During the golden age of Ska of the early to mid-sixties, Duke Reid's Treasure Isle Records was engaged a battle royale with Sir Coxson Dodd and Prince Buster for dominance of the local music scene.
A key figure in Reid's armoury was Alton Nehemiah Ellis, singer-songwriter supreme, who at the time was beginning to assert his claim to being one of the island's keenest talents. After partnering Eddy Perkins, Ellis teamed up with the Flames, a talented vocal ensemble then comprising his brother, Leslie, Edgar 'Baby G' Gordon, Winston Jarrett and a fourth singer simply recollected as Ronnie.
Among the group's earliest collaborations with Ellis was 'Don't Trouble People', one of a series of original songs he penned that called for an end to the then recent anti-social activities of so-called Rude Boys. The session as Reid's Treasure Isle studio on Bond Street in the summer of 1965 produced two cuts of the song, the initial version remaining in the vaults until the issue of this, the latest in Trojan's limited edition 7" single range.
Later that year, Ellis and the Flames returned to the studio to record a follow-up - another of the singer's original numbers, provisionally titled 'Honey I Love'. Despite the quality of both the song and its production, Reid chose not to issue the track, preferring instead to present the group purely as the music industry's main advocates against civil disobedience.
Within a year or so, however, the lilting Rock Steady beat had superseded the driving sound of Ska and Rude Boy-themed discs had become passé, resulting in Reid finally relenting and allowing Ellis and the group to widen the range heir repertoire. It was a decision that led to Ellis swiftly gaining a reputation as arguably Jamaica's most soulful and versatile performer.
In 1967, two years after cutting 'Honey I Love', Ellis and the Flames revisited the song, cutting it in the new style as 'All My Tears', with the reworked cut duly becoming one of their most enduring hits of the Rock Steady era.
Now, at long last, the long forgotten Ska version of this much-loved song is made available as the A-side of this essential 45. Presented on the legendary Doctor Bird label and pressed on the highest quality heavy-weight vinyl, the single is available in strictly limited numbers with only 500 individually numbered discs produced. Buyers are advised to pre-order this guaranteed collector's item as early as possible to avoid disappointment, so just click here!
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