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Label Hall of Fame

Music WorksText by Harry Hawks

Throughout his long and highly successful career Augustus ‘Gussie’ Clarke has not only always taken good care of business but has also been involved in every step of the music making process.
Date Added: Jan 6, 2012, Date Updated: Jan 11, 2012 Copyright (C) 2019 Dub Store Sound Inc.
Place of Establishment
Jamaica
Kingston
Founder:
Augustus Gussie Clarke
Producer(s):
Augustus Gussie Clarke
Engineer(s):
Mikey Bennett
Hopeton Lindo
Carlton Hines
Dennis Creary
Stephen Stanley
Main Studio(s)
Music Works
Related Artist(s)
Cocoa Tea
Gregory Isaacs
JC Lodge
Dennis Brown
Freddie McGregor
Big Youth
Mighty Diamonds
U Roy
I Roy
Deborahe Glasgow
Maxi Priest
Lady G
Home T
Related Label(s)
Anchor
Gussie
Gussie 80's
Many 'producers' in the history of Jamaican music have never actually 'produced' music in the accepted sense of the word but have facilitated its creation by their financial support and business contacts and have left the music making to the musicians and studio technicians.

"A production is actually work, creativity. It's beyond just going into the studio and tell a singer 'Which song can you give me?'" Augustus Gussie Clarke

Augustus Gussie Clarke was born in 1953 in the rural parish of St. Mary but moved to Kingston at a very early age to the downtown area between Beeston Street and Church Street where he rapidly became immersed in the capital's musical scene. He started "a little sound system" that he called King Gussie's Hi Fi and, on graduating from Kingston College in 1971, set up his own studio at 81½ Church Street where he cut acetates for local sound systems on a dub cutting machine that he had purchased from Duke Reid at Treasure Isle. He moved on to his own productions and the first release on the Gussie label was from deejay legend U Roy. 'The Higher The Mountain' was voiced at Church Street over Errol Dunkley's version of Alton Ellis' 'Ooh Wee Baby'/'Baby I Love You' which was first released on Errol's own Silver Ring label.

Building on this initial success his Gussie & Puppy Records studio gradually expanded and progressed from a two track tape recorder to more sophisticated equipment. Gussie's understanding of the seismic musical changes occurring in Kingston during this period was unequalled and he capitalised on his knowledge working with Big Youth on his first long playing record. Their 'Screaming Target' album, released in 1973, raised the art of deejaying to a new level. The second album from the Gussie & Puppy set up, 'Gussie Presenting I Roy', was I Roy's debut long player. Many of the same rhythm tracks appear on both albums and to hear these two radically different deejays working on the same template served to demonstrate the endless possibilities of the nascent deejay phenomenon.

His albums with Big Youth and I Roy established Gussie as one of the leaders of the new 'rebel' sound and his instrumental records, credited to The Simplicity People or The Society Squad, often featured the talents of Augustus Pablo while name brand vocalists including Leroy Smart, Roman Stewart and Gregory Isaacs all recorded for the Gussie & Puppy label. As the seventies progressed he became one of the prime movers in the Jamaican recording scene taking care of all aspects of the business. As well as producing records, he set up his own publishing company and Gussie Exposure for marketing and exporting Jamaican produced 'pre-release' records all round the world. He obviously regarded the music business as a proper career and always worked accordingly despite its unreliability and the difference between the financial rewards and what others might have thought could be made.

"It's a joke between what people believe you make and what happen out there..." Gussie Clarke

Gussie's productions from the late seventies and early eighties with artists such as Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown and The Mighty Diamonds were characterised by their warmth and complete professionalism. Gussie was never wary of defying trends. The UK based style of lovers rock never really found an audience in Jamaica but he released the first ever lovers record Lloydie Coxsone(Lloyd Coxsone)'s 'Caught You In A Lie' by Louisa Marks on his Gussie & Puppy label in 1975 and produced the superb 'Unexpected Places' with Hortense Ellis in 1976. Released on the Gussie 76 label this huge hit was more like a UK lovers record than many UK lovers records! In 1981 The Mighty Diamonds' album 'Changes' included their update of 'Full Up' entitled 'Pass the Kouchie' which was later transformed by Musical Youth into 'Pass The Dutchie' and worldwide crossover success. But the music was moving on, as always, and in 1984 Wayne Smith's 'Under Me Sleng Teng' completely changed the nature of reggae. The theory that went with this digital revolution was that expensive studio time was no longer required and that computer driven instruments had now done away with the old hierarchy of session musicians. But, as ever, Gussie flew in the face of accepted wisdom and he wholeheartedly embraced the technological revolution and built a brand new studio complex at 56 Slipe Road.

The first single to come out of the completed hi-tech set up was 'Rumours' in 1988 and Gussie's soaring, swooping yet always bass heavy new sound proved to be an excellent counterpoint to Gregory's beleaguered stance. It was followed by a further cut to the rhythm, 'Telephone Love', which replaced Gregory's watchful wariness with JC Lodge's long distance frustration. 'Telephone Love' became the biggest selling reggae record of 1988 in America and the sound of Music Works proved that other elements could be incorporated into digital music. The Slipe Road set up now became a hothouse for developing talent as Gussie surrounded himself with song writers, arrangers and engineers including Mikey Bennett, Hopeton Lindo, Carlton Hines (of vocal trio Tetrack), Dennis Creary and Stephen Stanley. Music Works had arrived and, before long, artists and producers, including the UK based Deborahe Glasgow, Aswad and Maxi Priest were heading for Kingston 5 for a piece of the action. Gussie already had a proven track record for working with deejays and he captured Shabba Ranks just as he was about to break worldwide and Music Works also breathed some life back into the art of the dub mix after having been treated for far too long as one of the more perfunctory aspects of reggae music.

A busy, business-like man Gussie Clarke has always been aware of the possibilities of opening everything up and making the 'Sound Of Young Jamaica' available to everyone and anyone. In 2006 he was the co-producer for international superstar Rihanna's 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' for her 'Girl Like Me' album. By being involved in every step of the creative process and by coaching and obtaining the very best out of his artists, musicians and engineers Gussie Clarke's music has always defied the vagaries of fashion. Consequently it has outlived the many fads in Jamaican music to become a lasting, permanent testament to creativity and hard work.
Jan 6, 2012 (Jan 11, 2012 Update) Text by Harry Hawks
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Hit Titles
Jc Lodge - Selfish Lover (Jacket Damage)
LP Jc Lodge - Selfish Lover (Jacket Damage) Music Works
  
¥1580 ¥1199 (US$11.07)
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Augustus 'Gussie' Clarke - Black Foundation Dub At King Tubby's
LP Augustus 'Gussie' Clarke - Black Foundation Dub At King Tubby's Motion UK
  
¥2680 (US$24.73)
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Gussie Clarke - Dread At The Controls Dub
LP Gussie Clarke - Dread At The Controls Dub Auralux UK
  
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Deborahe Glasgow - Deborahe Glasgow
LP Deborahe Glasgow - Deborahe Glasgow Music Works
  
¥1580 (US$14.58)
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Maxi Priest - Bonafide
LP Maxi Priest - Bonafide 10 Records
  
¥1880 (US$17.35)
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Cocoa Tea - Authorized
LP Cocoa Tea - Authorized Anchor
  
¥1880 (US$17.35)
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Various - Twice My Age Showcase 1991(Rhythm Album)
LP Various - Twice My Age Showcase 1991(Rhythm Album) Anchor Twice My Age
  
¥1880 (US$17.35)
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Augustus Pablo - No Entry
12" Augustus Pablo - No Entry / Augustus Gussie Clarke - No Exit (Dub) Maroon UK/Necessary Mayhem UK No Entry
  
¥3880 (US$35.81)
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Home T, Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks - Pirates Anthem
12" Home T, Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks - Pirates Anthem Dancehall Classics US Pirates Anthem
  
¥1980 (US$18.27)
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Dennis Brown - To The Foundation
7" Dennis Brown - To The Foundation Music Works To The Foundation
  
¥840 (US$7.75)
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Gregory Isaacs - Private Beach Party
7" Gregory Isaacs - Private Beach Party / Delroy Wilson - Dancing Mood Anchor/Music Works
  
¥1000 (US$9.23)
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JC Lodge - Give My Husband A Message
7" JC Lodge - Give My Husband A Message Music Works
  
¥570 (US$5.26)
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Cocoa Tea - One Away Woman
7" Cocoa Tea - One Away Woman Anchor
  
¥700 (US$6.46)
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Cocoa Tea, JC Lodge - Time For Love
7" Cocoa Tea, JC Lodge - Time For Love Music Works
  
¥900 (US$8.31)
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Deborahe Glasgow - Champion Lover
7" Deborahe Glasgow - Champion Lover Anchor Pirates Anthem
  
¥900 (US$8.31)
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Dennis Brown - You Know You Wanna Be Love
7" Dennis Brown - You Know You Wanna Be Love Anchor/Music Works
  
¥600 (US$5.54)
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Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs - Big All Around
7" Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs - Big All Around Music Works
  
¥900 (US$8.31)
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Freddie McGregor - Midnight Lover
7" Freddie McGregor - Midnight Lover Anchor
  
¥1000 (US$9.23)
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Freddie McGregor, Cynthia Schloss - Not As Happy
7" Freddie McGregor, Cynthia Schloss - Not As Happy Anchor
  
¥570 ¥399 (US$3.68)
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Gregory Isaacs - Rumours
7" Gregory Isaacs - Rumours VP US Rumours
  
¥980 (US$9.04)
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Home T, Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks - Pirates Anthem
7" Home T, Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks - Pirates Anthem Music Works Pirates Anthem
  
¥840 (US$7.75)
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JC Lodge - Operator
7" JC Lodge - Operator Music Works
  
¥600 (US$5.54)
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JC Lodge - Telephone Love
7" JC Lodge - Telephone Love / JC Lodge, Shabba Ranks - De Pon Mi Mine VP US Rumours
  
¥980 (US$9.04)
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JC Lodge - Telephone Love
7" JC Lodge - Telephone Love Anchor Rumours
  
¥570 (US$5.26)
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JC Lodge, Tiger - Love Me Baby
7" JC Lodge, Tiger - Love Me Baby Anchor Love Is Not A Gamble
  
¥900 (US$8.31)
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7" Johnny Osbourne, Lady G - Sweet Mouth Anchor/Music Works
  
¥900 (US$8.31)
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Krystal, Shabba Ranks - Twice My Age
7" Krystal, Shabba Ranks - Twice My Age Music Works Twice My Age
  
¥1000 (US$9.23)
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Krystal, Shabba Ranks - Twice My Age
7" Krystal, Shabba Ranks - Twice My Age VP US Twice My Age
  
¥980 (US$9.04)
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Lady G - Man Dem A Get Tight
7" Lady G - Man Dem A Get Tight Anchor Twice My Age
  
¥570 (US$5.26)
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Lady G - Nuff Respect
7" Lady G - Nuff Respect VP US Rumours
  
¥980 (US$9.04)
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7" Mighty Diamonds - Heavy Load Anchor Rumours
  
¥840 (US$7.75)
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Mighty Diamonds - Mr. Bodyguard
7" Mighty Diamonds - Mr. Bodyguard Anchor
  
¥1000 (US$9.23)
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Nadine Sutherland - Mr. Hard To Please
7" Nadine Sutherland - Mr. Hard To Please Music Works Mind Yu Dis
  
¥570 (US$5.26)
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Ninjaman, Gregory Isaacs, Freddie Mcgregor - John Law
7" Ninjaman, Gregory Isaacs, Freddie Mcgregor - John Law Anchor
  
¥700 (US$6.46)
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7" Sanchez, Lady G - Half My Age Music Works Twice My Age
  
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Sugar Minott - Funking Song
7" Sugar Minott - Funking Song Anchor
  
¥700 (US$6.46)
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Admiral Tibet, Shabba Ranks - Tell Me Which One
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7" Dennis Brown, Tiger - Make Up Your Mind Music Works
  
¥570 (US$5.26)
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¥1000 (US$9.23)
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Shabba Ranks - No Bother Dis
7" Shabba Ranks - No Bother Dis Music Works Mind Yu Dis
  
¥1000 (US$9.23)
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Cocoa Tea, Cutty Ranks - Gang War
7" Cocoa Tea, Cutty Ranks - Gang War Music Works
  
¥1000 (US$9.23)
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Deborahe Glasgow, Shabba Ranks - Don't Test Me
7" Deborahe Glasgow, Shabba Ranks - Don't Test Me Music Works Don't Test Me
  
¥900 (US$8.31)
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JC Lodge, Shabba Ranks - Hardcore Loving
7" JC Lodge, Shabba Ranks - Hardcore Loving Music Works Hardcore Loving
  
¥980 (US$9.04)
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Krystal, Shabba Ranks - Steady Man
7" Krystal, Shabba Ranks - Steady Man Anchor/Music Works Steady Man
  
¥570 (US$5.26)
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Lady G, Papa San - Round Table Talk
7" Lady G, Papa San - Round Table Talk Anchor/Music Works Twice My Age
  
¥570 (US$5.26)
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7" Sugar Minott, JC Lodge - Since You Came Into My Life Music Works
  
¥980 (US$9.04)
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Recent Arrivals
Various - Gussie Clarke Dub Anthology Collectors Edition (3CD+DVD)
CD Various - Gussie Clarke Dub Anthology Collectors Edition (3CD+DVD) Music Works US
¥4800 (US$44.30)
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Best selling CD(s)
Various - Gussie Clarke Dub Anthology Collectors Edition (3CD+DVD)
CD Various - Gussie Clarke Dub Anthology Collectors Edition (3CD+DVD) Music Works US
¥4800 (US$44.30)
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Best selling LP(s)
Various - Music Works Showcase 1990 (Edge Warp)
LP Various - Music Works Showcase 1990 (Edge Warp) Music Works
  
¥1880 ¥1260 (US$11.63)
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Various - Ram Dancehall
LP Various - Ram Dancehall Music Works
  
¥1580 ¥599 (US$5.53)
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Gregory Isaacs - IOU
LP Gregory Isaacs - IOU Music Works
  
¥1580 ¥880 (US$8.12)
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Best selling 10/12"(s)
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12" Gregory Isaacs - Temporary Lover 1; Temporary Lover 2 Music Works/Dug Out UK
  
¥1880 (US$17.35)
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Merva Grier - Feeling Like A Millieon
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¥2380 (US$21.96)
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Best selling 7"(s)
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¥570 ¥199 (US$1.84)
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7" Freddie McGregor - Rumours / Freddie McGregor, Johnny Ringo - Rumours Music Works
  
¥570 ¥299 (US$2.76)
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Daddy Rings - Cat And The Fiddle
7" Daddy Rings - Cat And The Fiddle Music Works
  
¥570 ¥299 (US$2.76)
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7" Dennis Creary - Ghetto Life Music Works/Dug Out UK
  
¥1360 (US$12.55)
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