King of Dub [1978]

King of Dub [1978]

King of Dub [1978]

King of Dub [1978]

‘King of Dub’ is a 1978 dub album released initially on Clocktower Records, and then later on Blue Moon Productions.

Clocktower was a label based in New York and was owned and operated by Brad Osborne that focused on dub and roots releases. Many of the releases from the 70s and 80s are thankfully still available now in digital form.

This is a rich dub album, with heavy bass and plenty of horns.

The artwork was done by Clocktower regular Jamaal Pete, and features a painted lion on the cover. It is a bold cover, but (iun our opinion) not one of Jamaal Pete’s best covers. The rear of the sleeve also features a short essay by Brad Osbourne that reads as follows:


This form of music started in the dance halls in the early 60s by some of the pioneer record producers. Mainly Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee, by both of whom I’ve been tremendously influenced…
As a youth, from Jones and Trench Town, I’ve learned you must have an adequate power amplifier, right preamp and speakers…
For the right sound and effect, King Tubbys “the dubmaster” is a must, knowing when to bring in the Rhythm and leggo the Bass and Drum.
This album, it’s clean, heavy and right effects; we diged into the Rhythm vault and came up with TEN of the Hardest Rhythm Tracks. You’ll be convinced that this is the King of Dub.
Brad Osborne



Tracklist
A1 King Zion Dub
A2 Super Star Dub
A3 Graceful Dub
A4 Rubba Dunza (Clock Tower Mix)
A5 Jah Angel Of Dub (Clock Tower Mix)
B1 Blood, Sweat & Dunza Dub
B2 King, Queen & Minstreal Dub
B3 Easy Dread & Check This Dub
B4 Fancy Up A Dub
B5 Stalac 80 Dubwise

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Listen to ‘King Zion Dub':


Listen to ‘Blood Sweat and Dunza Dub':

Mikey Melody ‎– Mona Lisa [1988]

Mikey Melody ‎– Mona Lisa [1988]

Mikey Melody ‎– Mona Lisa [1988]

Mikey Melody ‎– Mona Lisa [1988]

Released in 1988 on Dennis Star International records, this is ‘Mona Lisa’ by Mikey Melody.

This is pure late 80s dancehall vocals over digital rhythms. Mikey Melody sounds a lot like Conroy Smith, Courtney Melody and other such singers of the era, but lacks the hits and style of the aforementioned artists. To be fair, Mikey Melody did much better work, it is just a shame it isn’t on this album. It’s not bad as such, it just comes across as functional 80s dancehall, nothing special or memorable.

The album sleeve is pretty errr…..special, and hasn’t dated well at all. This is one of our least favorite Wilfred Limonious album covers – to be fair, it probably wasn’t his fault as he is only dealing with what he has been given to work with, and both Mikey Melody and his ‘Mona Lisa’ don’t look like they are enjoying any minute of this at all. Looks like a US prom photo.

Tracklist
A1 Mona Lisa
A2 Maranda
A3 Samantha
A4 Reggae Rock
A5 Break The Barriers Down
B1 Pa Pie Pie
B2 All Ina One
B3 Soldier Ina Town
B4 Mr. Melody
B5 Lovers Lane

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Listen to ‘Mona Lisa’ by Mikey Melody:



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Sugar Belly ‎– The Return Of Sugar Belly

Sugar Belly ‎– The Return Of Sugar Belly

Sugar Belly ‎– The Return Of Sugar Belly

Sugar Belly a.k.a. Wilfred Walker, is a unique figure in the Jamaican music scene – he is a self-taught musician who played Mento and Reggae music with a home-made saxophone that he made himself made from bamboo, bits of cardboard, and various other ‘found materials.

This album was released in 1985 on Techniques Records and sees Sugar Belly playing a hybrid of Mento and Reggae, with the backing of a full band.

Despite having a long career playing in the bars and hotels of Jamaica and the surrounding islands, Sugar Belly only recorded two full length albums (but he did rack up fifteen singles on various labels).

The album sleeve here is actually by Wilfred Limonious and probably goes down as one of the more obscure releases that Limonious created album artwork for.

Check out the fascinating clip from a Canadian documentary called ‘The Music of Man’ that was aired in 1979 and featured a short section on Sugar Belly and his home-made bamboo saxophone:



Tracklisting:
Yellow Bird
Peel Head John Crow
Miss Mary Ann
Occupation
Belly Beef
Hansome Gal
Pain A Back
Rugumbine
Fire In Mi Wire
Sugar Boy

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Listen to by ‘Pain A Back’ by Sugar Belly


Jah Thomas ‎- Nah Fight Over Woman [1980]

Jah Thomas ‎- Nah Fight Over Woman [1980]

Jah Thomas ‎- Nah Fight Over Woman [1980]

Jah Thomas ‎- Nah Fight Over Woman [1980]

Released on Tads Records in 1980 this was Jah Thomas’s third album.

Despite being a local celebrity since the mid-70s, Jah Thomas found international fame with his first album ‘Stop Yuh Loafin’ when it was picked up by Greensleeves Records, a new label at the time that was founded by Chris Cracknell and Chris Sedgwick, and was based in West London. Greensleeves would go on to become an integral part of taking a wide roster of reggae and dancehall artists to international markets, and ‘Stop Yuh Loafin’ would also feature the first cover-art by Tony McDermott – another artist responsible for some of the most creative and distinctive reggae album art o.ver the years

The artwork here is another striking piece by Jamaal Pete, and features his detailed and colourful style and brush strokes.

The rear of the album is equally as impressive, featuring hand-drawn lettering for the tracklisting and other album details which gives a true artisan feel to the whole product.

The music itself is a pretty good set, not the best by Jah Thomas, but solid enough with heavy rhythm tracks from the Roots Radics band and deep mixing by Scientist.

Tracklist
1 Hear It In The News
2 Please Mr Officer
3 Stylee-Stylee
4 Nah Fight Over Woman
5 Have To Spend Me Hotel Fee
6 Mary Lou
7 Cocky & Pussy
8 Hotel No Lack
9 Morning Ride
10 Put It On Back

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Listen to ‘Morning Ride’ by Jah Thomas


Listen to ‘Nah Fight Over Woman’ by Jah Thomas



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Barrington Levy ‎– Open Book

Barrington Levy ‎– Open Book

Barrington Levy ‎– Open Book
Barrington Levy ‎– Open Book

This is ‘Open Book’ by Barrington Levy – this was an early Barrington Levy album and has appeared on a few record labels over the years, including Tuff Gong, Oak Sounds, and Dee Jay records.

The cover is by the legendary Wilfred Limonious, and it is a unique cover by his standards as it doesn’t utilise the Wilfred Limonious signature free-flowing, colourful, and detailed cartoon graphics – instead it adopts a moody and dark cityscape with flashing lights and stars in the background.

Limonious has written his name on the cover, and a hand-drawn ‘open book’ is shown in the middle with ‘Jah Love‘ written on the top of the pages. Definitly not your usual Limonious cover – but still great all the same.

The album itself is a great collection of early Barrington Levy dancehall vocal tracks, which all still sound great today.

Tracklist
Trying To Ruin My Life
My Love Don’t Come Easy
Mine You Hurt Mom
Skanking On Broadway
Open Book
Begging You A Ten Cent Sir
Ever Since
When You Are Feeling Hungry

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Listen to ‘Open Book’ by Barrington Levy:



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