Buju Banton – Mr Mention

Buju Banton - Mr Mention
Terrible album cover for Buju’s 1992 debut album. For someone who would ultimately get swamped in controversy over homophobic lyrics in his early years, it’s hard to imagine a more gay album cover than this. It makes the Village People look like red-blooded hetros.

Anyway, 1992 was a huge year for Buju and he dominated the Jamaican airwaves, it’s hard to think of a bigger hit that year than ‘Batty Rider’. In fact ‘Batty Rider’ can still start a fire in a dancehall today.

The album is full of some of the biggest dancehall hits of the time and should be in any serious collection.

Track Listing:
01 Batty Rider
02 Love How The Gal Dem Flex
03 Love Black Woman
04 Look How You Sweet
05 Woman No Fret
06 Have To Get You Tonight
07 Dickie
08 Love Me Brownin’
09 Buju Movin’
10 Who Say ( Ft. Beres Hammond )
11 The Grudge
12 How The World A Run
13 Buju Love You To The Max
14 Man Fe Dead
15 Bonafide Love (Movie Star)

The album is pure raw early 1990s dancehall (and a long way removed from Buju Banton’s later style and output).

Buy It
 
 

  • Download ‘Mr Mention’ by Buju Banton from Amazon.com
  • Download ‘Mr Mention’ by Buju Banton from Amazon.co.uk
  • Download ‘Mr Mention’ by Buju Banton from iTunes [US]icon
  • Download ‘Mr Mention’ by Buju Banton from iTunes [UK]

Listen To It
 
 

Listen to probably the biggest hit from Buju’s Mr Mention Album – ‘Batty Rider’.

Sammy Dread – Roadblock

Sammy Dread - Roadblock

Sammy Dread - Roadblock

Sammy Dread came in strong with some striking album artwork for his 1982 rootsy dancehall release titled ‘Roadblock’.

The art and sleeve design was created by Jamaal Pete, another prolific album arrtist whose work was often signified by his dense and colourful paintings, as can be seen here.

This has got all the signs of rasta rebellion rendered in an awesome hand-drawn cartoon showing Sammy Dread smashing through an army roadblock barrier on a motorbike with Selassie drawn on the petrol tank, spliff in hand, with dreads flying in the wind. Brilliant.

The album is worth picking up too, full of bass-heavy and laid back early rootsy dancehall vocals – The title track was a massive dancehall hit.

Track Listing:

  1. Road Block
  2. Dreadlocks Queen
  3. So Long
  4. Jenny
  5. In A Mans Heart
  6. Today
  7. Jah Guide
  8. Time To Spread
  9. Bad Company
  10. Come Back Darling
  11. Rude Boy A Fire M 16

Listen To It
 
 

Listen to “Roadblock” by Sammy Dread:

Listen to “In a Man’s Heart” by Sammy Dread:

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The good news is that you can still get the full ‘Roadblock’ album by Sammy Dread as a download:

Massive Dread – Massive Dread [1979]

Massive Dread - Massive Dread
Massive Dread has his name on one of the worst album covers of all time, but this is a much cooler offering.

This is the album sleeve art for Massive Dread’s first album that was released in 1979 and it reminds me of Lee Perry’s Super Ape album cover.

I’m a huge fan of the hand drawn album cover art that took place a lot during the 1970’s and this is a first rate example.

Track Listing:

  1. African Roots
  2. Squatters Connection
  3. Black Is A Natural Fact
  4. Economical System
  5. Right Time Come
  6. Natty Dread International
  7. Mutual Inspiration
  8. Humble Lion

Listen To It
 
 

Listen to Massive Dread – “Right Time Come”

Buy It
 
 

Sadly there isn’t much Massive Dread readily available for download, you can still pick up a few of his standout tracks online though (but it would be nice to see his albums re-issued as downloads):

Massive Dread – This Is Massive

Massive Dread - This Is Massive
This is as bad as it gets. Even if you are struggling to establish your identity in the music business, surely a blank album cover is preferable to this?

Massive Dread also looks like he’s possibly asleep and someone has put some sunglasses on his head and taken a picture.

“This Is Massive” was a compilation album of Massive Dread’s past hits and favourites and was released on Nyam Up Records. Despite the horrific album cover its got some classic tunes on it that are rarely heard outside of core reggae circles.

Massive Dread was sadly shot dead in 1994, just one year after he helped establish the Trenchtown Reading Centre – a community project designed to improve literacy and learning for the children of Trenchtown.

Track Listings
1. This Is Massive
2. Strictly Bubbling
3. Chicken Chest
4. Vamps on the Corner
5. Justice Love Harmony
6. Pussy on the Window
7. Bubble Her, Inna Ja
8. Monkey Do
9. Wa Do Dem
10. Nice Dem Up
11. Shake-Bubble Senora
12. No Sell Yuh Body
13. Nimble

Listen To It
 
 

Listen to Massive Dread – “This Is Massive”

Buy It
 
 

Sadly there isn’t much Massive Dread readily available for download, you can still pick up a few of his standout tracks online though (but it would be nice to see his albums re-issued as downloads):

Big Youth – Rock Holy [1980]

Big Youth Rock Holy
I’m a massive Big Youth fan, but it has to be said that the cover of this album is better than than the actual tracks within. This was released in 1980 on Big Youth’s own Negusa Nagast record label and despite having a couple of standout tracks (such as ‘Rock Holy’) Big Youth’s powers were beginning to wane somewhat.

But still, what a cover – this album artwork sums up for me exactly what Big Youth represented when he was at the height of his popularity and really conveys the excitement of his music (sadly not on this album though).

Track Listing:

  1. Living
  2. Rock Holy
  3. Love Jah Jah With All My Heart
  4. Many Moods Of Big Youth
  5. Get On Up
  6. We Can Work It Out
  7. Time Alone Will Tell
  8. Dancing Mood
  9. Bang Dibo

Listen To It
 
 

Buy It