U Brown vs Peter Yellow – DJ Confrontation [1982]

U Brown vs Peter Yellow - DJ Confrontation (1982)

U Brown vs Peter Yellow - DJ Confrontation (1982)
U Brown vs Peter Yellow - DJ Confrontation (1982) (record)

I’m a huge fan of the Jamaican DJ ‘clash’ or ‘confrontation’ style albums that were big in the 1980s. Usually these releases saw a producer take two popular DJs and collected together 5 tracks from each on their latest or popular riddims, and gave them a side each (or alternating tracks on the same side) – It was a great way to showcase two artists.

These albums usually produced some eye-catching artwork. This album is no different and the dubious art-skill on display shows two heavyweights competing against each other in a race to grab a microphone from what looks a bit like ‘Nick Nack’ from the Bond film “The Man with the Golden Gun”.

Incidentally, the two obese figures that are drawn on the cover bear no real resemblance to the two DJs on the album…..Peter Yellow is an albino for a start.

Peter Yellow was a DJ from King Jammy’s Sound System and also recorded under then name Purpleman. Much of his output on vinyl came in the form of DJ albums where he shared the billing, and he enjoyed the bulk of his success between the early to mid-1980s. U Brown by contrast, made his name in the 1970s DJing over heavy roots riddims and based his vocal style on U Roy.

This album was released on CF Records in 1982 and production duties were shared between Ribbs (a.k.a. Robert Fearon) and Prince Jammy. Jammy produced all the Peter Yellow tracks and Ribbs was responsible for the U Brown tracks. As you would expect, the Jammy’s productions are classic 80s dancehall riddims with Peter Yellow dropping dancehall slang and lyrics, whilst the U Brown side comes across much more roots orientated with Old Testament subject material. This makes for an unusual listening experience for a DJ clash album.

Track List:

  • Peter Yellow – Life In A Gp
  • Peter Yellow – Dangerous Thing
  • Peter Yellow – Can’t Take The Boss Man
  • Peter Yellow – Take A Set
  • U Brown – World Wide Crisis
  • U Brown – Get Organised
  • U Brown – Reggae Rockers
  • U Brown – Chant It Down

Producer : Ribbs & Prince Jammy
Engineer : Ribbs & Prince Jammy
Vocals : Purpleman & U Brown
Backing Band : The Revolutionaries & The High Times Band & The Instigators & The Roots Radics

Listen To It
 
 
Listen to ‘Chant it Down’ by U Brown:

Listen to ‘Dangerous Thing’ by Peter Yellow:

Buy It
 
 

You wont find this album available for download via official channels, but you can still get U Brown (Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk) and some Peter Yellow/Purpleman (Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk) tracks available for download.

Dread Capone – Dennis Alcapone [1975]

Dread Capone

Dread Capone
Chunky knitwear and a well groomed afro, what every discerning gentleman wears in the tropical heat…..Dennis Alcapone looks over his shoulder and into the camera on the cover of his 1975 album called ‘Dread Capone’.

The gangster title of this album is a world away from the cover – Alcapone looks more likely to invite you to sit down and join him in a hot chocolate, and maybe a pipe.

Dennis Alcapone was one of the founding fathers of Jamaican DJ / toasting, and this album was released at a high point in his popularity. The album is full of his trademark toasting and rapping style, punctuated with his signature “Yeeeaaah” yelps, and “Hurghhh” cries.

It was originally released on ‘Live and Learn’ records and produced by Count Shelly, and was also re-released on ‘Shellys’ record label.

Track List:
Tour The World
Talking Version
Set Up Yourself Youthman
Gorgon Youth
Repatuation Now
Dub Rock
Train To Glory
Instrumental Dub
Natty Dread Alover
Heart Of Dub

Listen To It
 
 

Listen to ‘Set Up Yourself Youthman’ by Dennis Alcapone:

Listen to ‘Repatriation Now’ by Dennis Alcapone:

Buy It
 
 

Everyone should have some Dennis Alcapone on their iPod. For what it is worth, we recommend ‘Forever Version’.

  • Check out the Dennis Alcapone catalogue on Amazon.com
  • Check out the Dennis Alcapone catalogue on Amazon.co.uk

Prince Jazzbo – Natty Passing Thru / Ital Corner

Prince Jazzbo Ital Corner

Prince Jazzbo Natty Passing Thru

Prince Jazzbo Ital Corner

Prince Jazzbo, as well as being one of the more under-rated DJs – at least outside of the more passionate and knowledgeable reggae circles, also has a large footprint of both wonderful and poor album covers.

This is one of the wonderful ones.

‘Natty Passing Thru’ was first released in 1976 on Black Wax records, and was later re-released under the name ‘Ital Corner’ on Clocktower Records.

The first release on Black Wax records can be seen in the image at the top and featured a bold cover design featuring a dreadlocked face.

The release that came later on Clocktower records featured a New York style street populated by various dreads hanging around on ‘Ital Corner’. The Clocktower logo is prominent in the upper left corner of the record sleeve and the artwork was credited to Brad Osborne and Jamaal Pete.

Jamaal Pete was a New York based artist that produced some stunning reggae album sleeves – his signature style was painted images, always busy and detailed with bold colours, and often with an otherworldly and fantasy elements.

It is quite rare for a re-release to feature artwork that is as good and as arresting as the original – I personally love the urban 70’s feeling that seeps out of the artwork on the Clocktower release and the fact that the streetlight on the album cover gives off the impression that it is only illuminating a fraction of what is going on in the busy scene – it’s like discovering some hidden part of a city, and only getting a glimpse.

The 1981 re-release also featured a red, gold, and green border (as seen in the image above).

Both releases are effectively the same album, but the track-listing is in a different order on each. The music is incredible and Prince Jazzbo DJs over a selection of Lee Perry produced Black Ark tracks. This is one of the few DJ albums to be released that was based entirely around Lee Perry’s Black Ark productions (Jah Lion’s Colombia Colly springs to mind as another).

Track Listing – ‘Natty Passing Thru’ [Black Wax release]

  • Dreadlocks Corner
  • Story Come To Bump
  • Natty Passin Thru’ Rome
  • Hold My Hand
  • Prophet Live
  • Ital Corner
  • Bloody Dunza
  • Weepin’ And Wailin’
  • Live Good Today
  • Life Is Gonna Easy

Track Listing for ‘Ital Corner’ [Clocktower release]:

  • Ital Corner
  • Natty Past Through Rome
  • Prophet Live
  • Prophet Dub – Satta
  • Live Good Today
  • Dreadlock Corner
  • Coming On Strong
  • Blood Dunza…
  • Weeping And Wailing
  • Story Come To Bump

Listen To It
Listen to ‘Story Come To Bump’ by Prince Jazzbo:

Listen to ‘Ital Corner’ by Prince Jazzbo:

Buy It
The good news is that this album is still pretty easy to pick up on CD, or as an MP3 download (for some great pricing).

Josey Wales – Undercover Lover [1985]

Josey Wales - Undercover Lover

Josey Wales - Undercover Lover
Josey Wales - Undercover Lover [back cover]

Released in 1985 on Powerhouse Records, this is the Undercover Lover album by Josey Wales (spelt Jose Wales on the cover).

It features very distinctive artwork by the legendary Wilfred Limonious – the cover features Josey Wales kissing a topless woman (the woman also has ‘Handle with love’ stamped on the rear of her jeans – Limonious would often write text across his album art).

As usual for an 80s Limonious album cover, it features bright colours, hand-drawn cartoons, and comic style speech bubbles – the rear of this particular cover articulates a stark warning to Josey ‘The Colonel’ Wales with a cartoon woman stating: “Jose Wales, if you ever leave me for another girl, I’ll cut off your you know what!”

Josey Wales was one of Jamaica’s biggest DJs in the 1980s and his gruff, but melodic flow, coupled with snappy and witty lyrics created many classic hits – “Undercover Lover” was a huge hit single.

This is classic 1980s dancehall through and through – from the album cover to the music and the riddims. Greensleeves have just re-issued this album so make sure you check it out.

Track List:

  • Undercover Lover
  • Throw Me Corn
  • Pon Street Again
  • Jose Ready
  • Nuffy Nuffy
  • Love I Can Feel
  • Don’t Come Distress Me
  • Freeze Who Goes There
  • Come Watch The Sound
  • Rocking Time

Listen To It
Listen to ‘Undercover Lover’ by Josey Wales:
Try not singing along to this – it’s basically impossible….

Listen to ‘Throw Me Corn’ by Josey Wales::

Buy It
The Undercover Lover album has just been re-released, so you’ve got no excuse really….

Prince Far I – Voice Of Thunder

Prince Far I - Voice Of Thunder

Prince Far I - Voice Of Thunder
If God had a voice, made records, and did album covers – then this is probably what it would all end up like.

This is the Trojan Records release of Prince Far I’s ‘Voice of Thunder’ from 1981.

Track listing:

  1. Ten Commandments
  2. Tribute To Bob Marley
  3. Hold The Fort
  4. Every Time I Hear The Word
  5. Head Of The Buccaneer
  6. Shall Not Dwell In Wickedness
  7. Give I Strength
  8. Kingdom Of God
  9. Coming In From The Rock
  10. Skinhead

Listen To It
Listen to ‘Coming In From The Rock’ by Prince Far I

Listen to ‘Head of the Buccaneer’ by Prince Far I