Augustus "Gussie" Clarke

Augustus "Gussie" Clarke

Profile:
Augustus "Gussie" Clarke (born 1953) is a reggae producer who worked with some of the top Jamaican reggae artists in the 1970s and later set up his own Music Works studio.
Clarke started working in the music industry by cutting dub plates.He made his debut as a producer in 1972, with U-Roy's "The Higher The Mountain". He established himself as the top producer of deejays in the early 1970s with albums such as Big Youth's Screaming Target, and I-Roy's Presenting I Roy, both regarded as among the best deejay albums ever produced. Through the 1970s and early 1980s he worked with artists such as Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Augustus Pablo, Leroy Smart, and The Mighty Diamonds, including the latter's influential "Pass the Kouchie" in 1981. Much of his output was released on his own Gussy and Puppy labels.
In the late 1980s, Clarke adapted to the new dancehall style of reggae, but stood out from other producers by attempting to produce glossier recordings with greater potential to cross over internationally.

In 1987 while still recording at Music Mountain and Dynamic Sounds studio, the first record to bare hints of this newly embraced digital sound came from the release of The Mighty Diamonds "The Real Enemy". "Gang War", the first single off the album released on his Music Works label showcased this new digi-roots style, incorporating keyboard and computer programming driven riddims, compared to the known traditional roots reggae sound with players of live instruments recording in the studio. This release stood out as the first transitional record for Gussie and his production blending old school roots reggae to the newly embarked digital dancehall riddims to take shape for the coming years.

In 1988 he launched his Music Works studio, equipped and ready to fully adopt the digital reggae era, successfully as a producer returned with hit records and singles for many Jamaican and UK artist alike. Gussie continued to gather some of the best songwriters, musicians, background singers, arrangers, engineers and mixers Jamaica had to offer. By mid year, the first full length albums to showcase the masterfully crafted, dominant sounds of the Music Works studio, was The Mighty Diamonds "Get Ready" and Gregory Isaacs' "Red Rose For Gregory", and both released just months apart. The latter of the two saw the spawn of the monumental "Rumours" track described as a hard hitting, bass heavy driven electro-dancehall stomp. To great success, Gussie produced several artists off the following "Rumours aka Telephone Love" one riddim compilation and generated heavy Jamaican radio rotation off other tracks showcased on the "Music Works Showcase '88" release. To an enthusiastic changing and accepting reggae music market, thus began the new sound of 90's Jamaica.

Soon many artists and producers were turning up and securing studio time to record at the newly rebuilt recording studio. Gregory Isaacs' "Rumours" produced by Gussie, was the biggest hit on the Island the summer of 1988. J.C Lodge's "Telephone Love", using the same "Rumours" riddim, was the biggest reggae hit of the same year in the United States. This hit single led to Gussie producing a full length album for Lodge in 1990 titled "Selfish Lover" which saw her team up with young dancehall sensation Shabba Ranks on the duet titled "Hardcore Loving", and later again with Shabba Ranks' on "Telephone Love Deh Pond Mi Mind" off his full length album release, "Rappin' With The Ladies".

In 1989 Gussie reunited two of the most influential reggae artists together again Dennis Brown & Gregory Isaacs to record a full length studio album titled "No Contest". Off this extraordinary release saw the massive radio hit "Big All Around" – a hard hitting ragga dancehall anthem. Following this same trend of "pairings", Gussie continued on the path with much success in Home T, Cocoa Tea & Shabba Ranks full set album and on the anthemic hit singles "Pirates Anthem" and "Stop Spreading Rumours". Followed by a "3 the-hard-way" style, Gussie produced the digi-roots album, "Legit" for Freddie McGregor, Dennis Brown & Cocoa Tea which was released several years later. Gussie produced UK artist Deborahe Glasgow's self-titled album and spawned multiple radio hits. One massive hit titled "Champion Lover" stood out and was later paired with Shabba Ranks for a cut to the same riddim titled "Mr. Loverman". UK artist Maxi Priest's "Just A Little Bit Longer" became an international hit as so was Shabba Ranks & Krystal's "Twice My Age". Many hits were coming out of the Music Works studio stable and Gussie continued to be a high profile producer way into the late 1990s working with an ensemble of Jamaican reggae artists such as Tiger, Lady G, Papa San, Cocoa Tea, Freddie McGregor, and UK artists such as the mentioned Maxi Priest, the trio group Aswad and Jazz Saxophonist Courtney Pine.

Many of Gussie's releases were issued off his very own record labels Anchor and Music Works as well on the Greensleeves, VP, Pow Wow and Shanachie record labels.

In the mid 90's, Gussie predominantly released albums on the Gone Clear Distribution label for new comer artists such as Daddy Rings with the herbalist ragga tune, and in combination style with Cocoa Tea, "Herb Fi Bun", female dancehall diva, Sasha, veteran reggae saxophonist and long time musical associate to Gussie, Dean "Cannon" Fraser and a reunited appearance effort with The Mighty Diamonds for the rare and under-rated album release "Stand Up". Some of Gussie's mid to late 90's releases were still licensed to record labels such as Ambassador Music, Greensleeves and VP Records. Soon after his final produced full length album for the late Dennis Brown titled "Stone Cold World" in 1999 for VP records, Gussie's productions quieted with the occasional one-off single or re-issue compilation formats of previously released material re-sequenced and repackaged.

In 2006, Gussie produced the various artists one riddim compilation album titled "Consuming Fire" for VP records' Riddim Driven series. Per the back cover sleeve notes and following the Riddim Driven series for VP, Gussie was scheduled to release two additional riddim compilations called "Ocotogan" and "Groove Master". However, these have not been released yet. The same year saw Gussie as co-producer for international star Rihanna's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" released off her "Girl Like Me" studio album.

In October 2014 the Institute of Jamaica awarded Clarke a bronze Musgrave Medal for his contribution to music.

Source: Wikipedia
Variations:
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Artist

Augustus "Gussie" Clarke Discography Tracks

Albums

Augustus "Gussie" Clarke Black Foundation Dub (Album) Burning Sounds UK 1977 Sell This Version
Augustus "Gussie" Clarke Dread At The Controls Dub (Album) Hawkeye UK 1978 Sell This Version

Compilations

Gussie* The Right Tracks (Comp) Gussie UK 1976 Sell This Version
SPV CD 085 52132 Augustus "Gussie" Clarke Music Works Volume 1 Roots & Culture(CD, Comp) SPV GmbH SPV CD 085 52132 Germany 1996 Sell This Version
SPV CD 085-52142 Augustus "Gussie" Clarke Music Works Volume 2 Lovers Dancehall(CD, Comp) SPV GmbH SPV CD 085-52142 Germany 1996 Sell This Version
GRELCD611 "Gussie" Clarke* Greensleeves 12" Rulers - Music Works 1987-'91(CD, Comp) Greensleeves Records GRELCD611 UK 2007 Sell This Version
VP2500 Gussie* Presenting The Right Sevens (7x7" + Box, Comp, Ltd) 17 North Parade VP2500 US 2014 Sell This Version
Gussie Clarke* From The Foundation (Comp) 17 North Parade US 2015 Sell This Version