"if its on Clocktower label it is probably shady, at least in some way."
That's not entirely accurate; one must draw a distinction between the original Clocktower run by Brad and what was later distributed by Abraham's. The original Brad's records and later Clocktower operated no differently than many/most JA labels & producers of the time. In other words, for every person that was paid for their involvement in the music released, there was most likely someone claiming they should have been compensated, as well. Brad recorded new music in New York with visiting JA artists and local talent, utilized existing JA rhythms and foundation tracks to create new music or mix different versions (sometimes without explicit approval from the original producer), and pressed and distributed vinyl for domestic US sale (as did the Chin-Randy organization). He also operated a retail record store in the north Bronx near Wackie's and Tad's Record Den. Obviously a complex business arrangement very much in line with the "hustle" of the times. To paraphrase the narrator of the classic documentary Roots, Rock, Reggae
, "Reggae is the rip-off business". Yet the vast majority of producers and studios from the time operated along similar lines. A completely different situation than the later "bootlegs" put out by Abraham's with no original artists or creativity involved.
"Bunny Lee was his friend, but Scratch was his idol. The little things Scratch did that amazed him, he used to do those things. He comes to the studio every night. He used to be around me a lot. Bunny Lee will have the same record, but Brad's will sound better. Bunny Lee would put it out in Jamaica but Brad had to sell it, and he wanted his to sound different."
-Lloyd "Bullwackie" Barnes on Brad Osborne
Wax Poetics #20 Dec/Jan 2007
Jamaal Pete - Brad’s Record Den on White Plains Road in the Bronx was a regular hang-out for New York painter Jamaal Pete. It was here that shop owner Brad Osbourne, who also ran Clocktower Records, first realised Pete’s talent, after seeing a picture he had produced of Haile Selassie shaped as a lion. Bob Marley was in town at the time, and Osbourne asked Pete – or “Pete the painter” as he was known locally – to paint a life-size picture of Marley, which he sent on to the singer as a gift. Shortly afterwards Osbourne commissioned the first Jamaal Pete album jacket, Prince Jazzbo’s Ital Corner (Clocktower Records, 1976). Pete went on to produce work for a variety of other record labels throughout the 1980s including Channel One, Wackie’s and Studio One. He passed away in New York in 2008.
By the time Smart arrived in New York in his early 20s, there was already a well-established network of Jamaican producers and sound systems, enough to keep a handful of reggae studios in business. Chin Randy’s and Wackies kept the Bronx bubbling, while Jah Life Outernational in Brooklyn held marathon dances in smoky basements with plenty of fresh juice, roots tonic and heaping stacks of bone-rattling dub. Smart took classes in multitrack production and radio broadcasting and did freelance engineering gigs around New York, mixing classic roots-reggae sets like Macka Dub for Brad’s Records.
IN MAY 6,1969, bROTHER rECORD AND AUDIO DEN opened to the public,originally the shop was an Electronic repair shop, but because of the huge demand in the community for a music shop, it quickly became a record shop with the trade name of Brads Record Den. The original staff was Brads wife Tami, his half-brother Michael and Brad. At first, we specialize in R&B, Blues and Jazz, but the budding Jamaican community quickly turned the focus,from R&B to reggae. So we started importing reggae from Jamaica and England. We had music that could not be found in the States. In a short period of time, Brads Record Den became the most talked about, and most popular Ma&Papa store in the NewYork area. Our speciality was Reggae,Oldies and hard to find records. Reggae became the Jamaican brand of Rhythm and Blues. 1971 Brad Osborne in association with his close friend Glenn Adams, launched the Clocktower Record Label and Brads inprint (LABEL). Shortly there after Brad Osborne started to import authentic jamaican Stars like Johnny Clarke, Horace Andy and linville Thompson provided shelter in a motel, then after closing time of the store, he would take them into studio to record. The clocktower record label spanned or covered the wide spectrum of Jamaican music. During the Seventies recording artist from the elder fifties, singer like - Owen Gray, upsetters, scratch perry and up to the very linville Thompson (roots singer). In 1979, a young man was hired by Brad to work in the breakbeat section, which was located in rear of the store. Tyrone was the young who asked Brad for a chance to record hip hop, rap for him. After paying his duesas a record sales man for a period of about a yearl. Tyrone was rechristened by Brad with the stage name Tski Valley and the Grand Groove Recording label was born with a brand new hit single called ( Catch the Beat ) in early l981 The subsequent groups on the grand groove label were Chapter Three, Just four, and screamin rachel who recorded on Grand Groove hip house label. Within a two year period, the very creative partnership between Brad and tski valley had produced eight titles on Grand Groove label. Within a twelve year period Brad Osborne produced a tremendous output of classic music, thereby establishing a timeless legacy of pure gold for Clocktower Music. Brad Osborne is survived by his wife,Daughter and Grandson. He will live forever in the hearts and minds of people who remember THE MUSIC MAN bRAD OSBORNE ( r i p )
A1 King Zion Dub 4:09
A2 Super Star Dub 3:14
A3 Graceful Dub 3:14
A4 Rubba Dunza (Clock Tower Mix) 3:06
A5 Jah Angel Of Dub (Clock Tower Mix) 3:05
B1 Blood, Sweat & Dunza Dub 3:09
B2 King, Queen & Minstreal Dub 3:33
B3 Easy Dread & Check This Dub 2:49
B4 Fancy Up A Dub 3:42
B5 Stalac 80 Dubwise 3:13
Artwork [Album Cover] – Jamal (23), Lesli A Moore
Bass – George Fullwood*, Robert Shakespair*
Brass – Dirty Harry*, Tommy Mc Cook*
Drums – Carlton Davis*, Sly Dumbar*
Edited By – Brad Osborne, Douglas Levy
Guitar [Lead] – Earl Smith*
Guitar [Rhythm] – Mickey Chung*
Liner Notes – Brad Osborne
Organ – Earl Lindo*, Ossie Hibbert, Winston Wright
Piano – Ansel Collin*
Producer – Brad Osborne, Brad Osborne
Producer [Rhythm Tracks] – Bunny Lee
Trumpet – Bobby Ellis
Recorded at Channel One, Kingston, Jamaica.
Edited at Bullwackie Studio, New York, USA.
Mixed at King Tubbys Studio, Joe Gibbs Recordings Studio,
Kingston, Jamaica and Shep Recording Sudio, New York, USA.
This form of music started in the dance halls in the early 60s by some of the pioneer record producers. Mainly Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee, by both of whom I’ve been tremendously influenced…
As a youth, from Jones and Trench Town, I’ve learned you must have an adequate power amplifier, right preamp and speakers…
For the right sound and effect, King Tubbys “the dubmaster” is a must, knowing when to bring in the Rhythm and leggo the Bass and Drum.
This album, it’s clean, heavy and right effects; we diged into the Rhythm vault and came up with TEN of the Hardest Rhythm Tracks. You’ll be convinced that this is the King of Dub.