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Morphius Records Newsletter
Lens Records is a Chicago based record label created to help support and distribute the works of artists who prefer to work with a smaller, artist driven label. The label has released a variety of work in different genres including ambient, experimental, dark ambient, electronic, rock, modern classical, electroacoustic and field recordings...
With a toot of the horn, Bob Marley pulled his BMW off the rutted Jamaican road and hopped out to warmly greet a Rasta sitting on the grass. Onlookers gaped as the singer who made reggae a global sensation sat down on the dusty roadside to talk and share a laugh. Who was this man who could readily command an audience from the island’s favorite son? It was Marley’s old Trenchtown friend Claudius “Kingman” Linton, the
roots reggae singer known around Kingston for his soulful voice and knack for a killer melody. As young teens, Claudius, Bob, Peter Tosh, and other future reggae stars had all learned to sing together from the “father of reggae,” Joe Higgs. Years later they had all participated on the Rolling Stones’ “Goat’s Head Soup” recording sessions.
Claudius Linton is considered the originator of the roots reggae style of singing popularized by Culture, Burning Spear & other reggae artists for the last 3 decades. Along with singing partner Cecil Hemmings, Claudius fronted groups like The Angelic Brothers & The Hofner Brothers, rising with Tosh, Marley, Derrick Morgan, Toots & the Maytals and other reggae greats from early 60’s ska singles to the crest of reggae’s ‘70s heyday.
During the 70’s, Claudius produced a dozen singles, including hits like “Backra Massa” and “Kingman Is Back.” In 1976 he hit the top of the Jamaican charts with his #1 solo single “Crying Time,” followed by eight straight years of classic roots reggae anthems. After
recording “Reduce The Arms Race” with famed reggae producer Jack Ruby in 1984, Claudius disappeared from the scene for more than 20 years. Original copies of his singles trade hands for hundreds of dollars today, and fans have been demanding a CD of these never-reissued vintage tracks since Claudius’ return to recording with his new band Kingman & Jonah this year.
Having walked with the giants from the invention of roots reggae in Jamaica’s Trenchtown ghetto through reggae’s worldwide popularity, Claudius Linton is a living history of reggae whose fans still claim him as “one of the greatest reggae singers of all time.” This collection compiles the first volume of his essential classic material.
This CD includes never-before released material, new mixes of Claudius’ biggest hits restored from the original analog tapes and rescued from vintage vinyl pressings; also includes a
10-minute video shot by a NYC documentary film crew on location in Jamaica. Check out the historical video and audio samples.
The lineup for these recordings is a who’s who of reggae players, including Ansel Collins (keyboards), Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace (drums), Dwight Pinkney, (guitar) & the Soul Syndicate Band, fronted by Claudius’ soulful vocals, irresistible melodies & conscious lyrics.