A touchstone LP from the beginning of reggae’s post-Bob Marley era, Greensleeves
released Fire House Rock on June 3, 1981, to enduring acclaim. The title track has
become Wailing Souls’ most popular song, found on any short list of all-time reggae
classics. More than 40 years later, it is the group’s most-streamed song, populating
classic reggae playlists across the digital streaming platforms, including Spotify’s One
Love and Apple Music’s Roots Reggae Essentials.
Fire House Rock was Wailing Souls’ third LP at the time of release, but the group had
built a solid catalogue of singles and a reputation through more than a decade together, largely from a foundation established at Coxson Dodd’s Studio One. By 1980, with a settled and seasoned four-part harmony line-up of Winston “Pipe” Matthews, Lloyd “Bread” McDonald, Garth Dennis, and George “Buddy” Haye, the group was convinced to record for the hottest up and coming producer of the era, Henry “Junjo” Lawes. Pairing the singers with the Roots Radics band at the apex of its recording career and Channel
One studios during its golden era, with Scientist at the mixing desk, the results were
nothing less than the stuff of legend.