Listen: Home Made / Jackie Mittoo HomeMade.mp3
One of the most fun things about collecting reggae singles for the last fifteen years, has been how scant the information about many of these recordings is. That some records even exist is sometimes surprising. It didnt help that often the completely wrong label was applied at the pressing plant. And there was also very little formality in the record keeping depts of most JA labels, which is probably what helped keep so many artists from ever seeing any of the money their releases made.
So it’s much more of a detective game, collecting this stuff, than rock records. Unlike rock, there were very few discographies on reggae around until just recently with the web. Before that, you would buy home made bootleg cassettes on the street & scour them for good things to then seek out on vinyl. And to find the few discographies that existed, you would have to hunt & buy them in little 4th generation xeroxed booklets from the few reggae shops that were around, or order them thru the mail.
So I don’t know much about this single, except how much I like it. The little info available seems to suggest it was recorded in the late 60s, but who knows if it was released at that time? Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One was home to Jackie Mittoo for most of his career. He was a session keyboard player on most of what passed thru those doors until ’68 when he moved to Toronto, tho he still returned for session work. The band behind Jackie is The Soul Vendors. He was a member of all of Studio One’s legendary house session bands in the ’60s, not just The Soul Vendors, but The Skatelites, The Soul Brothers, and The Sound Dimension.
‘Home Made’ is an instrumental that can also function a bit as a resume of hits he’d played on for Coxsone. In it, he circles around riffs from the Wailers “Rudie”, and The Maytals “Bam Bam”, among others. Sounds like it was recorded live in the studio, as many hits were back then.
Original pressings of this kind of thing are next to impossible to run across, even on ebay. If you see one, you may be seeing it for the first & last time in your life. Often when reissued, a Studio One single will have a different b-side. I looked this one up & its only ever listed by this matrix & with this b-side (The Ethiopians – “I’m Gonna Take Over”) so it may be an original. I really have no idea.