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Howlin' Wolf

Message To The Young

    1971 marked a tumultuous yet historic year for Chicago blues legend Howlin’ Wolf. His health failing after suffering a second heart attack, doctor’s discovered his kidneys were also shutting down and he was ordered on dialysis to save his life. Wolf's doctors demanded that the legend quit performing at all costs, but the legendary blues musician did not have any quit in him. Three months after being ordered never to perform again he was headlining opening night at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival. 1971 also marked the release of Howlin’ Wolf’s second experimental offering, “Message To The Young”. Oft-considered his second attempt (after the “Howlin’ Wolf Album” he famously shunned) at offering the masses a “psychedelic” record, the sound on the record ranges from acid-rock, to blues, to funk, and back again. The title track on “Message To The Young” is exactly what the title suggests; Wolf’s attempt at reaching the youth of the era in a beautiful spoken word ballad which can easily be summed up in two words “Be Yourself”. Get On Down’s reputation for high quality reissues continues with Message to the Young, originally released on the newly formed Chess Grt label, a subsidiary of legendary imprint Chess Records. This all new Get On Down version features audio painstakingly remastered from the original master recordings for a true high definition sound experience.

    Impossibles

    Hot Pepper

      The rise to fame of the talented Impossibles is one which will never be described as such. Historically regarded as a legendary and iconic 70s era string-pop band in their native land of Thailand, the Impossibles became well known internationally for their covers of Western rock songs. Having become nationally recognized in 1970 after winning the Thai Musicians Award for best professional band in the country (an award they would win the next two years), the Impossibles knew that they could ride their wave of success to international heights. In 1972 they left Thailand for an engagement in Honolulu, Hawaii – the one off gig turned into a year long string of performances, followed by a seventh month European tour - a move which raised the stature of the Impossibles to international fame. In 1975, the Impossibles became the first band in the history of Thailand to sign a recording contract with an international firm (Phonogram). “Hot Pepper” - an all English language recording, was also the first such album recorded overseas by a Thai pop group. In addition to rock and pop, the band's sound frequently crossed over into funk, R&B, country and folk. Two covers of Kool and the Gang tracks ("Give It Up" and Love The Life You Live") appear on their heralded 1975 album “Hot Pepper”. Get On Down is proud to present The Impossibles 1975 album “Hot Pepper” featuring audio completely remastered from the original audio tapes.

      Clipse

      Hell Hath No Fury - White Vinyl Edition

        In the 4 years after The Clipse dropped their sophomore classic Lord Willin' the duo was able to build a legacy that had fans hungry for new material. After the smoke cleared and they hit the studio the Virginia brothers recorded the confidently mature sophomore effort, Hell Hath No Fury. Best known for their unconventional radio smash "Grindin'," Clipse are no strangers to taking risks with the boundary-pushing Neptunes, who return as trusted co-pilots for Hell Hath No Fury. As always the duo is right at home over The Neptunes crafted beats which perfectly embrace Pusha's inventive drug-game metaphors and Malice's soul-baring confessionals.

        From the bouncy lead single "Mr. Me Too" and the Slim Thug assisted "Wamp Wamp" to the oddly haunting "Keys Open Doors" to "Momma I'm Sorry", Hell Hath No Fury represents some of the duo's best work. On the hypnotic "Keys Open Doors," over the eerie mix of screwed-up angelic voices, chimes and congas, the brothers run circles around the competition, while the spine-tingling boom-bap of "Ride Around Shining" sets the stage for Pusha's hilarious boasts. Whether rhyming over distorted, lo-fi guitar plucks ("Dirty Money") or overblown 808s ("Trill"), the brothers come with colorful references and inventive word play that easily places them in a lyrical class of their own. Get On Down now proudly issues this Neptunes produced favorite on LP for the first time ever with the first run on white vinyl.

        Pete Rock & Cl Smooth

        The Main Ingredient

          We are the planters of the weeds or roses in our garden. Take the plunge within yourself to find The Main Ingredient.” So reads CL Smooth’s album dedication in the liners to Pete Rock & CL’s underrated, soulful and deeply grooving sophomore album. For fans, it was bittersweet, as it would be their last as a duo. By 1994, Pete and CL were darlings of both fans and critics, still on a high after 1992’s Mecca & The Soul Brother and the album’s emotional smash single “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.).”

          Two years later, they had grown even more as men and artists. Gone was some of the righteous striving of their earlier work, replaced by mature – yet still righteous – wisdom. And a lot more love as well, bringing a larger female constituency into their fanbase. They were adults now, reveling in the plateau they had reached. The duo’s ‘90s swan song is a powerful double album that still resonates with Golden Era hip-hop fans: 16 cuts deep and full of intelligence, fire and warmth. Beats-per-minute-wise, the album mostly clocks at a comfortable strutting pace, bolstered by Pete Rock’s pioneering use of filtered basslines and a recently-hatched obsession with Rhodes piano. The new tracks filled speakers and headphones with soul, as CL continued to assert his lyrical prowess all throughout.

          The lead single, “I Got A Love,” is a perfect example of the group’s ‘94 steez: a super-catchy and respectful, but far-from-soft love track, suitable for any rap fan’s romantic needs. “Take You There” and “Carmel City” cover similar ground. Considering CL Smooth’s top-level brag rapper status, cuts like “I Get Physical,” “Get On The Mic” and “Check It Out” effectively reminded competitors not to test him. Pete also gets in the game on the mic several times on the album, acquitting himself nicely (and solo) on the cloudy day soul of “Escape,” alongside other cuts. Add more pensive lyrical forays like “All The Places,” “Searching,” and – perhaps the album’s sleeper cut – “It’s On You” and you have one of the more complete rap full-lengths of the mid-1990s. This isn’t surprising, considering the wonder twins-esque skills of Pete and CL. But it does make fans wonder what would have happened if they had stayed together longer. 

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xColoured LP Info: Clear vinyl.

          Lee Scratch Perry & The Upsetters

          Cloak And Dagger

            Lee Perry first came to prominence working with Coxsone Dodd’s fabled Studio One. This is where Scratch earned the nickname with the wildly popular Jamaican hit record and dance craze “Chicken Scratch.” After a fall out with Dodd, Perry moved on to a stint with Joe Gibb’s Amalgamated. Again in a dispute over compensation Perry moved on to form his own label, Upsetter and established his house band, the Upsetters. By 1973 Perry had also established Black Ark, a recording studio of his own that functioned as an effective fertilizer throughout what was Jamaica's most innovative period for sounds and recording techniques.

            In that year, as Perry and Black Ark entered a period of heavy dub output, Scratch recorded Cloak And Dagger. This early dub outing is a testament to Perry’s lo-fi mastery as he utilized his TEAC four-track, Soundcraft board, tape delays, phasers, reverb and any other ambient sounds he could get this hands on as an instrument rather than just to record instruments. Get On Down celebrates a piece of reggae history and one of Lee Perry’s crowning achievements with this reissue of Cloak And Dagger, presented here as originally issued in Jamaica in 1973. 

            Prince Far I aka the Voice Of Thunder got his start in the burgeoning Jamaican music industry as a sound system DJ (for Sir Mike The Musical Dragon), working security at Joe Gibbs’ stuido and in a similar roll at Coxsone Dodd's Studio One. As fate would have it, King Stitt, the regular DJ at Studio One, failed to turn up to voice a track and the up and commer convinced Coxsone to give him a try on the mic. The resulting cut launched the career of one of Reggae’s most famous toasters - though he liked to describe his style as a chanter rather than the more popular term toaster.

            First releasing records using the moniker King Cry Cry, the same name he’d used working Sir Mike’s sound system, he soon changed his name to Prince Far I at the suggestion of producer Enos McLeod. On Voice Of Thunder, Prince Far I is supported by an extremely sparse yet heavy instrumental backing which perfectly compliments his growling voice. As is often the case with Prince Far I, much of the material is essentially Bible verse, “Ten Commandments” being a perfect example. The Voice Of Thunder full length also includes a tribute to the very recently deceased Bob Marley, and he even takes time to take UK skinheads to task for wearing polyster (forbidden to a real rastafarian). Long out of print on vinyl, this 1981 masterpiece from Prince Far I is back in effect thanks to Get On Down.

            Willie Colon

            Wanted By The FBI (The Big Break - La Gran Fuga)

            We sent our American correspondent over to Philly a couple of weeks back, and using charm, persuasion and eventually brute force, they returned with an illicit cargo of 'missing' US RSD releases. Here we have a limited white vinyl pressing of Willie Colon's "Wanted By The FBI".

            The Big Break is a masterpiece of Latin music, the kind of formidable artistic statement that established the Fania label as a cultural icon-- going beyond the parameters of a company specializing in crowd pleasing dance music. Needless to say, this is still a great party album, filled with dance friendly classics such as “Barrunto” and “Abuelita”. At the same time, it crystallizes the Colón/Lavoé aesthetic that the duo had been developing on previous albums (""The Big Break"" was Colón's sixth release on the Fania label.) This session is a roller coaster of intensity-- a symphony of contrasting flavors, colors and feelings. Perhaps the one moment that best encapsulates the transcendental qualities of this collection is the bridge of “Panameña”-- the moment when the tune stops on its tracks, Lavoé introduces la salsa de Puerto Rico, el aguinaldo (Puerto Rico's own salsa, the aguinaldo) and all hell breaks loose thanks to Colón's roaring trombone and the spidery piano lines courtesy of the maestro Profesor Joe Torres. The resulting effect is nothing less of apocalyptic. Of the many brilliant LP covers that graphic designer Izzy Sanabria designed for Fania , The Big Break may be the most notorious one. The art capitalized on Colón's ‘Malo’ image. This time, Sanabria flew with the idea and devised a cover that replicated a Wanted by the FBI poster. Using the project's limited budget to his advantage, the designer included a cheap photo of Colón and random fingerprints to create a realistic looking poster. After its release, the company was contacted by the real FBI, which requested that the ‘Wanted by FBI’ text be removed from the cover. Listening to these eight, timeless tracks decades after their original release, the music compels you to ask: how could two young men in their '20 have so much to say? How did they manage to record an album of such depth and beauty? It may be advisable to stop pondering such heady issues and enjoy the music instead."


            This week, Get On Down presents another top-notch vinyl reissue from their long-running series of collaborations with James Brown's famed 70s funk label People Records. As the 1970s wore on, the classic funk sounds that had defined James Brown's backing band, The J.B.'s, gave way to the rise of disco music. Fred Wesley and his collective of musicians couldn't resist the chance to make their mark, releasing "Hustle With Speed" in 1975, with Charles Bobbit and Don Love producing, and the godfather himself, James Brown co-writing and providing arrangements.

            "Hustle With Speed" didn't cross over like the band had hoped it would, but it was nonetheless remarkable album, featuring The J.B.'s signature funky style married with disco to exciting effect. All the while there's still plenty to be had for the funk die-hard, from the brass blow-out jam "Here We Come, Here We Go, Here We Are", to the trombone-heavy "All Aboard The Funky Soul Train", to the powerhouse opening salvo that is "(It's Not The Express) It's The JBs Monaurail". Songs from "Hustle With Speed" would take on lives of their own decades after the album's release, through sampled appearances in tracks by Jay-Z, Nas, Eric B. & Rakim, Ultramagnetic MCs, EPMD, and many more. 

            Very limited single, we are getting very few copies of this. “I'm kinda young / But my tongue speaks maturity” Thus stated Special Ed, on his 1989 smash hit, “I Got It Made.” And he backed up that brag throughout his trademark anthem, which featured laid-back brags that MCs a half-decade his senior couldn’t mess with. The Brooklyn MC was only 16 when it was released, making him one of the youngest rappers – especially at the time, before the 90s brought us Kris Kross and Lil Bow Wow – to ever have a hip-hop hit. The song itself, which floated over a perfectly hooked up slice of Ripple’s “I Don’t Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky,” was produced by Hitman Howie Tee, who also made waves in the late ‘80s with his cousin, Chubb Rock.

            When Ed and Howie combined, it was a match made in heaven, and the song exploded in New York before taking over worldwide. Eventually becoming sample fodder on dozens of later songs – from Fat Joe to Kendrick Lamar – the track still invokes heavy head-nods today from crowds of all ages. Also included on this special 7-inch is the “Businesslike Version” of the song (also produced by Howie), which also appeared on the original 12-inch. Featuring a minimal, synth-driven backdrop and a quicker pace, it offers an excellent new way to experience Ed’s forward-thinking lyricism. This unique, deluxe “big hole” 7-inch comes housed in a custom Profile 45 jacket

            Wu-Tang Clan

            Method Man / Protect Ya Neck

            Wanna know why Wu-Tang are the baddest crew alive? It might be because they can put a record out which fuses references to Hall & Oats, Bootsy Collins, George McCrae, The Rolling Stones, Dr Seuss and Dick Van Fucking Dyke. As you'd guess from the name, "M.E.T.H.O.D. Man" finds Meth rocking the mic solo, with occasional adlibs from the rest of the clan - deranged as it gets really. It's all n together now on the flip, as RZA, GZA, Rebel INS, ODB, Meth, Rae, GFK and U-god go hard over a gloomy beat laced with piano and martial arts samples.

            Wu-Tang Clan

            Tearz / 7th Chamber-Part II (Conclusion)

            Another strong contender for "Enter The Wu-Tang"'s finest moment is the sublime ghetto storytelling of "Tearz", RZA and Ghost's powerful tale of dead homies and HIV set to a gritty flip of Wendy Rene's soul tearjerker "After Laugher". Flip it for the bass heavy reprise of "7th Chamber" which closed the finest rap album ever made. Over a rugged beat of JBs drums and nasty synth bass the Clan explode with RZA, GZA, Meth, GFK, INS, ODB and Rae all bringing maximum heat.

            Wu Tang Clan

            Clan In Da Front / Wu-Tang : 7th Chamber

            Here's a fat 7" slab of pure Shaolin fiyah, kicking off with the deranged and insane sound of 'Clan In Da Front'. RZA blows our heads with a madcapped intro, flips the buzz and bassline from The New Birth's 'Honeybee' then drops into one of his finest off-key jazz flips, slamming Monk's 'Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are' in the MPC and playing merry havoc. GZA then shows us why he's the Clan's finest lyricist, blasting through two minutes of inventive invective straight from the heart. Flip it for the heavyweight, rough and ready Shaolin funk of "7th Chamber", a classic Wu cut which sees Rae, Meth, Rebel INS, Ghost, RZA, ODB and GZA go buckwild over a gritty beat nabbed from The Charmel's 'As Long As I've Got You'.

            Lee Perry & The Full Experience

            Disco Devil

              For Black Friday Record Store Day 2017, your friends at Get On Down bring you a beautiful package of roots reggae weirdness from the almighty Upsetter: Lee “Scratch” Perry. This red vinyl 12” with a stamped outer sleeve features the song “Disco Devil,” recorded by the legendary Jamaican mad genius with the group The Full Experience, as a version of Max Romeo’s “Chase the Devil.” But don’t jump to conclusions based on the song title – musically this is as far as you can get from Saturday Night Fever. Thick, reverb-drenched dub/roots reggae laced with Perry’s dusted vocals and brilliant work behind the boards are on the menu throughout. This cut is undeniably underrated in Perry’s catalog and fans will eat this up, since it has always been hard to find on 7” and 12” for many years now. 

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Ltd 12" Info: 12” Red Vinyl With Stamped Outer Sleeve

              “All of a sudden, Jamaica awoke one morning and U-Roy was everywhere…” So read the original liner notes to this classic reggae LP, which originally hit in 1971 and washed over the island like a grooving tropical storm. U-Roy was a true reggae pioneer, dubbed The Originator for good reason. Bursting onto the Jamaican scene in the early 1970s, he pioneered the vocal approach called “toasting,” which in addition to bringing Jamaican music into a new era, was also heavily influential on an American vocal style also in its infancy: rapping.

              This full-length, his first after a string of singles (mostly on the Treasure Isle and other Duke Reid labels, run by the famed producer and studio owner), rolls like a crazy party where a wobbly, but talented, “master of ceremonies” grabs the mic and won’t let go. Speaking over and around songs that already have straight-ahead vocals on them, U-Roy shows the world why he is considered an iconoclast and trailblazer. In all honesty, there are few standouts on the album since they all run a similar course, and all are captivating in their own way. Modern listeners will especially note “Tide Is High,” originally by the Paragons (featuring dulcet-toned vocalist John Holt) and recorded later as a 1980 smash hit by Blondie.

              Each track here is a new adventure, and while U-Roy’s approach might take some getting used to, it will eventually capture your ears as it did the entire island of Jamaica in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Sit back, drop the needle, and enjoy. 

              U-Roy was a true reggae pioneer, dubbed The Originator for good reason. Bursting onto the Jamaican scene in the earliest 1970s, he pioneered the vocal approach called 'toasting', which in addition to branching out Jamaican music into a new era, was also heavily influential on an American genre in its infancy: rapping. On "Dread In A Babylon", his third full-length, he stretches out over traditional roots grooves provided by the Soul Syndicate and Skin, Flesh & Bones bands, riffing on topics including love (“Runaway Girl,” a 1975 single released in the UK on Virgin Records); the Bible (“The Great Psalms”); walking the straight and narrow (“Listen To The Teacher”); and even his take on governmental policy goals (“Chalice In The Palace”). The album finishes with an instrumental version of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ “Trench Town Rock,” for good measure.

              U-Roy’s style and charisma are always on display, and - as with all of his classic records - the groove rules all. Presented on black vinyl with a poster of the glorious, ganja-drenched cover art, it’s the perfect chance to revisit one of the more underrated voices in Jamaican musical history. 

              The contemporary realm of hip hop music can be seen as polarized between two sides; mainstream versus underground, industry versus independent, at a base level boiled down to catchy sounds & infective hooks over higher quality lyrical content. These elements don’t need to be mutually exclusive, but these days it’s rare to find an act that can please all sides of the discussion. Clipse are one of the few groups that successfully and consistently caters to both sides of rap’s splintered psyche, simultaneously serving the scene with upbeat bangers that get the club poppin’ & subwoofers rattlin’ while crafting clever quotable compositions deserving of repeated headphone submersions. Though their preceding official albums "Lord Willin’" & "Hell Hath No Fury" made bigger splashes commercially, 2009’s "Til The Casket Drops" is surely no slouch, a gem which deserves to be revisited with fresh ears – good thing Get On Down has given it the proper treatment it deserves with its first-ever vinyl pressing!
              Clipse have always delighted in dualities, juxtapositions and contradictions, unabashedly celebrating the capitalistic lifestyle and the grind as the kings of ‘coke-rap’, while taking hard looks at society’s mores and those of their own individual journeys. We hear Malice’s eventual transition to No Malice taking form on this album as he found religion, warning others who might follow in his path on ‘Footsteps’: “don’t let my wrongs give you the right of way/ to emulate my past escaping the law’s grasp” while refusing to be pinned down in one lane: “it weights on my conscience and I hate conscious rap”. Meanwhile Pusha T continues his lyrical ascent into the King Push persona with bars like “pompous motherfucker, look what them jewels made me/ I’m only finding comfort in knowing you can’t replace me/ What a thing to say, but what am I to do/ I’m role-playing a conscious nigga and true is true/ Cocaine aside, all of the bloggers behooved/ My critics finally have a verse of mine to jerk off to” decisively on album opener “Freedom”.
              Since it dropped, the Clipse have stated that Casket… is their final album together while subsequently alluding to the possibility of an eventual reunion. Only time will tell, but until then it’s time to re-celebrate one of hip hop’s most dynamic duos by hearing "Til The Casket Drops" in a whole new light with its long-overdue, first time on vinyl pressing via Get On Down featuring all 13 original tracks on wax and cover art by the legendary KAWS! It’s kinda like a big deal…

              Boogie Down Productions

              Ghetto Music: The Blueprint Of Hip Hop

              Amongst hip-hop fans, Boogie Down Productions’ first two albums – "Criminal Minded" (1987) and "By All Means Necessary" (1988) – loom very large. And for good reason: they both captured one of the late 1980s’ most important and influential crews at their highest powers of lyricism and musical invention. That being said, too many people sleep on BDP’s third LP, Ghetto Music. Released in 1989, when the hip-hop world was truly beginning to explode and reach new heights of sales and exposure around the world, the album is arguably as powerful as the group’s first two.
              As on "By All Means Necessary", in the wake of the tragic death of original founder, producer and DJ Scott LaRock, KRS-One pushed along mightily on the production side, with help from his extended crew. Musically the sound created on albums 2 & 3 was funky, catchy, and continually innovative, giving him the perfect backdrop to build his “Edutainment” syllabus. Lyrically there was never a question about KRS’ power, and on "Ghetto Music" he continues to impress, teach and ask important questions. Clear cases in point are two of the album’s singles, “You Must Learn” and “Why Is That?” but he gets even deeper on lesser-jocked tracks like the anti-police thought-piece “Who Protects Us From You” (still sadly relevant in 2017), “Ghetto Music” and “World Peace.” Still as strong and entertaining today as it was almost three decades ago, this new reissue is a perfect way for younger fans to embrace one of the most underrated hip-hop platters of the era.

              U-Roy was a true reggae pioneer, dubbed The Originator for good reason. Bursting onto the Jamaican scene in the early 1970s, he pioneered the vocal approach called “toasting,” which in addition to bringing Jamaican music into a new era, was also heavily influential on an American vocal style also in its infancy: rapping. Following up the RSD17 release of U-Roy’s classic "Dread In A Babylon", Trafficnow brings us a very welcome reissue of the vocalist’s 1976 full-length (and fourth) album, "Natty Rebel", which has been out of print for more than 30 years. Produced by Tony Robinson (known for his work with Big Youth, Lloyd Parks, the Gladiators and many more), the album’s 11 cuts range from bouncier and sometimes even disco-tinged grooves – “Have Mercy,” “Go There Natty” and the album lead-off, “Babylon Burning” – to the classic roots stepping that drew fans to the legendary Jamaican vocalist over his long career – including “So Jay Jah Say” and “Natty Kung Fu.” At its core, this is a deep journey into the heart of rasta living, spoken by one of Jamaica’s most underrated dub and roots legends, and it’s one of the strongest full-lengths in his expansive catalog. Whether you are experiencing U-Roy for the first time, or replacing your decades-old original LP, diving into this reissue of "Natty Rebel" is one hell of a way to spend an afternoon. Or, if you’re not careful, a week or two. 

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Patrick says: As you read this, there's every chance I'm tucking into breadfruit stew, rice an' pea and a side of fried plantain, my culinary experience enhanced no end by this U-Roy classic.

              Dr. Octagon

              Dr. Octagonecologyst

                Dan The Automator’s and Kool Keith’s famed collaboration from the mid-‘90s is celebrated with a 28-track set housed in a custom, octagonal box, with 5 unreleased songs (originals + remixes); original Pushead cover artwork; and 40 page liner notes booklet. By the mid-1990s, the rap game had been through a lot in its two decades of existence: Early-days scraping to get by and be heard; The advent of sampling; The rise of groups ranging from Run-DMC to the Wu-Tang Clan and the sprawl of Dr. Dre’s shadow from the West across the globe; and solo juggernauts ranging from MC Hammer to the Notorious B.I.G. Thankfully, though, with everything that the genre had been through, there was still a lot of room to grow. And in early 1996, a new indie duo appeared that won over a whole new international audience, from hard rocks to skate punks. That pair was Dr. Octagon: Dan “The Automator” Nakamura and Kool Keith [Thornton]. In some ways, the Dr. Octagon album is a solo release.

                But Keith wasn’t the only hand on deck. He brought along a young, New York-based MC with him: Sir Menelik. Menelik was featured on four album tracks, starting with “Dr. Octagon,” and proved to be an excellent super-scientifical, fast-rhyming foil to Keith. And there was one final featured contributor who helped add to the album’s next-level sound: San Francisco’s DJ Q*Bert, who cuts on half of the album’s songs. The album originally came out on The Automator’s Bulk Recordings label in early 1996, with cover art by metal and punk cult hero visual artist Pushead. Pressing numbers weren’t huge, but as the year went on, the buzz grew, and a slightly expanded version of the album was released on James Lavelle’s London-based Mo Wax label.

                Then Dan took an offer from newly-formed major label DreamWorks, to re-release the album with extra tracks in mid-1997. The new domestic pressing allowed for a bigger press push, as well as the group’s first and only video, for “Blue Flowers.” Beyond “Blue Flowers,” the album is chock-full of mind-bending tracks, like “Earth People”; the wacked-out but sincere love ballad “Girl Let Me Touch You”; the metal-tinged “I’m Destructive”; Q-Bert’s turntable workout “Bear Witness”; and, of course, freaky Keith skits like “Elective Surgery” and “General Hospital”. Dr. Octagonecologyst is one of the most unique rap records the genre has ever seen, and this is the perfect way to celebrate it – whether it’s the first time you have heard this mind-expanding record, or the three thousandth. 

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                3xLtd LP Info: 28-track set housed in a custom, octagonal box, with 5 unreleased songs (originals + remixes); original Pushead cover artwork; and 40 page liner notes booklet.

                Run-DMC’s self-titled 1984 debut pushed the doors of pop music open, showing that hip-hop was not the fad that haters had prophesized. As they proved decisively on Run-DMC, rap was a legit art form, fully capable of producing long-players full of no-fast-forward cuts. By 1985, any doubters were running on fumes, as the group’s King Of Rock blew the aforementioned pop doors off their hinges.

                Emboldened by their success (including the first rap album to ever go Gold); energized by worldwide touring and accolades; and given all the support they could want by a genius producer (Larry Smith), an open-minded label (Profile) and a charismatic manager (Russell Simmons, who also lent a hand on production), they ruled the charts and hinted at even greater things to come. The album’s most fondly-remembered single set the album’s tone perfectly: “King Of Rock” was hard, full of charisma and tag-team vocal finesse, and had enough guitars to bring the suburbs into the rap fold. The song’s video was equally popular and powerful, and the pioneering MTV exposure drove the group into a new stratosphere. But there was much more to King Of Rock than the title track, including more rock / rap hybrids.

                Cypress Hill

                Cypress Hill - Clear Vinyl Edition

                Clear vinyl pressing limited to 700 copies. Somewhere in between the rock-star mischief of the Beastie Boys and the slow-creeping funk of Dr. Dre, Cypress Hill introduced their hazy-eyed sound to the world on their self-titled 1991 debut and things have never quite been the same since. The original Cypress Hill album captures the group at their risk-taking best, mixing gangster posturing, LA street politics, Latin flavor and warped humor together under a thick cloud of weed smoke and innovative beats. Nasal-voiced rapper B-Real and his partner Sen Dog, backed by the adventurous production styles of DJ Muggs, produce classics records like “How I Could Just Kill a Man,” “Pigs,” “Stoned is the Way of the Walk” and “Hand on the Pump.” Since its release, the album has won acclaim as one of Rolling Stone's “Essential Recordings of the 90s” and “Top 100 Best Rap Albums” by The Source magazine. Get On Down is proud to present one of the most influential and important hip-hop albums ever, Cypress Hil clear vinyl release, featuring audio remastered from the original source tapes.

                Augustus Pablo

                This Is Augustus Pablo - Get On Down Edition

                Augustus Pablo (Horace Swaby) was born just outside of Kingston. “I am a Kingstonian,” he told the NME in 1986, “but my heart is for the hills.” This mystical connection to “the hills” is at the heart of Pablo's unique and immediately identifiable sound. By the late '60s, Swaby and his brother Dougie had founded a small sound system they called Rockers. The brothers spent a lot of time in record shops, including Aquarius, where owner Herman Chin-Loy heard Swaby experimenting on his melodica and was struck by the inspiration to record. The resulting tune was credited to Augustus Pablo, a name that Chin-Loy invented, as the story goes, to give an air of mystery to the release. Pablo recorded two more singles soon after with “Java” becoming a major hit and being voted Instrumental Song Of The Year by Jamaica's Swing Magazine. This success led to the Randy's label moving to create a full-length album from Pablo. Recording in the Randy's studio upstairs from the record shop “we weren't watching the clock...we had the studio,” Clive Chin recalled. The band included a cast of the greatest reggae musicians of all time: future Wailer Tyrone Downie on keyboards, Aston “Family Man” Barrett, “Fully” Fullwood and Lloyd Parks on the bass, Carlton Barrett, “Santa” Davis and Lloyd “Tin Leg” Adams were on drums and Earl “Chinna” Smith played guitar. In addition to these future Hall of Famers, the mixing board was helmed by Errol Thompson. Thompson and Chin would together pioneer a tough, new reggae sound that, Chin referred to as “Rockers” after the Swaby brothers' Rockers Hi-Fi sound system. 'This Is Augustus Pablo' is considered among the greatest collections of Jamaican instrumental music and is an essential part of reggae history. 

                Ol' Dirty Bastard

                Return To The 36 Chambers - The Dirty Version

                It's safe to say that hip-hop has never seen an album like Ol’ Dirty Bastard's 1995 solo debut 'Return to the 36 Chambers'. The brief glimpses of ODB's unhinged genius provided by Wu-Tang Clan's landmark Enter the Wu-Tang album two years earlier were begging to be expanded on to a larger canvas, and, with RZA guiding production, the album promised to give Dirty the creative license to make one of the most bizarre, entertaining and original LPs in hip-hop history. With his raspy, drunken flow and dark sense of humor, Dirty fearlessly attacks from all angles, throwing himself fearlessly into punchy rhyme attacks (“Damage,” with GZA), drugged-out party jams (the monster singles “Brooklyn Zoo” and “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”) and bizarre, grimly hilarious fantasies of sex and violence (“Don't U Know” and the R&B-tinged “Sweet Sugar Pie”). Backed by RZA's appropriately gritty, dissonant beats and appearances from the Clan, Return became an instant hit, selling over 1 million copies and earning a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album in 1996. The album stands as a high water mark in the Wu-Tang Clan's collective creative output and was selected as one of the Best 100 Rap Albums by The Source magazine in 1998.


                Jurassic 5 flexed serious old-to-the-new muscles in the ‘90s, beginning with their independently released single “Unified Rebelution” in 1994, and book-ending with their stellar debut full-length: 2000’s Quality Control. They walked a tightrope between underground and mainstream hip-hop, and toured alongside rap peers as well as punk rockers on the Vans Warped Tour. With double the pleasure of your average hip-hop group – two DJs and producers (Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark); and four MCs (Chali 2na, Akil, Marc 7 and Zaakir aka Soup) – they brought the late 1970s “unison MC” style of pioneering groups like the Fantastic 5 and the Force MCs to a new generation. Even more surprisingly, they did so out of Los Angeles, whose hip-hop flavors generally leaned towards Gangsta, G-Funk or Electro lines. Musically inventive and lyrically forward-thinking, each song on Quality Control is a new adventure, exploring engaging territory, delivered via one of the best live hip-hop shows fans had seen in years. From singles like the strutting groove of the title track to the throwback doo-wop samples on “The Influence” and the catchy, keyboard groove-driven “World of Entertainment (WOE Is Me),” to deeper album tracks like the lyrical gymnastics of “Jurass Finish First” and the thought-provoking “Lausd,” Jurassic 5 consistently stepped to the plate and their fans responded in kind, nearly pushing the album to Gold status. Add the innovative DJ-and-sample workout which closes out the album, “Swing Set,” and you have one of the 2000s’ most unique and solid full-length platters.

                Dominatrix

                The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight - Pink Vinyl Edition

                “The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight” has a long and storied history among connoisseurs of ‘80s New York dance music. Combining catchy, deadpan synth-pop and classic ‘80s electro hallmarks with the provocative edge of leather-and-lace sex culture, it remains a worldwide dancefloor staple to this day. Despite its popularity, little has been known about the song’s background. The brainchild of producer Stuart Argabright (nee Arbright, a member of the groups Ike Yard and Death Comet Crew); alongside DJ and remixer Ivan Ivan; Kenneth Lockie (from Cowboys International, and early Death Comet Crew); and vocalist Claudia Summers; the song’s dominating female subject was based on a person whom Arbright had dated. The song - and a banned-by-MTV video that today could be mistaken for a Victoria’s Secret commercial - became a club smash at famed Danceteria and other urban meccas. But, despite some leather-clad live dates in 1984, the group itself was short-lived. This special Get On Down vinyl edition is sure to be coveted by fans and collectors. This configuration has never been available before: beyond four original mixes of the song ('12”', 'Chants', 'Dominant' and 'Beat Me') that fans know and love - this full-length LP includes the newly unearthed song “Play It Safe” and the rarely heard, hypnotic “City That Never Sleeps,” in addition to the rare 1984 “Scratch Mix” of the original title song, with cuts by the legendary DJ Red Alert. The deluxe vinyl package is accompanied by a 16-page glossy booklet with text by writer Dave Tompkins and input from Argabright and Ivan Ivan. Additionally, fans will be thrilled into submission by visuals and press clips relating to the original release on Arthur Baker’s Street Wise Records; the song’s provocative video; as well as the dominatrix culture in New York City at the time which inspired this unlikely smash hit. 

                By 1976, Lee "Scratch" Perry was well established at his Black Ark studio, a fact proven by the quality of the creations emerging from its walls. The success of Max Romeo's "War in a Babylon" brought a deal with Island Records and the possibility of greater financial rewards. The single was followed by a full-length album of the same name as well as deejay Jah Lion's Columbia Colly LP. Riding this crest of productivity, Scratch then turned to a creation of his own. Super Ape offered a series of the producer's finest 1976 rhythms, from Devon Irons' "When Jah Come" and the Blue Bells' "Come Along" to Romeo's "War in a Babylon" and "Chase the Devil." All are bathed in the distinct, murky atmosphere that was becoming a Black Ark trademark, then served up in the form of dub-like de-constructions. Island's UK / US sequencing of Super Ape places "Dread Lion" at the album's heart. If any track fulfills the cover's promise to "Dub it up, blacker than dread", this is it. Vocals from numerous cuts seem to compete for their spot on the rhythm, while a dizzying mix of horns, flute and melodica swirl around them. Punctuating the song's rock-solid underbelly, Perry conjures startling thunderclaps from his mixing board. Other Super Ape heavyweights include "Croaking Lizard" and "Zion's Blood": thick muscular constructs from the Upsetter session team. The former features an excellent Prince Jazzbo toast over the "Chase the Devil" rhythm, while the latter, a cut of "When Jah Come," draws its elusive meaning from vocal phrases courtesy of Heptones Earl Morgan and Barry Llewellyn. Super Ape is a dubwise, alternate universe to Perry's Black Ark vocal hits. It awaits anyone willing to heed its closing call: "This is the ape-man, trodding through creation, are you ready to step with I man?".

                Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force

                Planet Rock - Glow In The Dark Vinyl Edition

                  Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force “Planet Rock” 12-inch re-issue on glow-in-the-dark vinyl (Limited edition of 1982 copies) B-Boy anthem from 1982 lights up any dancefloor…literally! First time ever on glow-in-the-dark vinyl! Fresh off Bambaataa’s historic donation of his vinyl collection to the Cornell University Hip-Hop Collection and the Fall 2014 “Renegades of Rhythm” tour by DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist celebrating his unparalleled contribution to hip-hop, Get On Down celebrates the song for which the Godfather of Hip-Hop is best known: 1982’s “Planet Rock,” a Kraftwerk-meets-Bronx-B-Boy anthem. Renowned the world over as a never-fail floor-filler, this new 12-inch pressing of the single is pressed on glow-in-the-dark vinyl for the first time ever. Although Bambaataa may have gotten top-billing on the release, it was a team effort, with crucial contributions by a team including DJ Jazzy Jay, Afrika Islam, Arthur Baker, John Robie, a Roland TR-808 drum machine (aka Planet Patrol) and of course MCs Mr. Biggs, G.L.O.B.E. and Pow Wow. This edition is housed in a clear, custom-embossed Get On Down poly-bag to let the glow show through.

                  Kenny Dope

                  Wild Style Breakbeats 7" Box Set + Book

                    The breakbeats from “Wild Style” and the story of how they came to be re-edited by Kenny Dope packaged in a 28 page hardcover book with seven 7” singles containing the fabled breaks from the legendary Charlie Ahearn film. ”When it comes to “Wild Style”, it’s a movie that I have loved since I was a kid, because of what it stood for and how it showed real hip-hop culture to the world. As I became a producer in the late 1980s and into the 90s, when I listened close to the breakbeats that the DJs used in the film, I could tell that they were done in a studio....but I never knew the actual story behind them. It was always a mysterious thing, and no one seemed to know much about it.” - Kenny Dope // “Wild Style Breakbeats” not only features a 7” single including each of the breaks from the film, it also tells the story of those breakbeats in words and pictures. The 14 page hardcover book is written by Brian Coleman with reminiscences from Charlie Ahearn, DJ GrandWizzard Theodore, Fab 5 Freddie, Leonardo “Lenny Ferrari” Ferraro, Chris Stein and many more. This is more than a collection of audio, this is documentation of an integral part of hip-hop history!

                    Eric B. & Rakim

                    Paid In Full (Mini Madness: Coldcut Remix)

                      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                      Available from Get on Down, we are proud to bring back this rare 7”, the UK Picture sleeve release of Eric B & Rakim’s Paid in Full (Mini Madness – The Coldcut Remix). When Eric B & Rakim debuted with Paid in Full in the summer of ‘87 the album was an immediate classic. By the time the cut "Paid in Full" was released as the album's fifth and final single, it became a hit in clubs, radio and MTV largely due to the songs remix. Enter Coldcut, a new DJ/Remix team from the U.K who at the time just made a big splash with a record of their own, the cut & paste classic “Say Kids What Time Is It”. It made such a huge buzz that Julian Palmer from Island Records urged them to do a remix of “Paid in Full”. The result was the “Mini Madness” mix which turned Rakim's one verse song into a magnum opus that that crossed cultures and influences into one seamless remix. Today it still holds as one of the most groundbreaking remixes ever, Rakim himself is even quoted as saying it was the “best remix” he has ever heard. What made this remix so special was how Coldcut incorporated several new elements in producing their remix, mainly the use of vocal samples. The most prominent in these samples was the addition of Israeli singer Ofra Haza, whose voice when lowered in pitch, synced perfectly with the Paid in Full breakbeat. Another notable element of the Coldcut remix is its opening vocal sample, "This is a journey into sound” which even today it is recognizable as the start of this Remix. "Now wait a minute, you better talk to my mother" comes from Humphrey Bogart and lines like "Pump up the volume" and "Dance to the record" are sampled from Eric B. & Rakim's own song "I Know You Got Soul". While there are many more vocal bits and breaks that go into what makes this remix so special, it’s better to let the music speak for itself.

                      Sly & The Family Stone

                      There's A Riot Goin' On - Gold Edition

                        This 24k audiophile gold disc reissue of Sly & The Family Stone’s classic There’s A Riot Goin' On is packaged in a deluxe box emblazoned with a unique embroidered flag cover and includes a 48 page hard cover book filled with photos and liner notes.

                        After 2 years in production the follow-up to Sly & The Family Stone’s 1969 smash Stand! was unveiled. Containing radio hits like “Family Affair,” “Runnin’ Away,” and “(You Caught Me) Smilin’,” it also (in true Sly fashion) dove deeper into a trippy sonic and lyrical universe exploring societal tensions (“Brave & Strong”) the motherland (“Thank You For Talkin’ To Me Africa”), personal relationships (“Just Like A Baby”) and artistic expression itself (“Poet”). The album reached #1 on both Pop and R&B charts and years later, was certified platinum, gaining tens of thousands of new fans with each passing year.

                        Sly definitively explained his concept for the cover art ‘I wanted the flag to truly represent people of all colors. I wanted suns instead of stars because stars to me imply searching, like you search for your star. And there are already too many stars in this world. But the sun, that’s something that is always there, looking right at you. Betsy Ross did the best she could with what she had. I thought I could do better.’”

                        That flag has been lovingly recreated by Get On Down, presented on the CD box cover as an actual embroidered fabric square to bring textureto an album which is already full to the brim with feeling. It’s a perfect way to pay tribute to one of the 20th century's musical geniuses a man who brought fans together during one of America's most turbulent eras.

                        GZA

                        Liquid Swords: The Chess Box Vinyl Edition

                          Quadruple Vinyl – Boxed Set – Includes Full Size Chess Pieces And Board!

                          GZA’s ‘Liquid Swords’ in its most deluxe treatment ever, a hard board box set with magnetic clasp containing the entire original album and complete instrumentals across four discs, as well as in depth full colour liner notes with contributions from GZA himself, inner jackets and dust sleeves with original artwork, and even a complete full-sized wooden chess set, which can be played on the chess board contained on the inner lining of the box. In the early to mid 1990s at the peak of his powers as a producer, Wu-Tang Clan mastermind RZA crafted a distinctive soundtrack at his basement studio in Staten Island. Whether or not he knew it at the time this haunting landscape of dusty samples, sharp snares and menacing urban gloom would soon become a pillar of hip hop history. These instrumentals, peppered in with frequent interludes of dialogue from the classic samurai flick “Shogun Assassin” became the core of the GZA’s 1995 LP ‘Liquid Swords’, and would eventually be considered by many as each man’s finest work. Cerebral, strategic and precise with his words, GZA crystallizes a range of influences, from chess to kung-fu films to mob flicks and eastern philosophy, into sharply delivered rhymes. Many would argue there is no greater MC to compliment the RZA’s production as well as GZA did on ‘Liquid Swords’.


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