Alton Ellis, RIP
October 30, 2008 4:24 PM   Subscribe

"The King of Rock Steady," (or "Godfather" as he was sometimes known) Alton Ellis, passed away earlier this month at the age of 70. A romantic at heart with one of my favorite voices, he leaves 20 children two weeks after finally receiving royalties for the Sean Paul song "Still in Love With You".

In tribute to a life well lived:

Interview with Alton and Horace Andy.
(sorry, but there's a lot of records turning in this youtubery...)
Alton interview
"I'm Still in Love With You"
"Deliver Us"
"Why Birds Follow Spring"
"Cry Tough"
"Rock Steady"
"Remember That Sunday" (with Phyllis Dillon)
"Black Man's Pride" (live in 1983)
Soul Sides has a few mp3s
posted by sleepy pete (17 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The turning records are charming in this digital age.
posted by lee at 4:31 PM on October 30, 2008

Thanks for this post, sleepy pete, and rest in peace, Alton Ellis.

posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:06 PM on October 30, 2008

posted by micayetoca at 5:22 PM on October 30, 2008

posted by pompomtom at 5:23 PM on October 30, 2008

"Cry Tough" is a great song. I love Ellis' stuff, especially his motown covers and his stuff from the Studio 1 period.

"Breaking Up" (Is Hard To Do.)

"Chatty Chatty"

"Rise and Fall"

"It's a Shame"

posted by snuffleupagus at 5:42 PM on October 30, 2008

posted by jtron at 5:42 PM on October 30, 2008

I and I love this post my man :)
posted by vronsky at 5:59 PM on October 30, 2008

posted by lester at 6:08 PM on October 30, 2008

sweet sweet sound of Kingston Town
posted by vronsky at 6:09 PM on October 30, 2008

posted by Bookhouse at 6:55 PM on October 30, 2008

posted by mandal at 8:32 PM on October 30, 2008

posted by lapolla at 9:32 PM on October 30, 2008

"How can a man be tough/ Tougher than the world?
And if he's rough/ He's against the world"

posted by Minus215Cee at 1:33 AM on October 31, 2008

I was going to post something about Alton Ellis, but since my last (and only post in the blue) post was about the sad passing of another record legend, Roy Shirley, I opted out. So I'm glad to see others care.

I'd like to know more about the "I'm Still In Love With You" settlement. Aside from Sean Paul, the song was covered by many others, and versioned into big hits like Trinity's "Three Piece Suit And Ting" and Althea & Donna's gigantic smash (at least in the UK and Europe) "Uptown Top Ranking." There was a lot of money made from that song in the past 30+ years, I hope Alton got all that he really should have received.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 5:00 AM on October 31, 2008

Well, my handle is not inspired by the music, but I am certainly a fan.

These quotes are great:

"The next thing is because the music catch on already now. The people don't wanna pay attention to going at it blood, sweat and tears. Is just the vibes. Because Reggae is still accepted so to speak.

"So what we used to go through, fe bend it an' twist it an' sandpaper it and all that, them don't worry about that none. Just lick it two time an' 'BLOW! BLOW!... one tune, nex' tune...' y'unnerstan'? Changes not in Reggae music again. It's jus' two chord, or one chord.

"An' the next thing is the generation. Since our time, about two generations get involved, and them wanna hear something with more energy now. Our music used to 'ave a lickle layback in it, it 'ave a swing, the bassline have time fe swing. Now it is a straighter tune of energy."

It's that "lickle layback" that I really like about Alton Ellis and Rock Steady music. Thanks for putting so much of your soul into your music, and Jah bless, Mr. Ellis.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:04 AM on October 31, 2008

I was stunned to be watching BBC World News the other week and saw this on the screen crawl. I knew that rock steady and early reggae were relatively mainstream in the U.K. in their heyday, but I never thought Alton's passing would be World News worthy.

I'll miss him.
posted by Paid In Full at 6:17 AM on October 31, 2008

posted by strawdog at 8:37 AM on October 31, 2008

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