Synthy September’s final album of the week – Sly and Robbie ‘Superthruster’ single
Back again for one last blast and is it a big one! This week, 9/27/2019, we got wax for you. We’re featuring a dancehall single from the album Drum and Bass Strip To The Bone by Howie B (Palm Pictures, 1998) by Sly and Robbie. Sly and Robbie are Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare who are perhaps Jamaica’s most prominent rhythm section comprised of Dunbar on drums and Shakespeare on the bass.
They have been working as a team since the 1970s after recording separately with reggae giants such as Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Gregory Isaacs, and Jacob Miller. Since then, they’ve worked as a package all over the musical map with everyone from Bob Dylan to Britney Spears, Sugar Minott to the Fugees.
Sly and Robbie were working on their own with various groups when they met up recording with The Revolutionaries, but it was their work with The Mighty Diamonds on Right Time (1976) that they were recognized for their collaboration. While working together, the duo discovered that their tastes from the Motown to Stax labels and the Philadelphia sound to even country music and their approach to music production were strikingly similar.
Their teamwork led directly to the creation of several different beat styles in reggae. In 1976 they created the ‘rockers’ style, in the early 80s they were responsible for ‘Rub A Dub’, and later on in the decade they were early pioneers of adding digital music to their repertoire while working with the Nassau based Compass Point Studios (think Grace Jones).
In the 1990s, they changed everything again while recording with Chaka Demus & Pliers. The two hits from this collaboration, Bam Bam and Murder She Wrote, paired singers with DJ vocals and this led to rap with guests singing the choruses later on. Our album of the week, the single Superthruster, came from another new frontier in reggae – the teaming up of dub with electro. Sly and Robbie worked with Scottish electronic producer Howie B. The result is the album Drum and Bass Strip To The Bone by Howie B and our featured single Superthruster.
This single was accompanied by a music video which was released as a DVD single and which was the only DVD single to ever receive a Grammy! This single is best accompanied by a Mai Tai, enjoy!.