Leyroy Smart With Roots Radix And Friends [1983]

Leyroy Smart With Roots Radix And Friends [1983]

Leyroy Smart With Roots Radix And Friends [1983]

Leyroy Smart With Roots Radix And Friends [1983]

‘Leyroy Smart with Roots Radix And Friends’ was released in 1983 on Vista Sounds Records. Vista Sounds, in my opinion at least, had an inconsistent approach in the album art they put out and veered between using some great photography and artwork….and stuff like this. Maybe this this looked cutting edge in the 80s? Probably unlikely.

Some great idiosyncratic spelling and inconsistencies between how the artist’s name is spelled on the sleeves vs how they are spelled on the track list on the rear.

The album art and sleeve design is credited to Jacqueline Rathbone-Jones, who was also responsible for a number of other reggae album sleeves in Vista Sounds catalogue.

The album itself is a compilation featuring artists like Leroy Smart, Jah Mike, George Brown, Earl Cunningham, and more.

Tracklist
A1 Leroy Smart – I Am The One
A2 Earl Cunningham – Is There A Place
A3 Twin Sisters – Big Brothers
A4 Roots Radix – Roots Radix Patrolling
A5 George Brown – Lets Make Love
B1 Leroy Smart Let Me Love You
B2 Roots Radix – Pussy Rat
B3 Sasafras – She Need Me
B4 Jah Mike – Crucial
B5 Leroy Smart – Too Much Pressure

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Listen to ‘I Am The One’ by Leroy Smart:


Listen to ‘Is There A Place ‘ by Earl Cunningham:

Tradition – Captain Ganja and the Space Patrol [1980]

Captain Ganja and the Space Patrol - Tradition

Captain Ganja and the Space Patrol - Tradition

This is probably the sort of album cover that probably forced many an impulse purchase from young crate-diggers in record shops all over the UK in the 1980s.

Not saying it’s a great cover – but what it lacks in subtlety, it makes up for in raw eye-catching power.

‘Captain Ganja and the Space Patrol’ was released by Tradition in 1980 on the Venture Records label in the UK. Tradition released a couple of dub albums in the 80s, and Venture Records had a sporadic output during their time – they did release a couple of 7″ singles from the likes of Horace Andy and Big Joe in the late 70s.

This is probably their most memorable (the cover alone sees to that) record, and it has a uniquely British sound. The album feels more like a dub chill-out album, as opposed to a raw Jamaican dub album – and it is loaded with echo and sound effects (from sci-fi sounds, to what sounds like Hammer Horror sound effects).

It’s not a bad album by any means, just don’t expect a heavy instrumental dub album.

Tracklist:

  • A1 The Breathtaking Blast
  • A2 Subaquatic Swerves
  • A3 Alien Circus
  • A4 The Creepy Crawl
  • B1 Frenzied Friends And Friends
  • B2 Morning On Mars
  • B3 Planet Play
  • B4 Laser Games
  • B5 Rocket Repairs
  • B6 Escape And Return

Unless you frequent record fairs, you are probably not going to find this album anywhere now. We have embedded some links below so you can listen to it.

Listen To It
 
 

Listen to ‘Planet Play’ by Tradition:

Here is a 35 minute mix of most of the album:

Enos McLeod – Moods Of A Genius

enos mcleod moods of a genius

enos mcleod moods of a genius

“What type of mood are you in today Enos? A raping mood you say……right, see you later”

If the google spider and PageRank ever start using a ‘general decency’ or ‘bad taste’ measurement in its algorithm, then posting this album cover should see me struck from the index in seconds.

Unbelievable album cover. There is a tangible sense of menace about Enos McLeod, and a real sense of struggle and fear coming from the woman.

I was looking for a photo of this for ages just to remind myself it did actually exist. [image from Blood & Fire forum]

Tracklisting

A1 Making Love
A2 By The Look
A3 Hijacking
A4 Jericho
A5 Find Yourself A Fool
B1 I’m Just A Man
B2 I Will Forgive You
B3 Puppet On A String
B4 Wicked Babylon
B5 Ja-Ja

T album was later re-released in 1983 on Stewmac Records with a much more ‘friendly’ cover as was re-titled ‘By The Look In Your Eye’. It also featured a few extra tracks.

Despite the dark and sinister record sleeve, this is actually a pretty stunning album.

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Listen to Enos McLeod – Hijacking:



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Enos McLeod at iTunes
Enos McLeod at Amazon

Jah Walton – Touch Her Where She Want It Most

Jah Walton - Touch Her Where She Want It Most

Jah Walton - Touch Her Where She Want It Most

Wow! This is a literal as it gets, may as well have just called the album “Surprise Her From Behind On The Beach”.

This is an album of contradictions, evidenced by the fact that the track listing is bookended by two very different subject materials; the album opens with “Stay A Your Yard And Praise God”, and closes with “Tender Pum Pum”.

It’s like Jah Walton meant well and started recording a roots album, but just didn’t have the concentration span and reverted to being a naughty child by the end. I bet in church he was the picture of concentration when the sermon started, but after 5 minutes his eyes start to glaze over, and 15 minutes later he’s doodling rude pictures in the back of the prayer book.

This album was produced by Phil Pratt and released in 1981 on the Music Force label. The artist behind this slightly sinister album cover actually put his name to it and it is credited to: A Nero

Jah Walton also went under other aliases, such as, Jah Cotton and Joseph Cotton.

Track Listing

  • Stay A Your Yard And Praise God
  • Never Fail I
  • Grease Can
  • One Shirt
  • Adam and Eve
  • Longest Liver
  • Water Ford Rock
  • Medical Man
  • Touch Her Where She Want It Most
  • Tender Pum Pum

Aswad – Rebel Souls (1984)

Aswad - Rebel Souls (1984)

Aswad - Rebel Souls (1984)

For a split second we were torn about this album art, could it be actually good in a retro-hipster way? And then we went with our gut instinct and decided this one goes straight into the bad album covers bucket. Sorry Aswad.

Aswad had some great album artwork in their time….and they also had some bad album artwork. Most of the bad album artwork actually stems from major record labels and design teams that were either trying to capture a marketable or fashionable trend of the time, or they tried present Aswad as soul crooners in order to capture a different demographic (see the ‘Crucial Tracks’ album cover fro evidence).

Not sure what was going on with this cover art session though – they look like a Village People tribute act that look surprised to suddenly find themselves in a comic book city….the last thing they remembered was being on stage in the local community hall when there was a sudden flash of light and a puff of smoke….

Anyway, the facts:
Released on Island records in 1984 (as if you couldn’t tell it was an 80s album). The terrible album art hides a mostly dark and deep sounding album, loads of solid tracks….but with hints of overproduction and indulgence in places (in our opinion). Worth checking out though.

Track Listing:

  • In My Father’s House
  • Rebel
  • 54-46 (Was My Number)
  • Just A Little Herb
  • Rainfall, Sunshine
  • Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)
  • You Can’t Show Me
  • Gave You My Love
  • I Asked The Question
  • Need Your Love (Each & Every Day)
  • Chasin’ For The Breeze

Listen To It
 
 
Listen to ‘Just A Little Herb’ by Aswad:

Listen to ‘Chasing For The Breeze’ by Aswad:

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