Saturday 8 October 2022

Elizabethan Reggae

This is a reggae arrangement, from 1969, of Elizabethan Serenade, perhaps my favourite piece of British Light Music; which I have liked since early childhood. It frequently featured on a weekend kids radio programme called Junior Choice - or maybe the show for adults broadcast just before it. 

Elizabethan Reggae was on the compilation album Reggae Chartbusters Volume 1 (1969) - which was owned by a friend - the leader of a 'pop group' called The Shades that I played in (with the... unorthodox combination of reed organ, acoustic guitar, ukulele-banjo (that was me) and maracas). 

That LP, and Volume 2, was where I heard most of these 'rocksteady'-type reggae pieces that I have continued to appreciate over the years. 

As an arrangement Elizabethan Reggae is pretty crude and done in a single take with mistakes left-in (therefore, perhaps, some strange harmonies and modulations); but the rhythm playing is so unsurpassably superb - and the Hammond Organ sound so sharply incisive - that the track is very enjoyable anyway, and grows on you. 

The tune is so appealing that it has been widely covered: whistled, made into a choral song (which my wife tells me she performed in a primary school choir), and was done as a solo in Czech by their sweet-voiced popular tenor - Karel Gott. 

1 comment:

Bruce Charlton said...

@H - "Are you a fan of A.L. Lloyd?" As a performer - not really; although I appreciate his scholarly work.