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Story of the Song | Beres keeps time for Dennis - Crown Prince included on 'Love Within the Music' after chance studio visit

Published:Friday | October 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Beres Hammond
Dennis Brown
Marcia Griffiths

Donovan Germain of Penthouse Records had wanted Dennis Brown to do a song for his label a long time before reggae's Crown Prince happened into the studio in the 1990s. "I always asked Dennis, 'When you going to do a song for Penthouse," Germain told The Sunday Gleaner. "Him just turn up the night." When the time came, it was totally unexpected, and it took Beres Hammond's foot tapping to keep Brown on track.

Hammond was at Penthouse Studios, then at Slipe Road, laying tracks for his A Love Affair album. They did not know that Brown was around until he walked into the studio. It was the right time as Hammond was working on a song with multiple artistes, who recorded their vocals separately. But while Glen Ricks, Marcia Griffiths, and Freddie McGregor were planned for, Dennis Brown was a bonus.

Hammond not only had the song written, but there was a guide vocal track for the singers to follow - and nothing else as the sole instrumentation is by Robbie Lyn with the keyboard, and that was done after the vocals. On the night that Hammond took the opportunity of Brown's chance visit to include him on Love Within the Music, he also had to keep time for Brown to sing.

"Dennis took a little time to record. He was not keeping the correct time. That is why Beres went in (the voicing booth) and used his foot to keep the timing for him," Germain said. There were not many people around to see that moment involving two of Jamaican popular music's all-time greats, with only the engineers on the project there in addition to Germain.

Hammond, whose first song for Penthouse was Tempted to Touch, decided the order in which the performers would appear on Love Within the Music, which was released as a single in addition to being on A Love Affair. "Is a great song and what it was saying was something we could relate to, so we knew it was a special song," Germain said.

There was never a version with additional instruments and Love Within the Music was never transferred from the studio to the stage by its all-star cast. "It has never been performed by them," Germain said.

Dennis Brown, who died in 1999, did more songs for Penthouse Records, including She Brought Me Love and Brickwall (the latter with Richie Stephens).