Negril (album)

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Original LP cover of "Negril" album.jpg
Studio album by Eric Gale
Released 1975
Recorded 1975
Studio Harry J's Recording Studio
Genre Jazz
Label Micron Music Limited, KLIK Records
Producer Eric Gale
Eric Gale chronology
Ginseng Woman
(1977)Ginseng Woman1977

Negril is an instrumental album originally released in 1975 from a session produced, arranged and almost entirely composed by Eric Gale. It features some of Jamaica's best-known musicians of the time. The album expresses Gale's fondness for the splendid beach and natural beauty of the Jamaican seaside village Negril, which later became a popular destination for international tourists.

Session and first release[edit]

Negril was recorded at the Harry J Studio in Kingston, Jamaica. It was originally released in Jamaica by Micron Music Ltd.,[1] whose co-owner was executive producer Michael Johnston, and in the UK by Klik Records. Paul Douglas, drummer on the Negril album, has mentioned that Gale and company recorded some material that did not make it onto the album.[2] Gale was under contract with CTI Records, so the album could not identify him as the session leader. CTI's founder, Creed Taylor, obviously approved of Gale's participation because the cover lists him "courtesy of C.T.I." and publishing credit is listed on the label as "Creede (sic) Taylor Inc,"[3] The Micron release lists drummer Sparrow Martin as "session leader," but he was clearly just a session participant. Songwriting on the original release is miscredited to "Eric Gayle."

Subsequent re-releases[edit]

In 1992, a CD of Negril was released by the French company, France's Concert Records (aka Esoldun), founded by recording mogul Enzo Hamilton. The CD insert says, "Licensed from Bunny Lee by Enzo Hamilton."[4] However, in 2008 Michael Johnston claimed that European releases of the album were unauthorized. In 2003 it was issued as a CD by Roving Spirits (Japan).[5]

The album is now being sold as a CD on the House of Reggae label whose cover boldly indicates that the artists are "Peter Tosh & Friends," leading some to incorrectly assume that Tosh is the primary artist rather than one of the session musicians.[6] Eric Gale is given much smaller billing on the cover.[7] A 2008 article about the album in the Jamaica Gleaner, "Revisiting Eric Gale's Negril," which is based on an interview with Johnston, mentions only that Tosh played rhythm guitar on one track, I Shot the Sheriff, though rhythm guitar is audible on other tracks.[8]

The album is also offered by Charly Records through major download and streaming providers. It is renamed Negril's Red Ground Funk, by "Negril," though the original release bore no such band name and Gale is given no credit.[9][10][11][12]

Negril has no connection with a Brazilian band of that name, though that group's album is sometimes erroneously listed as additional work by the same artist.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

A review on the reggae site Zinc Fence says of Negril that "listeners with tastes limited to heavy dub were never likely to find anything to tickle their palettes here, yet anyone looking for a mellow, superbly-played mid-1970s instrumental reggae album could do far worse than seek this out."[14] Black Music (magazine) called Gale’s playing on Negril “sensitive, subtle, and graceful.”[15] Author and music critic John Masouri calls the album “a delightful hybrid of reggae, nyahbinghi, soul, and jazz, with just a touch of calypso added for good measure.” Masouri notes that Peter Tosh’s “most telling contribution is the scything wah wah that underpins Gale’s lead guitar on I Shot the Sheriff." “Further traces of Tosh are less distinct,” Masouri observes.[15]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Eric Gale; except where noted. Track order is for original LP release by Micron.

Side one

  1. "Lighthouse" 6:05
  2. "East Side, West Side" 4:53
  3. "Honey Coral Rock" 3:45
  4. "Negril" 3:52

Side two

  1. "Red Ground Funk" 5:17
  2. "Rasta" 5:30
  3. "Negril Sea Sunset" 5:38
  4. "I Shot the Sheriff" (Bob Marley) 5:00


As listed on original Micron LP release:

  • Eric Gale ("courtesy of C.T.I.") – lead guitar, producer, arranger
  • Aston Barrett – bass guitar
  • Leslie Butler – organ, synthesizer
  • Cedric Brooks – saxophone, percussion
  • Paul Douglas – drums
  • Val Douglas – bass guitar
  • Joe Higgs – percussion
  • Sparrow Martin – drums
  • Keith Sterling – piano
  • Richard Tee – piano
  • Uziah Thompson – percussion
  • Peter Tosh ("courtesy of Wailers") – rhythm guitar
  • Michael Johnston – executive producer
  • Sylvan Morris – recording engineer
  • Buddy Davidson – mixing engineer
  • Trevor Campbell – art and cover design
  • Recorded at Harry J Studio, Kingston
  • Mixed at Federal Recording Co.
  • Mastered at Record Specialists

In an interview for a 2008 article in the Jamaica Gleaner, Micron owner Michael Johnston claims to have been the album's producer, though the original Micron release credits Eric Gale. Johnston may have been referring to his role as executive producer.

The Klik release has Tosh listed as playing lead and rhythm guitar. However, the cover of the original Micron release and its reprint both list Tosh as playing only rhythm guitar.[16]


  1. ^ "Jamming with Michael Johnston". June 7, 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Katz, David (17 November 2009). "People Funny Boy - The Genius Of Lee 'Scratch' Perry". Omnibus Press – via Google Books. 
  3. ^ "Negril". Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Negril" (CD). scribd. Esoldun. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Negril". Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Negril". Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  8. ^ Howard Campbell (June 17, 2008). "Revisiting Eric Gale's Negril" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Negril's Red Ground Funk". Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "Negril's Red Ground Funk". Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  11. ^ "Negril's Red Ground Funk". Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  12. ^ "Negril's Red Ground Funk". Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  13. ^ "A Outra Margem do Rio". Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  14. ^ Peter Dalton. "Negril". Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  15. ^ a b John Masouri (2013). "Steppin’ Razor: The Life of Peter Tosh". Music Sales Group. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "Negril Micron back cover". Retrieved 9 February 2015. 

External links[edit]