff seriousness. It would be better if they had a feeling for reggae, then almost all reggae lyrics would be out of date, but the lovers tunes always work. I've got a lot more sentences like that in my head, but I notice myself that I'm falling back into my very own naivety and I'm not quite sure if you want to follow me there.

"Come Back Jesus!" (Although I think the Hancocks would help us more effectively......)

………….. OK Bye ……..

boom ! I guess I can't really cope with starting work yet.
The trumpet solo begins at around 3:36 min. But beware! The trumpet plays discreetly and in no way imposes itself. If you prefer blowers to be "full throttle", you don't even have to listen to them.

(so now I'll leave you alone for the time being...... lemmi)

"…..what I mean by a fantastic, galactic and anyway otherworldly trumpet solo."

High lemmi, you have perfect pitch!
I think you mean the solo by the late, legendary anti-apartheid activist and jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela. Of course, that is and remains a fabulous solo by a really big one! Because of South Africa's inhuman apartheid policy, Masekela lived in exile in the USA for many, many years. His 1987 single Bring Him Back Home became the liberation anthem for Nelson Mandela.
After the end of apartheid he returned to South Africa, where he died in 2018.

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