FORGOTTEN MUSIC #106: THE ISLAND STORY: 1962-1987, 25th Anniversary [2-CD Set]

Back in 1962 when Island Records was founded, they released “My Boy Lollipop” by Millie. That first hit brought in much needed cash that allowed the record company to sign Traffic and The Spencer Davis Group. Once Island Records established themselves as successful company, they branched out with “Caribbean” music from artists like Toots and The Maytals, Bob Marley & The Wailers, and Jimmy Cliff.

Big groups like U2 and Fairport Convention generated hits for Island records which funded more alternative groups like Eddie & The Hot Rods, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and The Buggles. Other Island hits included Joe Cocker & Jennifer’s “Up Where We Belong,” and Steve Winwood’s “Night Train.” Tom Waits, Robert Palmer, and Grace Jones all found success at Island Records.

Are you a fan of Island Records? Do you remember these songs? Any favorites? GRADE: A


1U2With Or Without You
Producer – Brian EnoDaniel LanoisWritten-By – U2Producer – Brian EnoDaniel LanoisWritten-By – U2
2Steve WinwoodNight Train
Written-By – Will JenningsWritten-By, Producer – Steve WinwoodWritten-By – Will JenningsWritten-By, Producer – Steve Winwood
3Marianne FaithfullBroken English
Producer – Mark Miller MundyWritten-By – Raynolds*, Maverty*, Faithfull*, York*, Stannard*Producer – Mark Miller MundyWritten-By – Raynolds*, Maverty*, Faithfull*, York*, Stannard*
4Black UhuruSinse Milla
Producer – Robbie ShakespeareSly DunbarWritten-By – Michael RoseProducer – Robbie ShakespeareSly DunbarWritten-By – Michael Rose
5FreeAll Right Now
Producer – FreeWritten-By – Andy FraserPaul RodgersProducer – FreeWritten-By – Andy FraserPaul Rodgers
6Spencer Davis Group*–Keep On Running
Producer – Chris BlackwellWritten-By – Jackie EdwardsProducer – Chris BlackwellWritten-By – Jackie Edwards
7TrafficPaper Sun
Producer – Jimmy MillerWritten-By – Wood*, Mason*, Capaldi*, Winwood*Producer – Jimmy MillerWritten-By – Wood*, Mason*, Capaldi*, Winwood*
8Robert PalmerAddicted To Love
Producer – Bernard EdwardsWritten-By – Robert PalmerProducer – Bernard EdwardsWritten-By – Robert Palmer
9Grace JonesPull Up To The Bumper
Producer – Alex SadkinChris BlackwellWritten-By – Manno*, Jones*, Dunbar, Shakespeare*Producer – Alex SadkinChris BlackwellWritten-By – Manno*, Jones*, Dunbar, Shakespeare*
10Sly & RobbieBoops (Here To Go)
Producer – Bill LaswellMaterialWritten By – AikinWritten-By – Laswell*, Dunbar, Shakespeare*, Collins*Producer – Bill LaswellMaterialWritten By – AikinWritten-By – Laswell*, Dunbar, Shakespeare*, Collins*
11Gibson BrothersCuba
Written By, Producer – Daniel VangardeWritten-By – Jean KlugerWritten By, Producer – Daniel VangardeWritten-By – Jean Kluger
12Toots And The Maytals*–Funky Kingston
Producer – Chris BlackwellDave BloxhamWritten-By – F. Hibbert*Producer – Chris BlackwellDave BloxhamWritten-By – F. Hibbert*
13Desmond Dekker & The AcesThe Israelites
Written-By – Desmond DacresWritten-By, Producer – Leslie KongWritten-By – Desmond DacresWritten-By, Producer – Leslie Kong
14Millie*–My Boy Lollipop
Directed By [Accompaniment] – Ernest RanglinWritten By – J. Roberts/Morris Levy/Robert SpencerWritten-By – J. Roberts*, M. Levy*Directed By [Accompaniment] – Ernest RanglinWritten By – J. Roberts/Morris Levy/Robert SpencerWritten-By – J. Roberts*, M. Levy*
15Third WorldNow That We’ve Found Love
Executive Producer – Chris BlackwellProducer – Alex SadkinThird WorldWritten-By – Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff*Executive Producer – Chris BlackwellProducer – Alex SadkinThird WorldWritten-By – Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff*
1Bob Marley & The WailersNo Woman No Cry
Producer – Chris BlackwellSteve Smith (3)Written-By – V. Ford*Producer – Chris BlackwellSteve Smith (3)Written-By – V. Ford*
2Jim CapaldiLove Hurts
Producer – Steve Smith (3)Written-By – Boudleaux BryantProducer – Steve Smith (3)Written-By – Boudleaux Bryant
3Joe Cocker & Jennifer WarnesUp Where We Belong
Written-By – Sainte-Marie*, Nitzsche*, Jennings*Written-By – Sainte-Marie*, Nitzsche*, Jennings*
4Gwen GuthriePadlock
Written-By – T. Smith*Written-By – T. Smith*
5Jimmy CliffThe Harder They Come
Written-By, Producer – Jimmy CliffWritten-By, Producer – Jimmy Cliff
6Pete WingfieldEighteen With A Bullet
Producer – Barry HammondWritten-By, Producer – Pete WingfieldProducer – Barry HammondWritten-By, Producer – Pete Wingfield
7Fairport ConventionSi Tu Dois Partir
Producer – Joe BoydWritten-By – Bob DylanProducer – Joe BoydWritten-By – Bob Dylan
8Tom WaitsInnocent When You Dream (Bar Boom)
Written-By, Producer – Tom WaitsWritten-By, Producer – Tom Waits
9Julian CopeWord Shut Your Mouth
Producer – Ed StasiumWritten-By – Julian CopeProducer – Ed StasiumWritten-By – Julian Cope
10Will PowersAdventures In SuccessWritten-By – StingWritten-By, Producer – Lynn GoldsmithWritten-By – StingWritten-By, Producer – Lynn Goldsmith3:40
11AmazuluMontego Bay
Producer – Andy HillWritten-By – B. Bloom*, J. Barry*Producer – Andy HillWritten-By – B. Bloom*, J. Barry*
12The BugglesVideo Killed The Radio Star
Producer – The BugglesWritten-By – Woolley*, Downes*, Horn*Producer – The BugglesWritten-By – Woolley*, Downes*, Horn*
13SparksThis Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us
Producer – Muff WinwoodWritten-By – Ron Meal*Producer – Muff WinwoodWritten-By – Ron Meal*
14Eddie & The Hot Rods*–Do Anything You Wanna Do
Producer – Ed HollisWritten-By – Hollis*, Douglas*Producer – Ed HollisWritten-By – Hollis*, Douglas*
15The ChristiansForgotten Town
Producer – Laurie LathamWritten-By – Henry*Producer – Laurie LathamWritten-By – Henry*
16Frankie Goes To HollywoodRelax
Producer – Trevor HornWritten-By – H., Johnson*, M. O’Toole*, P. Gill*Producer – Trevor HornWritten-By – H., Johnson*, M. O’Toole*, P. Gill*

14 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN MUSIC #106: THE ISLAND STORY: 1962-1987, 25th Anniversary [2-CD Set]

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    “So as sure as the sun will shine,
    I’m gonna get my share, what’s mine
    And then the harder they come
    The harder they fall, one and all.”

    The whole THE HARDER THEY COME album is a favorite. Of course, when “My Boy Lollipop” was released here (in 1964), it was as by Millie Small. What I didn’t know was that the original version (which I’ve never heard) was written by Robert Spencer of The Cadillacs in 1956 and originally recorded by 14 year old Barbie Gaye. I just checked it on youtube, and it is almost the same arrangement, just with different music. I prefer the Millie Small. Otherwise, just the Bob Marley.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, “My Boy Lollipop” played a key role in Island Records. Without the infusion of cash from that hit, Island Records could not have signed the groups that they later were known for producing.

  2. Deb

    I like many of the songs here—particularly “My Boy Lollipop” (often billed as the first ska song to chart in the U.S.) and “The Israelites” (often billed as the first reggae song to chart in the U.S.).

    1. george Post author

      Deb, Island Records was known for its innovative approach to music. Introducing ska and reggae into the U.S. and European markets was just part of their strategy.

  3. Beth Fedyn

    I recognized several of the artists and songs but didn’t know anything about Island Records.
    Thanks for the info and a pox on you for adding yet another CD to my collection! This stuff is hard to ignore.
    As Hal Rice once said, “I’m not a collector. I’m an accumulator. “

    1. george Post author

      Beth, this Island Record set is available online for reasonable prices. This is why Patti Abbott calls me “George the Tempter.”

  4. Rick Robinson

    I’ve been very fond of the Robert Palmer song since its release. I know only some of the others.

  5. Jeff Smith

    I don’t have this collection, but I have others. Just last night I was looking at my 40th anniversary collection. It was five discs, sold separately, and I only bought the folk and rock ones. I don’t know if I skipped the ska, reggae and r&b ones, or didn’t see them. There are a number of favorites on your set that aren’t on my set: Relax, Video Killed the Radio Star, Broken English, With or Without You. But the 40th set is great, too (of course). I can still get the ones I’m missing if I wanted to; a couple of them are available for under $4. The ones I have, though: on Amazon vol 4 is unavailable, vol 3 is…$900. *koff*

    Volume 1: Ska’s the Limit
    –Laurel Aitken Boogie In My Bones 2:47
    –Owen Gray Please Let Me Go 2:46
    –The Jiving Juniors Sugar Dandy 2:17
    –The Beans* Jumpin’ Beans 2:09
    –Lord Creator Independent Jamaica 2:49
    –Lord Kitchener The Road 3:25
    –Roy & Millie We’ll Meet 2:25
    –The Blues Busters Behold! 2:45
    –Derrick Morgan Forward March 2:48
    –Derrick & Patsy* Housewife’s Choice 2:39
    –Robert Marley* Judge Not 2:25
    –Jimmy Cliff King Of Kings 3:23
    –The Maytals Six And Seven Books 2:23
    –The Baba Brooks Band Bank To Bank Part 1 2:06
    –Eric Morris* Penny Reel 2:28
    –Justin Hinds & The Dominoes Carry, Go, Bring, Come 2:50
    –Lord Tanamo Come Down 2:16
    –Eric Morris* Solomon Grundie 2:36
    –Don Drummond Eastern Standard Time 3:11
    –Millie Small My Boy Lollipop

    Volume 2: Rhythm and Blues Beat
    -Inez Foxx Mockingbird 2:37
    –Jimmy McGriff The Last Minute 2:49
    –Donnie Elbert Little Piece Of Leather 2:41
    –The Skatalites Guns Of Navarone 2:27
    –Justin Hinds & The Dominoes Rub Up, Push Up 2:44
    –Little Joe Cook Stormy Monday Blues 3:45
    –Bob And Earl* Harlem Shuffle 2:47
    –The Soul Sisters* I Can’t Stand It 2:41
    –Jackie Edwards Come On Home 2:37
    –The Spencer Davis Group Keep On Running 2:42
    –Robert Parker Barefootin’ 2:33
    –Roy C* Shotgun Wedding 2:19
    –The V.I.Ps* I Wanna Be Free 3:11
    –The Spencer Davis Group Gimme Some Lovin’ 2:53
    –Delroy Wilson Dancing Mood 2:49
    –The Wailers Put It On 3:05
    –The Paragons The Tide Is High 2:39
    –The Pioneers Long Shot Kick De Bucket 2:50
    –Harry J’s All Stars* Liquidator 2:52
    –Desmond Dekker Israelites 2:47

    Volume 3: Acoustic Waves
    -Fairport Convention Matty Groves 8:07
    –Traffic (Roamin’ Thru The Gloamin’ With) Forty Thousand Headmen 3:14
    –Sutherland Brothers Sailing 2:37
    –Nick Drake Cello Song 4:44
    –John Martyn May You Never 3:40
    –Murray Head Say It Ain’t So, Joe 4:34
    –Fairport Convention Who Knows Where The Time Goes 5:04
    –Richard And Linda Thompson* I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight 3:06
    –Renaissance Island 5:04
    –Cat Stevens Where Do The Children Play 3:51
    –Richard Thompson Poor Ditching Boy 3:00
    –The Incredible String Band Dear Old Battlefield 3:01
    –Sandy Denny Listen, Listen 3:56
    –Amazing Blondel Pavan 3:17
    –Morris On Cuckoo’s Nest 3:41
    –The Chieftains Mná Na Héireann 3:28

    Volume 4: Electric Currents
    -Traffic Dear Mr. Fantasy 5:32
    –Jethro Tull Cat’s Squirrel 5:39
    –King Crimson The Court Of The Crimson King 9:22
    –Free Mr. Big (Live) 6:18
    –Spooky Tooth Better By You Better Than Me 3:32
    –Heavy Jelly I Keep Singing That Same Old Song 5:00
    –Traffic Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys 11:27
    –John Martyn I’d Rather Be The Devil 6:17
    –Bryan Ferry A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall 4:12
    –Eno* Baby’s On Fire 5:21
    –Roxy Music Do The Strand 3:58
    –Robert Palmer From A Whisper To A Scream 3:35
    –John Cale Heartbreak Hotel 3:10
    –Bad Company Feel Like Makin’ Love

    Volume 5: Reggae Roots
    -Jimmy Cliff The Harder They Come 3:06
    –Toots & The Maytals Funky Kingston 4:54
    –Lee Perry Roast Fish & Cornbread 3:50
    –Junior Murvin Police & Thieves 3:53
    –Bob Marley Exodus (Single Version) 4:20
    –Max Romeo War In A Babylon 4:50
    –Jacob Miller & Inner Circle Tenement Yard 2:35
    –Steel Pulse Ku Klux Klan 3:39
    –Dillinger Cokane In My Brain 2:46
    –Aswad Don’t Turn Around 3:38
    –Third World Now That We’ve Found Love 3:43
    –Chaka Demus & Pliers Murder She Wrote 4:04
    –Augustus Pablo King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown 2:30
    –Buju Banton Champion 3:54
    –Black Uhuru Sinsemilla 5:09
    –Luciano It’s Me Again Jah 4:02
    –Burning Spear Marcus Garvey 3:26
    –Gregory Isaacs Night Nurse 4:04

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, the 40th Anniversary set is a wonderful, too! But have you noticed the prices of some music CDs have gone through the roof?

  6. wolf

    Blackwell’s Island records was one of my early favourites – together with Ertegun’s Atlantic. I liked most of their artists that you’ve listed here.
    Just yesterday we listened to a collection of songs by Jim Capaldi of Traffic fame.
    The Spencer Davis Group and Traffic were my favourites – Steve Winwood my favourite artist.
    Probably written about this already:
    I followed Steve on a concert tour through Texas around 15 years ago …


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