Cruise International Records,
Allerton Grange Vale,
Junior Byles Beatdown Babylon 7” vinyl
There’s nothing worse than music lovers missing out on music they’d enjoy listening to, so here at Cruise International Records / Cruise Digital, we’re on a crusade to make sure older and newer top class music of various styles finds its audience.
One of Jamaica’s most tragic figures, Junior Byles was also one of the island’s greatest root stars. His vocals were quite unique, and although his soft, almost husky voice would never ring from the rafters nor give voice to anger, the gentle timbre still expressed deep emotions. His was the voice of the meek and was all the stronger for it. The closest comparison is perhaps with the vulnerable tones of Slim Smith, but while the former Unique made his mark with love songs, Byles would speak not for the lovelorn, but for the oppressed. The two men did share another link, however, both suffered from serious psychological problems that in one case ended one man’s career and left the other in ruins.