Archive for the ‘Arrow’ Category


Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Listen: Groovemaster / Arrow

The Island offices on 4th Street, right above Tower Records, were a real hubbub of activity back in the late 80′s and early 90′s. Seems a day wouldn’t go by when at least someone from the roster would stop by. Julian Cope, Phranc, Toots Hibbert, Bootsy Collins, Melissa Etheridge, Etta James, Third World, Rakim, Marianne Faithfull, Anthrax. Seriously, there was never a dull moment.

Arrow lived locally, and seemed genuinely thrilled to have a group of friends at the company, all of whom attended his many in Central Park or SOB’s shows. He was forever a happy jolt to any workday.

Seeing him live was a quick trip to carnival, there was no way you could have a bad time. For an hour or so, everyone danced and laughed and got rid of all their troubles. Sounds all very patronizing I’ll agree, but it really did happen that way.

Despite some of the sonic trappings of his Mango releases, like those electronic drums for instance, overall I have the fondest memories of ‘Groovemaster’ and those days when it was a current single. Not being one for Latin music, like truly not at all, ‘Grooovemaster’ just slides by unscathed. Hey, after all, it was World Music. Most importantly, it’s only possible to remember the good times associated with all things Arrow.

Above: Jukebox Tab signed by Arrow

Third World

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Listen: 96° In The Shade (Single Edit) /Third World
96° In The Shade (Single Edit) /Third World

Summer ’77, this was one of our anthems. The single came along several weeks before the album. Not surprisingly, a longer version accompanied the long player, and it was certainly a treat to have the outro chorus repeated many more times. A beautiful slow fade that you kind of never wanted to end, like summer itself.

Oddly, the song’s a cappella intro, nicely edited off this 7″ version, was never ever loud enough. I’m shocked no one ever noticed, and wanted to change that in mastering when years later I had to put together a cd length history of Island’s best known reggae tracks for a New Music Seminar sampler, snapshotting it with the title 96° IN THE SHADE. Only now realizing I completely fumbled that one, totally forgot to make the needed improvement. Mistake.

One of the nice things about working for Island in the late 80′s and early 90′s, the company was fine with doing all kinds of promo only items, theme based compilations of reggae, ska, world, funk, dance. A particular favorite was one I slaved over for weeks: SALT & TABASCO, a gathering of latin leaning tracks from Los Van Van, Jorge Ben, Kid Creole & The Coconuts and Arrow, to tropical-ish remixes by The Gibson Brothers and Third World.

As with most, including the 96° IN THE SHADE sampler, which by the way Island later commercially released as GROOVE YARD, I was able to slip a promo only 7″ onto the release schedule for college servicing. We’d do a run of a few hundred to cover the A list stations on the panel, a handful for the UK and few boxes for the US office, most of which I would horde and covet not unlike the guilty substance abuser I was/am/will always be when it comes to 45′s.

The sleeve to said 7″ is pictured above (B Side: The Harder They Come / Jimmy Cliff)