This is the first re-release on 7inch vinyl single of the mythic double sided single credited to producer Joe Gibbs and released in 1968 on Amalgamated Records in the U.K.
Although both tracks are credited to Joe Gibbs, many believe the A side “People Grudgeful” was sung by The Ethiopians whilst the B side “Pan Ya Machete” was performed by The Pioneers. “Grudgeful” though does not really sound like The Ethiopians and according to Trojan, both sides were performed by The Pioneers. Which makes sense for several reasons. Firstly, the sound of the song is indeed more reminiscent of the Pioneers/Joe Gibbs work of that time. In fact The Ethiopians did not record with Joe Gibbs, with the exception of The Ring which was released in 1972, four years later, while the Pioneers were routinely involved with Gibbs in 1968. Last but not least, The Ethiopians had no beef with Lee Scratch Perry whilst The Pioneers songs were clearly incriminated by Scratch in his hit song “People Funny Boy.
Attention: This is a special limited edition strictly limited to 500 copies - one release only.
Note: the number of copies is now included in the catalogue number “HSRSS-0023C-500” printed on the single label, “500” standing for 500 copies and C for collector.
The Pioneers were formed in 1962 by two brothers Derrick and Sidney Crooks and their friend Winston Hewitt later replaced by former Heptone Glen Adams.
The Pioneers' early singles were not successful, and the group broke up in 1967 Sydney started working at Joe Gibbs shop and then in the studio where he met a talented new young singer: Jackie Robinson. The new Pioneers were reborn as a duo. They recorded several successful singles such as "Longshot" "Jackpot", "Catch the Beat" with Gibbs before joining producer Leslie Kong where they recorded Samfie Man which topped the Jamaican charts. They then recruited George Agard and became a trio again.
They scored in the charts again with "Long Shot (Kick De Bucket)" a sequel to “Long Shot”, the tragic story of a race horse that never won and died racing! “Kick De Bucket” became an instant hit both in Jamaican and in the U.K. particularly among skinheads in 1969. More hits followed and the band moved to the UK in 1970. Over time, their sound changed and became more sophisticated and pop and they eventually recorded soul albums with Eddy Grant as a producer in 1976. It was not successful and the band split before reforming. They have been performing sporadically since then.
Title: "PEOPLE GRUDGEFUL" Artist: SIR GIBBS (THE PIONEERS) - Limited Edition 500 copies
Genre: Early Reggae
Produced by Joe Gibbs
Lee “Scratch” Perry who previously used to work as a music producer for Gibbs started his own label ”Upset” and got a hit in 1968 in Jamaica with his first recording “People Funny Boy” a song attacking his previous employer - Joe Gibbs - and incidentally The Pioneers. The music was similar to “Long Shot”, a track by The Pioneers just previously released by Gibbs that year. The lyrics were quite different though: “Now that you reach the top, And you turn big shot, All I've done for you, You no remember that” etc.
Joe Gibbs immediately retorted with this single starting with “People Grudgeful” on the A side. The music was a much harder version of Lee Scratch Perry song, with aggressive vocals by the Pioneers whilst the lyrics responding point by point to Perry accusations. The result is a great and brutal track, a “bad” track typical of Gibbs style at thas time, very rare on 7” and very much in demand today… Incidentally, it was covered by The Fall in 1993.
Title: "PAN YA MACHETE" - Artist: SIR GIBBS (THE PIONEERS) - Year: 1968
Genre: Rocksteady/Early Reggae
Produced by Joe Gibbs
The second wave of attack directed to Perry was on the flip with the virulent "Pan Ya Machete". Lee Scratch Perry released “People Funny Boy” on his record label which was called “Upset” and showcased a machete drenched in blood as a logo. A Panya Machete is a Jamaican expression for an hypocrite: A Spanish machete (n.) (alsoPaniar machete, Pannya machete) [the Spanish machete has a two-edged blade and thus ‘cuts both ways’.
Although musically less aggressive than the A side, Machete is a great ballad with cracking vocals, made perfect by a dog repeatedly barking in the background! “Ah ah pan ya machete, hail Mr Upsetter, Little sins can lead to big big things, Me Nah come with water, dis time, me come wid fire, Pan ya machete, dats what you are, Two edge swords, dats what you are Scratch… “ Serious threats from the Pioneers! But things were not as bad it seemed considering Perry and The Pioneers did their first euro tour together just one year later in 1969!