Earth & Stone

Pressure Sounds * PS11 * 1997

Kool Roots

Kool Roots

  • False Ruler Listen
  • Holy Land Of Home Listen
  • Devil Must Of Made Of You
  • Free Black Man Listen
  • Jail House Set Me Free
  • That's The Way You Feel Listen
  • Don't Let Them Fool You
  • In Time To Come
  • Three Wise Men
  • Once Bitten Twice Shy
  • Dub Ruler
  • Holy Land
  • Devil Wise Listen
  • Black Roots
  • House Of Dub Listen
  • Feelings
  • Jester Not
  • Future
  • Knowledge
  • Wiser Dub


In the last half century the rapid development of Jamaican music has been subject to many different forces: social, political, cultural and musical and, of all these influences, American popular music has been one of the most signifigant. The sway of American popular music has continued through until the present day with Jamaica mirroring many of the movements, innovations, styles and concerns of its larger neighbour.

One such movement was the emergence of the sound of Philadelphia, the musical bridge between Motown and disco, a brand of soul which tends not to receive proper critical respect no doubt partly, but perversely, due to its commercial success.

The engine of the Philly sound was session band M.F.S.B. and the rhythm was driven for Channel One by the immortal Revolutionaries. The sweet harmonies of ballad groups such as The Delphonics and The Stylistics surely a direct effect on Jamaican vocal groups of the same era as is evidenced by the Channel One output of The Mighty Diamonds, The Rolands, The Wailing Souls, The Meditations, Black Uhuru, The Jays and Earth & Stone.

In 1972 Earth & Stone made their way, like so many other Jamaican artists, down to Brentford Road to work up their skills at Studio One. In 1973 they progressed to Channel One where they began to record for Jo Jo and Ernest Hookim. As was common for the time their material was a mix of lovers and roots but with the balance tipped to the cultural side. Between 1973 and 1978 tunes such as 'Jah Will Cut You Down' and 'Three Wise Men' became popular on Channel One's Hitbound imprint. The duo of Albert Bailey and Clifton Howell created their own unique vocal interchange sound, each taking turn at lead and harmony. The 'Kool Roots' set was out initally in1978 and collates most of the group's songs for the label. It's unusual for the time in that the vocal and dub sets were released together in the UK by Cha Cha containing both albums within a gatefold sleeve, an expense not usually afforded for a reggae release. Even the artwork was well above the usual standard.

The Pressure Sounds re-issue of this reggae classic has the customary sleeve notes by Steve Barker and certain elements of the original artwork are utilised. There is an eight page full colour booklet with photographs from the period of both Earth & Stone and the Channel One studio.


Great Album

Palumbex, Jun 05, 2006
Fantastic melodies, great production & all of the dubs. Delighted that this is on double vinyl. Thanks P.S.

Heavy Sugar

Juan Luv, Jun 16, 2006
One of the best reggae albums ever.

zion, Jan 28, 2007
authentic good old fashion soundz...kinda heptones, tubby, jammy stylee. Love this album, it is in my top 50 ranking definitly.

Kool Ruler..ever

onelovesupersonicsoundsystem, Jun 10, 2007
I am right now listening to the vinyl PS reissue. I have listen so many time to this release, but every time I put this one on the plate makes me feel so close of what I love in roots music : vocals, music, lyrics, production, mix..everything is defenetly perfect. No doubt : one ( if not ) the best lover roots or whatsoever, album ever released. Nuff respect. OneLOve

duets and harmonies

Carl Finlay, May 20, 2008
As a long time music enthusiast,a person who has collected,studied,performed and had gigantic epiphanies in the general involvement and participation in music,Reggae being very much the particular,it is an immense pleasure to begin with what i hope will be a series of reviews for the colossal Pressure sounds label.
So with that i will carry the torch,the flame so to speak and give a blistering rave review of this"Earth and stone:Kool Roots"release.This album has been a revelation to me and the Irish reggae contingent.Having bought this album initially as a double lp release I was taken aback by its structure and pacing.SideA begins with the driving intensity of "False Ruler"a characteristic that doesn't let up until SideB's deep vinyl grooves run out."Devil must have made you"has a cooler approach,that of someone who has been scorned or reprimanded by an authoritative force and responds with a calm,measured and taught out disdain,cool roots indeed!!"Free Black Man"is a relief in one sense that it is one of the two major chord songs on an intensely minor chord album,but although it raises a few very poignant issues such as education amongst the underprivileged black race,its theme of"free black man and the world will be free"a point of view put across a lot in the "roots"tradition.But doesn't quite make sense in the broader scheme of things,surely freedom for all is the key for world freedom.Nonetheless this is a very minor issue.
SideB is unfaltering,my good God,just let the needle hit the groove and your mind and waist do the same!!!From the opening much needed beautiful love song"Thats the way you feel"which thematically ties in with the closing"Once bitten twice shy"through the middle section of "Don't let them fool you","In time to come"and "Three wise men"This is what it is all about!!Its so good it would be impossible it would be an endless expression of immense joy,,all i can say is buy this album and thats the way you'll feel(excuse the cheesy track reference there)
The final thing i will say is with regard to the second Lp of dub sides.It was a great move to separate the vocals and the dubs in such a fashion.Sometimes Dub can stand alone but in a lot more cases such as this,it would seem to lean towards throwing extra light on the superior vocal cuts.Not to say there isn't any gems in there,its minimalistic dubbing and had they come concurrently after their sibling tracks they may have taken away from the magnitude of what is displayed on that said first lp.
I have to stop writing for fear my pen might explode into a delirious,uncontrollable,passionate reggae skank.Thank you Earth and Stone,thank you Pressure sounds

Earth & Stone — Kool Roots

White Lion, Mar 04, 2011
Kool Roots is the only collection I have been able to find from Earth & Stone but I can honestly say this is easily one of the best reggae albums I have heard.

The vocal harmonies from this duo are carefully rehearsed and sound made for each other. I think having the Dub tracks on the same album adds a whole lot of depth also.

This is definitly the album that I am listening to the most at the moment and can't praise it enough.

Thanks and Praises.

Earth & Stone — Kool Roots

trevor ( cheese studio ), Mar 06, 2011
wicked album, reggae the way it should be.. why cant there be more reggae like this. would pay top doller for music like this..

Earth & Stone — Kool Roots

KC Liberation aka K. Locks City, Jul 28, 2012
Earth & Stone along with Cultural Roots and the Great Meditations are a magnificant group. The harmonies, the lyrics, the melodies, everything is just perfect and is what a album should be about. Each track is memorable and marches into the other with purpose, the superb vocals by Albert and Clifton is one of the best you will ever hear. The distinct insrumentals leave you mesmerised and take you on a vibe that is hard to leave. I find it hard to believe that they were not "dreads" with the content of their material, but still i think they are exceptional artists and were gifted without a doubt.. In studying this group, it is amazing that their history was short lived and was put back somewhat due to the then record labels preference for the Mighty Diamonds. I as you can read, love this group and can only praise what i think is a truely great album and it has forced me to hail Earth & Stone as one of the Greatest reggae groups to grace the genre. I wonder what would have happened if they had had the same exposure as the Diamonds? Big Up Earth & Stone you are truely up there.

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