Well Dread

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Well Dread
Origins Hanover, Cornwall, Jamaica
Years Active 1982-1994, 1998-1999, 2002, 2006-present
Genre(s) Reggae, Ska, R&B, Blues, Groove, Salsa
Labels Sahara Records (1983), Island Records (1983-1986), Tabu Records (1986-1989), Live Sing Die Records (1989), Atlantic Records (1989-1994), Island Records Jamaica (1992-1994), Sirtag Record Company Ltd. (1998-1999), Dread Records (2002-present)
Members Ziggy Slidal - Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboard, Trumpet, Saxaphone
Seema Ska - Bass, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Snare Drum
Charls Kwesi - Keyboard, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Drums, Trumpet
Pulla Mooney - Bass, Keyboard, Drums, Flute
Yousa Junior - Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Trumpet, Drums
Former Members {{{former members}}}
No Wikipedia
Those obsessed with so-called experts should thank their lucky stars that Wikipedia does not have an article about Well Dread.

1982, an excellent year for music. Culture Club, The Smiths, a-Ha and The Pogues were all formed. Sadly the likes of Adam and the Ants, Blondie, The Jam and ABBA all disbanded. Some best-selling album's were released including Michael Jackson's Thriller. Other albums included The Clash's Combat Rock, Hello, I Must Be Going by Phil Collins, Love Over Gold by Dire Straits, Iron Maiden's The Number Of The Beast and Peter Gabriel's eponymous album. Musical history seems to forget that a band formed in 1982 that changed the way music was made forever. This band was Well Dread.

edit History

edit 1982

Well Dread was formed by Ziggy Slidal, Seema Ska and Charls Kwesi on May, 11 1982, a year after the death of reggae icon Bob Marley. Ska and Kwesi had previously played with funk and soul band The Commodores. Ska and Slidal had met on July, 12 1973 at Paul's Mall, Boston, USA during Bob Marley's Catch A Fire tour. They had been great friends from that point on. They all got on well and decided to form the band. They headed in the direction of Reggae, R&B and Funk. The three started to play a series of concerts that were tributes to their lifelong hero, Bob Marley.

In November of 1982 the group recorded a demo tape for Sahara records. They knew that if they were going to become a proper band they would need more members. At that time the three were playing various instruments during their short concerts. This was incredibly hard to do four nights a week every week. Kwesi's cousin, Pulla Mooney was trying to recruite people for his own band, Elated People, but Kwesi persuaded him to join Well Dread. A plus of getting Mooney was that who brought along Yousa Junior because he was also in Elated People. This was February 1983.

Well Dread 1983

Well Dread with Rasta "Rattlesnake" Rudi in 1983

Now in the early months of 1983 Well Dread started to develop ideas to put through to Sahara records. On March, 13 1983 a letter arrived from the owner and producer of Sahara records, Berol Quot. He wrote that the company would be thriled to sign up Well Dread and gave them a record deal. It was a dream come true for this small Reggae band. In June of 1983 the band began to record their debut album, Gotta Get Ganja. In a recent Channel 4 poll it was voted best ever debut album including smash hits such as Ganja Smoke and the Another Hash Brick In The Wall series.

edit 1983

Gotta Get Ganja was Well Dread's debut album released on August, 12 1983. In the first week of it's release it sold 0 copies. Things looked bleak for this Greggae (Groove/Reggae) band after only a week of their musical debut. This was because no-one had ever heard of them before. They decided the only way to get noticed was a concert. The problem was how were tickets going to be sold. This was one of the defining moments of Ska music.

The band played on the roof of the Kingston Klub. Lucky for them there was a music store next door, which had largge speakers. The speakers were plugged into another set of speakers. The first note of the song Rasta was played and the club shook. One way or another August, 20 1983 would be a day to remember.

The result: a sell out. Within the next month every single copy of Gotta Get Ganja was sold. Thousands upon thousands of orders were pouring in and Sahara records were left helpless. No-one has expected that this small group would rocket to worldwide acclaim. This was the main reason why Well Dread moved away from Sahara Records in October of 1983.

edit 1985

In 1985 there was a line-up change. Musta Iffy was added to Well Dread. Iffy was a former member of From Here To Eternity a hard rock band, slightly different to Well Dread's preferred Greggae. Iffy's main instrument was the electric guitar. He would impress the other members by performing solos that could last up to a quarter of an hour. He was a natural musician and born comedian. However most of Iffy's material could not be used because Slidal and other members were defiant that the next album would be as compact as the previous one, Gotta get Ganja.

Well Dread 1985

The 1985 Well Dread line-up with some Jamaican fans

Another change made was the changing of labels. Well Dread had previously been on Sahara Records but after the trouble with lack of albums the group moved to Island Records. Island Records certainly would not run out of albums and they were prepared to over sell no matter what all of the music critics said about the album. Sadly, most of the comments were not good.

Well Dread's second album, You Must Face It, You're Wasted was tipped by music critics to be a flop. As one Gerald Dubois said in Rolling Stone Magazine "The second Well Dread album may be well received but will be nothing on their original. Magic cannot work twice and I'm sorry lads but it just will not happen again. It will not meet expectations." He was correct. The second album did not meet expectations, it surpassed them.

edit Discography

edit Gotta Get Ganja

Gotta Get Ganja
Gotta Get Ganja (1983)
Album by Well Dread
Released August 12, 1983
Recorded 1983 at Gong Studioz
Genre Greggae
Reggae
Ska
Blues
Length 34:58
Record label Sahara Records
Producers Berol Quot
Professional reviews
Oscar Wilde review 1/5 - "Zzzz..."

Gotta Get Ganja is the debut album of the Jamaican Greggae band Well Dread. It was released on August, 12 1983 through Sahara Records. Viewers of Channel 4 voted Gotta Get Ganja as the best ever debut album. The album was considered somewhat controversial because of the constant drug references.

In the first week of its release Gotta Get Ganja sold 0 copies, a real blow for the band. However, by the end of the first month of its release every single copy of their debut album was gone and demands for it were still streaming in.

Track listing

  1. "Rasta" – 0:11
  2. "Breakin' De Mold" (featuring Rasta "Rattlesnake" Rudi) – 0:26
  3. "Scuse Me While I Light My Spliff" - 1:08
  4. "Jaaaaa!" - 0:35
  5. "Ganja Smoke" - 2:50
  6. "Hash" - 1:35
  7. "Now I Gotta Roll My Joint" (featuring Rasta "Rattlesnake" Rudi) - 2:38
  8. "Get Real Funky Wid Eet, Maaaaan!" - 2:07
  9. "Tings Got Well Slow Now" (featuring Cry Babyz) - 0:23
  10. "Another Hash Brick In The Wall (Part One)" - 4:56
  11. "Another Hash Brick In The Wall (Part Two)" - 3:59
  12. "Another Hash Brcik In The Wall (Part Three)" - 4:56
  13. "Jaaaaa Revisted!" (featuring Cry Babyz) - 1:35
  14. "Re-Hash" (Reggae Masters) - 1:16
  15. "Breakin' De Mold (Original Mix)" - 0:26
  16. "Ganja Smoke (Voodoo Remix)" (featuring Spaniard Ballet, Jolly Jamaican Dudes) - 2:31
  17. "Scuse Me While I Light My Spliff (Remix)" (featuring DJ High) - 0:36
  18. "Ganja Smoke (Radio Edit)" (featuring Jose Luis, Hot Sauce) - 2:50

edit You Must Face It, You're Wasted

You Must Face It, You're Wasted
're Wasted
Album by Well Dread
Released April 20, 1985
Recorded 1985 at Tuff Recording Studios
Genre Greggae
Reggae
Ska
Blues
Length 30:58
Record label Island Records
Producers Chewey
Professional reviews
Oscar Wilde review 1/5 - "You woke me up for this ?"

You Must Face It, You're Wasted is the second studio album by the Jamaican Greggae band Well Dread. It was released on April, 20 1985 produced by Chewey and Island Records. This was a long awaited album even though it was thought it could not be topped. Many critics bad-mouthed the band saying it was the "impossible task to create something just as good if not better" and "professional suicide".

Though the band were being heavily criticised they still recorded and released the said album. Everyone was shocked by the quality of the second album. "Somehow even better", "Astounding" and "If you thought Gotta Get Ganja was good, this makes it look totally amateur." This album contained the epic Echoes and LSD. People comment that this second chapter of the Well Dread story is much more fast paced than its predocessor excluding Echoes. Also no-one else was featured on this album whereas on Gotta Get Ganja featured Rasta "Rattlesnake" Rudi, Cry Babyz, Jose Luis and Hot Sauce.

Track listing:

  1. "Echoes" - 4:55
  2. "Enlightenment" - 0:50
  3. "Seeper" - 0:53
  4. "Echoes (Chapter The Second)" - 5:39
  5. "LSD" - 0:39
  6. "Nirvana" - 0:39
  7. "Stoned" - 0:59
  8. "Strained" - 1:35
  9. "Echoes (Encounter Of The Third Kind)" - 3:56
  10. "Stripped" - 0:41
  11. "Enlightenment (Extended Album Version) - 0:55
  12. "LSD (Extended Album Version)" - 1:25
  13. "Echoes (The Final Chapter)" - 7:52
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