Sweet Sweet Dreams


Analog Africa present a reissue of Shadow's (aka Winston Bailey) Sweet Sweet Dreams, originally released in 1984. The far-out album by Trinidad and Tobago's Shadow was panned by critics and unable to reach markets, disappearing into the dusty record collections of a few music aficionados. A truly enigmatic artist, Shadow first emerged in Trinidad and Tobago during the 1970s and became a part of the tapestry of Caribbean music, reinvigorating calypso. Calypso, the indigenous folk music of Trinidad and Tobago, led to several other music genres, including soca, which has up-tempo beats and is played in a festival context. Shadow effortlessly moves between both calypso and soca. Coming from a humble but musical family, Shadow started writing songs at a young age while tending cattle in the fields. To his family's initial chagrin, he eventually chose calypso over church music. In the early days of his career, Shadow's style was cramped due to conservative music arrangers who felt that calypso and soca should fit into a mold. But after a while, Shadow teamed up with more innovative arrangers, including Arthur DeCoteau. Shadow's inert creativeness culminated in Sweet Sweet Dreams, which deals with burning and ever-relevant themes like love and the ups-and-downs of relationships - a surprising fact for someone mainly known for his satirical and political lyrics. It prompted his manager to wonder if Shadow had written the lyrics while in a state of "tabanca" (a word used in Trinidad and Tobago to describe lovesickness). Sweet Sweet Dreams was recorded at the legendary SHARC studios, located on a hill in Chaguaramas (near Port of Spain). Sweet Sweet Dreams delivers a fantastic sound with monster soca-boogie tunes, fusing a range of rhythms and new sounds, primarily heavy synth riffs. What Shadow didn't realize was that the proto-electronic cocktail he mixed in 1984 would find the recognition it deserved three decades later. Sweet Sweet Dreams has come true and been elevated to holy-grail status, becoming one of the most sought-after Caribbean disco records in existence. For this reissue, Analog Africa carried out extensive interviews with Shadow and the musicians. It includes liners notes featuring exclusive photos from Shadow's personal collection and the dancefloor filler tune "D'Hardest" as a bonus track. Remastered and cut by Frank Meritt at The Carvery.