Lukie D, Alaine deliver wow factor on Bob and Marcia classic
Cover ‘Really Together’ for Bob Andy tribute album
Before the term ‘power couple’ was even thought of, vocal duo Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths, known simply as ‘Bob and Marcia’, were the “young, gifted and black” boy and girl who embodied the phrase.
Fast-forward to the present and enter Lukie D and Alaine. The two singers are not a power couple, but, like Bob and Marcia decades ago, Lukie D and Alaine are really together. However, it’s a lyrical togetherness only, and one which sees the duo collaborating on a reggae classic and drenching it with the wow factor.
The togetherness was actioned by a call from producer and saxophonist extraordinaire Dean Fraser, with a special request that had songbird Alaine Laughton a bit dizzy with excitement but asking “the great Dean” a prudent question nontheless.
“Wow! That’s Marcia Griffiths, she is The Queen. That’s big shoes to fill! Do you think I can do it?”
Dean responded as only he can, “That’s why mi call you.”
With that, Alaine was ready to take on the challenge of teaming up with Lukie D to cover a Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths classic, Really Together.
Lukie D, a solo performer as well as a member of the group LUST - which kicks off their 25-year celebration in January - recalls the studio session at Penthouse Records with a smile.
“First of all, for me to cover this song is a pleasure because, when me a grow as a yute, Bob Andy is one of the singer that I listened to. When it come on to writing skills and vocal business, that’s Bob Andy. Alaine is an exceptional vocalist and, when you are working with somebody who can sing, it makes the work easier. We jelled right away ... in the past we have done a few weddings. The first thing we did is that we got the proper lyrics. And Alaine is jovial so the studio session was smooth,” he said.
Alaine had her own set of memories.
“Lukie is crazy! He has 17,000 different personalities and he has the accents to match,” she said laughing at remembered antics. “And he’s such a great vocalist. When mi hear him, mi seh ‘No sah ... mi haffi sing!’”
And, empowered and inspired by the greatness of the footsteps in which they were following, the two big singers “go hard” on Really Together, not competing, just blending so harmoniously that one has no option but to put the song on repeat.
“We understood the assignment,” they both said, as each shared a memorable moment about being with the reggae legends.
“I wrote a song for her [Marcia Griffiths] and I was ‘fangirling’ throughout the entire recording process. Then, when we were on the Love and Harmony Cruise, she did the song … it’s called Automatic … and she said ‘Big up Alaine who wrote this song.’ In that moment, I felt like I won every award,” Alaine said.
Lukie D recalled meeting the late Bob Andy at Anchor Recording Studio in Kingston years ago, and the veteran artiste telling him something that he will always treasure.
“Bob Andy said I reminded him of himself when he was young. For the great Bob Andy to tell me that! Bwoy da man deh jus’ wicked! At Anchor, when me start telling him about his songs, he was amazed and we had a good conversation. Yuh see, the problem is that some of we artiste, we nuh have nuh manners. We will see a veteran artiste and want to walk pass him or her. Bob Andy was amazed to know that me follow di ting so … Brook Benton, Nat King Cole, Beres Hammond, Dennie Brown. If you want to be a great singer, yuh haffi listen to dem man deh.”
His interaction with the late singer didn’t stop there, it progressed into Bob Andy, one of reggae’s most prolific songwriters, writing, not one, but two songs for Lukie D.
“He also said that he wanted to produce the songs and was present in the studio when I was doing the demo. Can you imagine that? The great Bob Andy taking the time to be there? He didn’t have to do that. At the end of the session, he said to me, ‘I didn’t have to be here Young Legend … that’s what he called me … because you did it so good’. Those songs will be on my next album,” Lukie D shared.
Alaine added, “All hail Bob Andy. He is excellence in human form. It’s just an honour to be on this song because it’s a song that I grew up listening to. As to Queen Marcia, she is so classy and fabulous. I love her and everything about her.”
Lukie D shared that his all-time favourite Bob Andy song is Desperate Lover, but stressed that he “love all Bob Andy songs because him is definitely the best”. He also shared a gem as told to him by Queen Marcia about Desperate Lover.
“She said, ‘Lukie, yuh know is me him write it for?’ Don’t me get her little voice right?” he asked with a laugh.
Really Together is one of the songs for the upcoming VP Records project, We Remember Bob Andy, which is scheduled to be released in February 2023. The song, which was released by Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd, at the start of the reggae era, was initially titled Always Together.
Bob Andy passed away in March 2020.