U Brown ‎– London Rock [1977]

U Brown ‎– London Rock [1977]

U Brown ‎– London Rock [1977]

U Brown ‎– London Rock [1977]

This is ‘London Rock’ by U. Brown that was released in 1977 on UK based label ‘Third World’.

The artwork on display here is by Tyrone Whyte, who was notable for his hand-drawn album sleeves for a number of UK based reggae record labels in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This one depicts U. Brown, looking somewhat under-dressed, in London with the Queens Guard in the background. The hand-drawn rear sleeve also shows another London scene.

U-Brown was born in Kingston in 1956, and he bacame one of the leading lights of the next generation of DJs that came after originators like U. Roy. His pattern and style is nearly identical to U. Roy, but he pulls it off and managed to put enough of his own stamp on it to become one of the more popular DJs of his generation. This album is a solid DJ set over big roots rhythms, and mostly political leaning subject material.

Tracklist
A1 London Rock
A2 Unity Of Love
A3 Here We Come Again
A4 Travel East To West
A5 Rocking Vibration
A6 Jamaican Shuffle
B1 Manners
B2 Going To The Ball
B3 Special Request
B4 Drum And Bass
B5 Satta Natty Dread
B6 Fire And Desire

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Listen to ‘Manners’ by U Brown

Listen to ‘London Rock’ by U Brown



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Massive Dread – Strictly Bubbling [1982]

Massive Dread - Strictly Bubbling [1982]

Massive Dread - Strictly Bubbling [1982]

We are big fans here of Massive Dread – he has been at the center of some wonderful album art (like ‘Massive Dread‘) as well as some ‘so bad it’s good‘ album covers like This is Massive.

This mini-album, released on UFO Records (Up Front Organization records) in 1982 is at the better end of the artistic spectrum as it shows a great (if somewhat surreal) cartoon piece by Orville ‘Bagga’ Case.

The cover shows a crossroads with cartoon depictions based around some of the tracks on the record – such as a vampire dancing between two soundsystem speakers for ‘Vamps on the Corner’, and numerous chickens and roosters running around for ‘Chicken Chest’ and ‘Mr. Rooster’.

This is solid early 80s dancehall toasting / DJ-ing in Massive Dread’s distinctive laid-back style.

Tracklisting:
A1 This Is Massive
A2 Strictly Bubbling
A3 Mr. Rooster
B1 Vamps On The Corner
B2 Chicken Chest
B3 Just Cool, Melba

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Listen to ‘Strictly Bubbling’ by Massive Dread:



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Toyan [1982]

Toyan [1982]

Toyan [1982]

Toyan [1982]

This is the self-titled album from DJ Toyan that was released in 1982 on J&L Records, a subsidiary label of Jamaican based Channel One that was owned and run by Jo Jo Hookim and Ernest Hookim.

The artwork here is by Jamaal Pete and it shows a full portrait of Toyan positioned above his name, with red, gold, and green as the dominant colours in the piece. This is actually one of the more simple Jamaal Pete artworks, usually his pieces have far more detail and colour – the simplicity on display here actually makes this cover more eye-catching with greater gravitas.

As ever with Jamaal Pete’s work, the rear of the cover has a real sense of care about it, with all the credits and tracklist being done by hand. You can see Jamaal’s signature on the inside of Toyan’s collar on the rear sleeve.

The music is what you owould expect from early 80s Toyan, solid bass-heavy rhythms with hypnotic DJ’ing that almost slips into chanting. Classic early dancehall.

Tracklist
A1 Curfew
A2 Chalice
A3 Wife + Sweetheart
A4 Spar With Me
A5 Cuss + Cuss
B1 Life In Jam Down
B2 World War Affair
B3 Gun Shot
B4 Ronnie + Lou
B5 Posse

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Listen to ‘Cuss Cuss’ by Toyan

Listen to ‘Gun Shot’ by Toyan



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Carl Meeks ‎– Weh Dem Fah [1988]

Carl Meeks ‎– Weh Dem Fah [1988]

Carl Meeks ‎– Weh Dem Fah [1988]

Carl Meeks ‎– Weh Dem Fah [1988]

This is ‘Weh Dem Fah’ which was released by Carl Meeks in 1988 on the wonderful Redman International record label.

This is a great late 80s dancehall vocal album, with Redman International studio regulars Steelie & Clevie laying down the digital rhythms.

The cover artwork is another Wilfred Limonious piece and shows some of his geometric style designs that he was partial to doing in the late 80s for the rear cover. That hand-drawn ‘Carl Meeks’ logo on the cover should turned into an actual font – love it.

Tracklist
Beautiful Woman
Granny Say No Worry
Red Eye Lover
Front Line
Johnny
Whey Dem Fa
Without Your Love
Hey Bad Boy
Evil Eyes

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Listen to ‘Weh Dem Fah’ by Carl Meeks:

Listen to ‘Hey Bad Boy’ by Carl Meeks:


‘Weh Dem Fah’ remains a popular track, so much so, it was recently re-recorded with Gappy Ranks and Lion D jumping on the track with Carl Meeks. Check it out below:


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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':