Compass Point random bits

Realise this is almost certainly a humongous subject but beyond the classic stuff done by the Compass Point band, Grace Jones, Gwen Guthrie etc - what other solo or off piste stuff by compass points musicians do you love? Somehow this album of Sly and Robbie stuff has lodged in my mind - whole album isn’t great but some amazing bits I keep going back to

Sly & Robbie - Make 'Em Move - YouTube

There are obviously loads recorded in compass Point (AC/DC, for instance), but there’s not that much stuff done by the Compass Point All Stars (or parts thereof). Trust Is A Must by Ian Dury is a slightly under the radar banger, though.

I’ve been working on an oral history of Compass Point over past few years. I’m up to 25,000 words atm :nerd_face:


Ooh looking forward to that oral history surfacing!

Fantasy in my head of loads of great extended mixes of random bits by compass point all stars, but maybe they sadly don’t actually exist!

Will check the Ian dury - not familiar with that one - cheers!

Here are a few LPs to get you going:
JOE COCKER - Sheffield Steel
CHARLÉLIE COUTURE - Pochette Surprise
CRISTINA - Sleeping It Off
IAN DURY - Lord Upminster
GWEN GUTHRIE - Gwen Guthrie
MICK JAGGER - She’s The Boss
CHAZ JANKEL - Chazablanca
GRACE JONES - Warm Leatherette
GRACE JONES - Nightclubbing
GRACE JONES - Living My Life
JOHN MARTYN - Sapphire
PEECH BOYS NYC - Life Is Something Special
WILL POWERS - Dancing for Mental Health
SLY & ROBBIE - Language Barrier
TALKING HEADS - Remain In Light
TALKING HEADS - Speaking In Tongues
TOM TOM CLUB - Tom Tom Club
TOM TOM CLUB - Close To The Bone

If you want a laugh go and check SMOKIE - Strangers In Paradise. I found this in a charity shop many years ago and saw it was recorded at Compass Point and got very excited. Sly & Robbie play on the title track and Tyrone Downie is on keys, too. I’ll say no more.


Marvellous - thanks! Never listened to any of those Robert Palmer ones, or indeed those Mick Jagger or Chaz Jankel albums. Sheffield Steel is pretty cool. Had a scan of Smokie - Strangers in Paradise on youtube just now - haha, I see what you mean!

Robert Palmer has so many undiscovered gems, as a performer and producer. These two came out on a Cristina reissue of Sleep It Off, for instance, and were done during his period living in the Bahamas:


Regarding Palmer: his session at Black Ark Studios resulted in some Lee Scratch Perry dub versions which allegedly are still sitting in the vaults somewhere. I doubt the guardians of Palmer’s estate would regard a freaky dub as worthy of release - which, if true, is a shame.

Probably his best known Black Ark track, it’s a different version to the one on Double Trouble.


Both fantastic - time to investigate further.

I interviewed Mikey Chung, Sticky Thompson and Steven Stanley a few years ago when I lived in Jamaica. Happy to share the transcripts if useful.

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There’s this instrumental of “Pull Up To The Bumper” called, confusingly, “Peanut Butter” on this compilation:

Something I remember from the previous forum was asking whether the music from “The Message”
by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five was based on a Compass Point track, because it sounds like one. I’m sure it was Frank Tope who said there was something that was similar that could have been the source, but that was years before so much was on YouTube etc., and I never got to hear it.
Any ideas anyone?


Chazablanca is brilliant - got it on at the moment - what a title

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I always felt that musically it sounded a lot like a Tom Tom Club backing track. They recorded at Compass Point, so maybe that was it?

I wasn’t necessarily thinking of Genius of Love, but something a bit like it.

They cover the songs that influenced in this video, backing it up with who said it, Genius Of Love is one of them, More Bounce To The Ounce, and the Eno/Byrne album “My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts” are the others.


Fuck yes please! Email: x

Chaz told me a very funny story about when he was recording at Compass Point. I’ve pasted it below verbatim.

The first period I was there, with Ian making Lord Upminster, there was a band called Smokie who had been recording an album there. And they were big fans of Ian’s. They were playing back their master, and they saw Ian and me walking towards, and said, “Oh Ian! We’d be greatly honoured if you could come and listen to our records! Our master. We’re having our first playback. And thank you so much, we are honoured that you should mention us in your song.” And Ian was rubbing his head thinking, “What Smokie? When did I mention Smokie?” And so he sits down in the front row, because the focus was on Ian and not me, I just went to the back of the room. But then he had to sit through this very pop album. And Ian couldn’t move.

And then later, afterwards, we were walking around the yard and he said, “What do they mean that I mentioned them in a song?” And then suddenly we worked it out. That in Reasons to Be Cheerful Ian says, “Sing along with Smokey,” but he meant Smokey Robinson. And they thought it was them!


That is pretty priceless

This has also reminded me about Chris Blackwell’s book that I fancied reading but forgot all about

A cut from Sheffield Steel, though I first heard it on the pictured Sky & Robbie comp. It’s an excellent place to start!!! Joan Armatrading, Ini Kamoze, Grace Jones, Gwen Guthrie…

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The Boogie Man & Sipho Gumede- Jika Jika.
This appeared on one of “recent mixes” on the forum a few weeks back. Its a South African single and came out 1 year later but as it’s mainly instrumental sounds like the source of the samples. There a sort of dub called “Jika Jika the odd bits” which really sounds like Tom Tom Club. Maybe this has been floating around and mistaken as the original. It fooled me until I did a bit of looking up on discogs

Pretty fine and interesting book, imho.

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