shadow Sweet Sweet Dreams (LP, £21.50)label: Analog Africa
Sweet Sweet Dreams has been elevated to holy grail status becoming one of the most sought-after Caribbean disco records in existence. Sweet Sweet Dreams was recorded at the legendary SHARC studios, located on a hill in Chaguaramas (near Port of Spain) and despite a fantastic sound and monster Soca-boogie tunes like "Lets Get It Together", "Lets Make It Up" and "Way, Way Out" the album was a commercial flop, probably due to the fact that it didn't sound like anything else coming out of Trinidad & Tobago at the time. It fused a range of different rhythms and new sounds, primarily heavy synth riffs. When it came out in 1984 the far-out album Sweet Sweet Dreams by Trinidad & Tobago's Shadow (aka Winston Bailey) was described as "way ahead of its time". Undeservedly it was panned by critics and, unable to reach markets, disappeared into the dusty record collections of a few music aficionados. Now, more than three decades later that cosmic dance-floor UFO is about to take off again, change all that and set the record straight. Remastered and cut by Frank Meritt at The Carvery the album is truly a masterpiece. But who is this Shadow behind Sweet Sweet Dreams? Shadow is a man of understated magnitude. A truly enigmatic artist, he first emerged in Trinidad and Tobago during the 1970s, becoming a part of the tapestry of Caribbean music and reinvigorating calypso at the time. Calypso, the indigenous folk music of Trinidad and Tobago, has roots in West African kaiso rhythms, French Creole influences, and the hardships endured by the African slaves brought to Trinbago, whose descendants still use it as a tool for satire, self-expression, and social commentary. Calypso has also given birth to several other music genres, including soca, with its uptempo beats and festival context. Shadow effortlessly moves between both. Shadow came from a humble but musical family and started writing songs as a youth while tending cattle in the fields. To his family's initial chagrin he chose calypso over church music but his talent and drive were undeniable. In the early days of his career Shadow's style was cramped when working with some of the more conservative music arrangers who felt that calypso and soca should fit a mould. But after a while Shadow teamed up with more innovative arrangers, including Arthur "Art"de Coteau, who followed their and Shadow's intuitions resulting in a long line of hits. For this re-release we carried out extensive interviews with Shadow and the musicians and have included as bonuses exclusive photos from Shadow's personal collection and the dancefloor filler tune "D'Hardest" was added as a bonus track. “I take my guitar and strum and sing some tings and blow people’s mind. But I ain’t trying to do anybody’s music. I’m doing what I feel” - Shadow. Tracks: Let's Make It Up / Let's Get It Together / Dreaming / Moon Walking / Without Love / Way Way Out / D'Hardest. Deluxe Gatefold LP with a 4 page big-size Inlay with liner notes and a double page Poster.
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