The summer of 2011 is shaping up quite nicely in terms of must hear reggae and ska recordings. However I think I may have already heard the winner. Little Roy is releasing a limited edition 7" single featuring both Nirvana's "Sliver" and "Dive" on June 20th 2011 through Ark Recordings.
With production help from Prince Fatty (A.K.A producer Mike Pelanconi who has been on a hot streak of late -- check out the Hollie Cook tune he produced -- 'That Very Night') Little Roy's versions are spectacularly amazing reworkings that peel back the layers of the Nirvana originals from the 'Incesticide' compilation LP, to reveal entirely new songs. I’ve probably listened to them both at least a dozen times in the last day or so on my iPod.
A little known figure outside of reggae's deep roots circles, Little Roy contributed a handful of undeniable classics to the genre during the 1970s. Though often overlooked in the pantheon of classic roots reggae singers, his recent collaborations with Prince Fatty may finally take him mainstream. (Read a recent interview with Little Roy here).
According to an interview Little Roy did recently, the single is part of a Nirvana cover album project that he has recorded:
“I’ve recorded a Nirvana album. It’s different from me. I have done covers of Stevie Wonder and Bruce Ruffin. But I didn’t stick on singing other people’s songs. I’ve always written my own songs,” he said. It was introduced to me. Mike Pelanconi was doing it. Mike told them that I could be the right artist and the album will be put out later this year.”Word has it that his cover of 'Polly' may be even better than 'Sliver/Dive'. We'll see! Below is the Little Roy version followed by the Nirvana originals. Enjoy and play them loud!