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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Leroy Smart ‎– Impressions Of Leroy Smart [1977]

Leroy Smart ‎– Impressions Of Leroy Smart [1977]

Leroy Smart ‎– Impressions Of Leroy Smart [1977]

Leroy Smart ‎– Impressions Of Leroy Smart [1977]

‘Impressions of Leroy Smart’ was released in 1977 on UK based record label Burning Sounds.

The artwork was by Tyrone Whyte, a UK based artist who was a long time collaborator with Burning Sounds, as well as creating artwork for other reggae release on other UK labels.

It is a wonderfully surreal and interesting piece of album art. The cover features a gambling table, Leroy Smart appearing in the middle of the record sleeve, and the rear oddly jumps to Leroy Smart in a spacesuit in a 2001 Space Odyssey type scene (complete with Jamaican flag on the spacesuit).

We can only assume that the sleeve is taking inspiration from a couple of tracks on the album, notably “Gambling” and “Man Of Future”.

It’s wonderful stuff, exactly the sort of artwork that we’d personally like to see more of these days.

Tracklist
Lorna
Music Is Sweet
Gambling
Jah Is My Future Guide
Don’t Let Me Down
Man Of Future
In This Time
Rasta Man
Back Out Weak Heart
You I Can’t Forget
Do You Remember
Rasta Time

We have never really been the biggest Leroy Smart fan, no particular reason other than not really taking to his voice, but the work on show here is really good. This is a deep roots album with some great productions, include a great version of Yabby You & Wayne Wade’s ‘Man of the Living‘ – re-cut here as the track ‘Rasta Man‘.

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Listen to ‘Man Of Future’ by Leroy Smart:


Listen to ‘Rasta Man’ by Leroy Smart:



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Prince Jazzbo – Kick Boy Face [1976]

Prince Jazzbo - Kick Boy Face [1976]

Prince Jazzbo - Kick Boy Face [1976]

Kick Boy Face was released by Prince Jazzbo in 1976 on UK based ‘Third World’ records and features a great hand-drawn Kung-Fu cover in a ‘Blaxploitation’ cinematic style. The artwork here was created by Tyrone Whyte, an artist that created a number of artwork and album sleeves for various reggae releases on a range of UK based labels.

The ‘Blaxploitation’ film genre was hugely popular in the 1970s and the action-packed and swagger-filled films were adopted with relish amongst Jamaican audiences and reggae DJs – with many artists naming themselves after the heroes (i.e. DJ Jim Kelly) or name-checking the silver screen stars in their songs:

“Check Jim Kelly him a kick to the belly” – Dillinger, from ‘Natty Kick Like Lightning’ (CB 200 album)

If someone produced a range of classic posters of reggae album art, then this would be pretty high up on my wish-list.

The album itself was mixed At King Tubby Studio Kingston, Jamaica, and was produced by Bunny Lee, and it collects together some great DJ tracks from Prince Jazzbo. Well worth a listen. Hard to find now though, but many of the tracks are available for download on other Prince Jazzbo albums.

Track List:

  • Kick Boy Face
  • I And I
  • Hand Of Babylon
  • Nigger Is A Winner
  • Virgin
  • Rebel Boy
  • Church Is A Rome
  • Far Star
  • Hello
  • Youth In Service

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