Tony Tuff – Presenting Mr. Tuff [1981]

Tony Tuff - Presenting Mr. Tuff

Tony Tuff - Presenting Mr. Tuff (back)

Don’t mess with Mr. Tuff. But if you do, then we are guessing that he’s right handed looking at the state of that glove – are you even allowed to box with driving gloves? Probably not, but Tony Tuff doesn’t give a fuck.

Mixed by Scientist and Barnabas, and produced by Sugar Minott, this album came out in 1981 on Black Roots records, and it’s a great vocal dancehall album. Tony Tuff is a great singer with a voice made for these early, heavy dancehall rhythms.

Great album cover.

Track Listing:

  • Born In The Ghetto
  • Try Our Best
  • Hold Me Tight
  • Kings Of Kings
  • Working Man Song
  • Rock Rock
  • Love And Unity
  • All Who Gone
  • Rocky Road
  • Groovy Situation

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This album is ‘Tuff’ to find now, but you can still get some classic Tony Tuff tunes from this time on various compilations.

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Listen to ‘Working Man Song’ by Tony Tuff:

Listen to ‘Born in the Ghetto’ by Tony Tuff:

King Sighter – The One Eyed Giant [1978]

King Sighter - The One Eyed Giant

King Sighter - The One Eyed Giant (back)

How can you not love this? I’ve never been able to work out if the innuendo of ‘One Eyed Giant’ was intentional, or if I was just being crude. He has got an eye-patch after all.

This was released in 1978 on Trojan Records and was produced by Phil Pratt with the Soul Syndicate used as the backing band. A version of this album was also released on Jet Set records with a slightly different track order, but the cover was bland in comparison to this. King Sighter was a veteran Jamaican toaster/DJ and would often dress up as a pirate or a king (as seen here), and why not.

This album is sometimes seen listed as ‘Master of All’ – but it is the essentially the same album.

Track Listing :

  • High Rank Something
  • Dollar Fe A Refer
  • I’m Alright
  • Master Of All
  • Brand New Fashion
  • Shining Star
  • Roll On
  • Another Scorcher
  • Check Mister Foster

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Listen to ‘I’m Alright’ by King Sighter:

Prince Far I – Showcase in a Suitcase [1980]

Prince Far I - Showcase in a Suitcase

In the professional world of ‘reggae album cover design’, a complete lack of design skill and the total inability to spell does not mean you cannot succeed in your chosen field. The willingness to try counts for far more than any design qualification ever will.

“Prince Far I Meet Veros Artis – In Ram Packed Showcase In A Suitcase” – What more do you want from an album cover? This has everything. A hand-drawn suitcase, what looks like a hand-drawn title, cut and paste lettering, and spelling mistakes. ‘Vero Artists’ = ‘Various Artists’ I’d assume.

Track Listing:

  • Prince Far I & Ashanti Roy – Throw Away Your Gun
  • The Roots Radics – Buds Bush
  • Prince Far I & The Wailing Souls – How Love Devine
  • The Roots Radics – Lovers Rock
  • Prince Far I & Ashanti Roy – If You Want To Know Your Friend
  • The Roots Radics – Farm Duck
  • Naggo Morris – Can’t Take Su Su Pon Dread
  • The Roots Radics – Prince Far I Dub
  • Prince Far I & Naggo Morris – Mighty Ruler
  • The Roots Radics – Jah Do That

Despite the crappy, but charming album sleeve, this album has got some killer heavy roots cuts on it. The opening track, “Throw Away Your Gun” is one of my all time DJ tracks. This album is hard to find, but many of the tracks are available on other compilations.

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Listen to ‘Throw Away Your Gun’ by Prince Far I:

Listen to ‘Mighty Ruler + Version’ by Naggo Morris & Prince Far I:

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The Revolutionaries – Vital Dub Well Charged [1976]

The Revolutionaries - Vital Dub Strictly Rockers (1976)

Now he is WELL CHARGED.

This is the Virgin Records release of Vital Dub Strictly Rockers by The Revolutionaries that came out in 1976.

As album covers go, it’s pretty striking. And that guy has clearly had more than just one drag on that spliff – it looks like it’s just been lit, while he looks like he’s been doing 3 hours of buckets, hot-knives, and blow-backs after a night out. Or maybe he’s dead and they just wedged the spliff in there?

If the album cover makes a solid case as to why smoking weed may not always improve your creativity, the music makes the opposite case – it’s stunning (if that guy on the cover was involved in the recording we are pretty sure that wouldn’t be able to handle anything more complex than hitting a triangle once every 20 minutes).

This is a heavy, heavy dub album that consists basically of dub versions of tracks mostly taken from The Mighty Diamonds LP, “Right Time.”

Track listing:

  • Roof Top Dub
  • Ital Dub
  • Fence Dub
  • Ishens Dub
  • Total Dub
  • Merciful Dub
  • Cell Block 11
  • Killer Dub
  • Blacka Blacka Dub

The great news is that this album has been nicely digitised and is readily available for download. Get it, get it, get it.

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Listen to ‘Ishens Dub’ by the Revolutionaires:

Listen to ‘Merciful Dub’ by the Revoltionaires:

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  • Download ‘Vital Dub’ by The Revolutionaires’ from Amazon.com
  • Download ‘Vital Dub’ by The Revolutionaires’ from Amazon.co.uk
  • Download ‘Vital Dub’ by The Revolutionaires’ from iTunes [UK]
  • Download ‘Vital Dub’ by The Revolutionaires’ from iTunes [US]icon

Dr. Alimantado – Best Dressed Chicken In Town [1978]

Dr. Alimantado - Best Dressed Chicken In Town

Possibly one of the greatest album covers of all time, in any genre. And undoubtedly one of the strangest titles for an album. I can’t think of any recording artist on the planet who could better this. If album art is supposed to represent the artist and make you want to buy the album – then this breaks every rule. On paper, everything is wrong – the title of the record, Alimantado shambling down a Jamaican street, top off and jacket over his shoulder, old knee-length shorts offset with a pair of slip-on leather shoes (one of which is falling off)……and a wide open fly revealing most his underwear, yet somehow it all looks awesome. I challenge anyone try to pull off this look, you’ll fail.

Can the actual album live up to such an incredible record sleeve? The answer is a resounding yes. This is one of my favorite albums of all time, and it’s charm and magic never wears off.

“Best Dressed Chicken in Town” was the debut album by Dr. Alimantado and it was first released in 1978. The album collects together most of Dr. Alimantado’s singles between 1972 to 1977 (many of which are engineered by Lee “Scratch” Perry, King Tubby, and Scientist.

The album managed to quickly transcend the genre and was a huge hit with reggae fans and with punk fans alike. The album was described by The Independent as “one of the finest albums from reggae’s golden age”.

Track Listing:
1. Best Dressed Chicken In Town
2. Just The Other Day
3. Poison Flour
4. Gimmie Mi Gun
5. I Killed The Barber
6. Unitone Skank
7. Can’t Conquer Natty Dreadlocks
8. Ride On
9. Plead I Cause
10. I Shall Fear No Evil

Basically the bottom line is you need this album, whether you are a reggae fan or not. Trust me. Let this strange and wonderful record into your life or give it a permanent space on your iPod – it’s recently been re-mastered and is usually still pretty easy to find at a reasonable price.

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