b. Michael Dorane, 1948, Newmarket, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, West Indies. Dorane was raised in California until his eighth birthday when his family moved to London. He mastered a number of instruments and at 15 he formed Soul Funk, performing in an R&B style. Carving a niche in Europe, the band embarked on a tour of the Continent and enjoyed two Top 10 hits in Germany. By the early 70s the band returned to the UK where Dorane decided to embark on a career within the reggae industry, initially as a session musician for Pama Records. He ploughed his earnings into establishing a collection of his own recordings and produced the debut singles of newcomers Fitzroy Henry and Carol Williams. He secured a distribution agreement with Island Records, who allocated his work exclusively on the newly formed Rockers label. The release of Fitzroy Henry’s ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ and Carol Williams’ ‘You’ve Gotta Save All Your Love’ signalled the new label’s arrival, although neither made a significant impression on the chart. As a vocalist, Dorane recorded a version of the Supremes’ ‘Stop! In The Name Of Love’, which, although heavily promoted by Island, subsequently remained in obscurity. Having failed to achieve his ambition to establish reggae’s equivalent of Motown Records in the UK, Dorane returned to session work, where, as Michael Dan, he established a reputation as an exemplary sound engineer, having notable success with Virgin Records’ Front Line enterprise. Enrolled to mix the Twinkle Brothers’ classic Praise Jah, he built a solid reputation following the success of the discomix version of ‘Jahoviah’, which was lifted from the album. His unique mixing style was a feature of Front Line releases, including the bizarre Live At The Lyceum EP featuring U-Roy. Since his halcyon days with Front Line he has maintained a low profile within the industry, although examples of his work resurfaced through various reissue programmes.
Share this page