PEPPERLITES – HIJACKED / LIFE IS DOWN IN DENVER

 

A: Pepperlites – Hijacked

B: Joe Gibbs Allstars – Life is down in Denver

 

‘Mayday, mayday, Cuba do you read me, this is flight 727, we have been hijacked..’ Thus goes the introduction of one of the foundation tunes that got me hooked on Joe Gibbs’ productions. It took me more than 10 years to find me a copy – expensive and rare as it is, especially on a JA press – but at last I got it. The superb semi instrumental ‘Hijacked’ communicates the story of planes taken hostage, an act that saw a huge increase in the years between 1968 and 1972 when (mostly American) planes were forcefully commandeered towards and from Cuba. With a total of 82 hijacks, the year 1969 was a pinnacle. Based on Junior Walker’s ‘Hot Cha‘, the Pepperlites luckily make this particular hijack a very pleasant one.

On the flipside, The Joe Gibbs Allstars / Pepperlites – who usually consisted of bassist Jackie Jackson, drummer Hugh Malcolm, organists Aubrey Adams & Ansell Collins, pianist Gladstone Anderson, guitarists Hux Brown and Lloyd Willis, trumpeters Johnny “Dizzy” Moore and Bobby Ellis and trombonist Vin Gordon – take on Spooner Oldham and Dann Penn‘s ‘Denver.’  Written by these legendary songwriters, the song was performed by Ronnie Milsap (Scepter, Pye), the Drifter’s very own Clyde McPhatter (B&C Records), former tv-star, then Alston Records owner and future TK Records headhoncho Steve Alaimo (who was the label’s co owner with Henry Stone.) In Jamaica it was covered by Alton Ellis, who released it on his own Ellis label and on the Pama subsidiary Gas.

 

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Label: Blank (JA) / JoGib (JA) / Amalgamated (UK)
Release date: 1970
Matrix: DYNA JG 1861 / DYNA JG Amalmid 1686
Posted: 8 -01-2017

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