Yellowman versus Josey Wales – Two Giants Clash

Yellowman versus Josey Wales - Two Giants Clash

This is another pure classic reggae album cover. Released in 1984, Yellowman and Josey Wales had a side each of this album to showcase their talents, and at the time they were two of the biggest DJs in Jamaica and abroad.

I love the cartoon image of them clashing in the middle of the city and destroying it, in the tradition of those old Monster movies and B-Movies. The longer you look at the album cover your eye pulls more detail out (such as the bus going off the bridge at the bottom). Even the cracked and shaking font used for the title adds to the energy of this album cover. If this could be enlarged into a poster then my life would probably be a little bit more complete.

The album artwork is by Tony McDermott, who was the resident artist at Greensleeves records, and he was responsible for hundreds of reggae album covers (not just on Greensleeves Records either) that all bear the hallmark of his distinctive style. This is one of my favorite Tony McDermott sleeves – probably the best compliment I can pay him is that he is probably the UK equivalent of Wilfred Limonious with regard to the impact he left on Reggae album art.

Oh yeah, the music is great too – so get it.

Playlist:
1: Yellowman – Society Party
2: Yellowman – Strictly Bubbling
3: Yellowman – Mr Big Shot
4: Yellowman – King Of The Crop
5: Yellowman – Wrong Girl To Play With
6: Josey Wales – Bobo Dread
7: Josey Wales – Mi Have Fi Get You
8: Josey Wales – Cure For The Fever
9: Josey Wales – Jah A Mi Guiding Star
10: Josey Wales – Sorry To Say

The actual album has now been deleted but you can still find it on CD from time to time (I’ve seen it go for more than £30!) or available for download (it’s a must have on any reggae fan’s ipod). See below.

Listen To It
 
 

Listen to ‘Jah A Mi Guiding Star’ by Joesy Wales:

Listen to ‘Strictly Bubbling’ by Yellowman:

Buy It
 
 

  • Download ‘Two Giants Clash’ by Yellowman and Josey Wales from Amazon.com
  • Download ‘Two Giants Clash’ by Yellowman and Josey Wales from Amazon.co.uk
  • Download ‘Two Giants Clash’ by Yellowman and Josey Wales from iTunes [UK]
  • Download ‘Two Giants Clash’ by Yellowman and Josey Wales from iTunes [US]icon

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’.

Dirtsman – Acid [1996]

Dirtsman - Acid
This record was one of the the first dancehall albums that I had and it was responsible for making me fall in love with dancehall music. Dirtsman was the brother of Papa San and was on the verge of mainstream success (he had just signed to BMG Records) when he was shot dead on his veranda by four gunmen.

Dancehall artists can often rush albums out in order to capitalise on their initial success and the end result can sometimes be a collection of recent radio hits and some filler material recorded on the latest rhythms, but Dirtsman’s Acid is a killer album that still sounds fresh and unique today.

The record cover looks a little dated these days (as do many early 1990s dancehall albums), but it’s simple and direct – just like Dirtsman’s style. The fact that Dirtsman’s massive hit “Hot This Year” can still get huge forwards in dances stands as a worthy testament.

It’s a shame that this album is so hard to find now as should be in any reggae fans collection.

Track Listing:
1. Nah Put It Down
2. Trailer Load Come
3. Roughest
4. Nah Sell It
5. Me A Nuh Bad Boy
6. Bubble And Wine
7. Sample
8. It A Worry Them
9. Check Seh Me Done
10. Acid
11. Rough This Year
12. Original DJ

Buy It
 
 

The whole ‘Acid’ album is not yet available as a download, but you can still get a few of the individual tracks, such as MP3s of ‘Hot This Year’. If you only own one Dirtsman track, then it probably should be this one anyway. See below for more detail:

Listen To It
 
 

Listen to Dirtsman – “Hot This Year”

Sizzla – Praise Ye Jah (Xterminator Presents)

Sizzla - Praise Ye Jah (Xterminator Presents)

Some truly awful photoshop work on this – this is what happens when you get your mate to do your album artwork as a favour.

Sizzla’s musical output is prolific even by Jamaican Dancehall standards, and many of his albums can be hit and miss, and the same can be said of his album artwork, with this being a shining example of how not to do it. Looks like it was created by some basic magnetic lasso work in photoshop and then a simple copy and paste job. Sizzla comes off looking like an extra from the old children’s TV show ‘Rentaghost’. That said, this a great album and definitely a case of not judging a book by its cover.

Track Listing:

 

  1. Praise Ye Jah
  2. Dem a Wonder
  3. Homeless
  4. Blackness
  5. Inna Dem Face
  6. Give Thanks
  7. Hail Selassie
  8. No Other Like Jah
  9. How Dem Flex
  10. Cowboy
  11. Greedy Joe
  12. Did You Ever
  13. Government

Listen To It
 
 

Listen to ‘Praise Ye Jah’ from Sizzla:

Buy It
 
 

Yellowman – Mister Yellowman

Yellowman - Mr Yellowman

In the early 1980s, Yellowman pretty much ruled the dancehall and the ‘Mister Yellowman’ album by Yellowman is one of my favourite covers ever – there is something simple and unpretentious about this album cover, and it looked great on a full size album sleeve. Dancehall would go on to have more crass and image conscious album covers as guns, girls and personal wealth would become dominant themes in the late 80’s and early 90’s (Yellowman himself was equally to blame in later years), so there is a nice simplicity and sense of reality about this Yellowman album cover – it’s like finding somone’s personal photo.

The sense that this album cover was not planned and staged also comes through by the fact that Yellowman doesn’t look like he’s enjoying being in the sun (as it probably evident, Yellowman was born with albinism), you can see him squinting behind the cover of his glasses and hat…….and what a hat! I’ve never seen anyone else pull off wearing a two piece matching tracksuit and what looks like a wool trilby….incredible.

The album itself is a classic – Mister Yellowman was Yellow’s first album with producer Junjo Lawes, and remains one of his best. Some of the dancehall albums of the early 1980’s still sound fresh today and ‘Mister Yelowman’ is one album that I can return to and still get huge amounts of enjoyment from. Natty Sat Up On A Rock is an all-time classic track.

Track Listing for Mister Yellowman:

  1. Natty Sat Upon The Rock
  2. Lost Mi Love
  3. Mr. Chin
  4. Two To Six Super Mix
  5. Morning Ride
  6. How You Keep A Dance
  7. Jamaica A Little Miami
  8. Yellowman Getting Married
  9. Duppy Or Gunman
  10. Cocky Did A Hurt Me

Buy It
 
 

Listen To It
 
 

Listen to “Natty Sat Up On The Rock”. Probably my favourite track on the album, and a flawless example of early 80s conscious reggae dancehall.

Listen to “Mr Chin”: