Treasure Isle (1970)

A little over a week ago, Nottinghill Carnival, the biggest reggae party on the planet, was in full swing. The sun was shining, I’d got my fill of jerk chicken and I was heading from one side of the carnival to the other to finish the day.

I headed round the corner of Goldbourne Road onto Portobello and heard the intro and Gladdy dropping Ali Baba. Hand in the air, bigger smile on my face, out booms one of my favourite tunes from the mighty Gladdy Wax sound in full glory.

This 1970s Treasure Isle masterpiece with Tommy McCook and the SuperSonics, is one amongst many big tunes from John Holt, in a career spanning over thirty years. From his tunes with The Paragons, to his long solo career in rocksteady, reggae, lovers, dancehall, and roots, he has done it all and is a true living legend.

The vocal make little sense to me, I have no idea what the tune is about (feel free to enlighten me as I’d love to know), but the vocal, sweet horns, and great bassline all just work together in perfect harmony. It has spawned numerous deejay cuts of varying quality but this and the recently re-issued Hopeton Lewis cut can’t be beat.

Conviction Roots