Charlie Chaplin – Que Dem [1984]

Charlie Chaplin - Que Dem [1984]

Charlie Chaplin - Que Dem [1984]

Charlie Chaplin - Que Dem [1984]

This is a very young looking Charlie Chaplin on the cover of his album ‘Que Dem’ that was released in 1984 on Power House records and distributed by Sonic Sounds.

The album cover is by Wilfred Limonious who also provides his signature hand-drawn cartoon on the rear of the sleeve. The cartoon shows Charlie Chaplin (the actor) bumping into his Jamaican DJ-namesake and saying “Reggae? What ever it means, it sounds good to me“.

Limonious started his career illustrating albums at Sonic Sounds, but as soon as his reputation grew he designed album sleeves from pretty much every label on the island (as well as a few abroad)….but it was on Sonic Sounds where he cut his artistic teeth and made his name as a designer/illustrator.

The album is pretty awesome too and shows why Charlie Chaplin rapidly became one of Jamaica’s most popular DJs in the early 80s. This is laid back dancehall DJ-ing over some great rhythms from some top Jamaican musicians including Skully, Sly & Robbie, Willie Lindo, and more.

Tracklist
A1 DJ A Dance
A2 Exploiting
A3 Now A Days
A4 Pretty Girl
B1 Coco Deala Brown
B2 Unfair
B3 Diet Rock
B4 Que Dem
B5 Food Man Rock

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Jah Batta ‎– Argument [1983]

Jah Batta ‎– Argument [1983]

Jah Batta ‎– Argument [1983]

Jah Batta ‎– Argument [1983]

Another Wackies release – this is ‘Argument’ by Jah Batta that was released in 1983 on the legendary New York based reggae label.

Despite the stern looking cover art, this is actually quite a fun-filled and playful record. Jah Batta’s style is firmly early 80s toasting, not unlike the vocal patterns of Michigan & Smiley, Yellowman, Fathead etc….

This is a bold looking album cover with a great colour scheme – simple and effective. Artwork and design was created by Yahsushi Kimura.

The rhythms all come from the Youthman Promotions stable of players, various Jamaican musical legends like Jackie Mitoo, as well as members of the US Wackies label. The rhythms were then mixed and edited in the Wackies studio in New York. Sugar Minott takes a co-production credit on the album.

The rear of the album also has various photos of Jah Batta with the Wackies crew, including a photo of Sugar Minott, who, as well as being a regular collaborator with the Wackies label, is also used as subject material track where Jah Batta DJs a story that includes a mention of his girlfriend running off with Sugar Minott.

Great rhythms, great production, and an infectious style means that this is an album that you don’t want to pass you by, especially if you are an old-school dancehall fan.

Tracklist
1 No Meat
2 Ten To Seven
3 Argument
4 I Don’t Want To Wait
5 Mi Black
6 Youthman School
7 Hold On Pon The Woman
8 Informa (Watch It)
9 Youthman Time
10 Out A Reach

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Dub War Coxsone VS Quaker City [1981]

Dub War Coxsone VS Quaker City [1981]

Dub War Coxsone VS Quaker City [1981]

Dub War Coxsone VS Quaker City [1981]

First released in 1981 on Canadian label Imperial Records, this dub album is a rarity that put two of the leading UK sound systems, Coxsone and Quaker City, head to head in a clash on vinyl.

It is fair to say that this album probably went under the radar for many people, but in recent years modern artists and producers like Skream have name checked this album as an influence.

The album was mixed by Scientist and showcases some of his best mixing work.

The artwork is pretty incredible showing an intense war montage all hand painted in dull brown, green, and yellow.

The artwork was by Jeff Browne, who also created a small number of other reggae album sleeves for other Canadian labels like the Puff Records release of Barrington Levy’s ‘Run Come Ya!

One of the great things about the current digitization of music and back catalogues means that this once rare vinyl release is now easily accessible for download, so you should definitly check it out.

Tracklist
A1 Third & Fourth Generation – Dub
A2 Coxsone Feel This One – Dub
A3 Streight In The Boy Coxsone Chest – Dub
A4 The Man Never Immetiate Always Orriginate – Dub
A5 Ride On – Dub
B1 Run Come Listen Coxsone – Dub
B2 Murderer Style – Dub
B3 Scientist Say Papa Coxsone Gone – Dub
B4 Give Them Dub Coxsone – Dub
B5 Coxsone A Chemist In A This – Dub

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Junior Keatting ‎– Weekend Lover [1980]

Junior Keatting ‎– Weekend Lover [1980]

 Junior Keatting ‎– Weekend Lover [1980]

 Junior Keatting ‎– Weekend Lover [1980]

This is an incredible Jamaal Pete album design – basically everything here is hand drawn or painted, including the lettering on the rear sleeve.

Jamaal Pete was a Bronx native that used to hang around Brad’s Record Den, when the owner of the shop (Brad Osbourne) decided to launch Clocktower Records and gave Jamaal his first artistic break after recognizing his talents. Jamaal Pete went on to illustrate and create many distinctive artworks for reggae albums, and his style was instantly recognizable.

Jamaal Pete created rich, dense, and colourful artworks using paint and brush. His style was unique and distinctive – any serious reggae fan would be able to identify his work as easily as they would be able to identify a Wilfred Limonious drawing on an album sleeve.

This piece for Junior Keatting’s album ‘Weekend Lover’ (released in 1980 on Tad’s Records) is pretty amazing – Keatting is presented on a ‘wild west’ style wanted poster in a signature Jamaal Pete style. And like we mentioned, the rear of the sleeve, from layout to lettering has all been done by hand.

It’s a great vocal album too – the chances are that you probably won’t have heard much about Junior Keatting as he wasn’t a prolific artist and this is the only full album that is available…..plus not much has been heard from him since the 1980s. The good news is that this album has been remastered and is available in digital form. It is a great piece of work, with solid production from Jah Thomas and a heavy roots feel to it. You should make some time for it.

Tracklist
A1 Long Long Time
A2 Conquering Lion
A3 Jah Wrote Me A Letter
A4 Weekend Lover
A5 Watch What You Do
B1 Baby Please Be True
B2 Hang Up The Telephone
B3 Something Is Bugging Me
B4 Coming Of A Storm
B5 Dubbing Of A Storm

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Prince Jammy Presents Osbourne In Dub [1983]

Prince Jammy Presents Osbourne In Dub [1983]

Prince Jammy Presents Osbourne In Dub [1983]

Prince Jammy Presents Osbourne In Dub [1983]

The sleeve design here is credited to C More Tone, and it is a garish assault on the eyes, albeit it pretty effective in grabbing your attention. The rear of the sleeve features the following message “This is the sequel to the earlier Prince Jammy Dub LP Uhuru in Dub (CSLP 2) and features hard rhythms from some of the best titles produced by Jammy for the great Johnny Osbourne.

Released on UK reggae label CSA Records, this early 80s dub album sees Prince Jammy mixing some dubs from well-known Johnny Osbourne tracks like Water Pumping.

This is a decent dub album, and the early 80s dancehall rhythms lend themselves well to be remixed and layered in echo and effects.

SIDE A:
1. Loving Tonight
2. Reggae Stylee
3. Dance Dub
4. Jah Is With You
5. Chopping Dub

SIDE B:
1. Pumping
2. Double Trouble
3. See No Evil
4. Pure Is The Soul
5. Rise Up

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