Dennis Alcapone – King Of The Track [1974]

Dennis Alcapone - King Of The Track

If I was going to collect an award (or whatever is happening there) from Bunny Lee I’d probably wear my shiny silver trousers too. In the early 1970s, Dennis Alcapone, alongside U-Roy and Big Youth, was one of the biggest DJs in Jamaica and totally ruled the dancehalls and charts.

Alcapone is looking way too cool on what is otherwise a pretty plain album cover. You can only wonder what this sleeve would have looked like if it was in colour, it would probably have come with a ‘sensory overload’ warning sticker placed over those trousers. There is enough data in this photo for a team of forensic tailors to study for years and still not come up with a solution to replicate those trousers in this day and age.

The album is pretty good too and collects together many of Dennis Alcapone’s hits from 1974. (Note: This album was also released again in 1995 under the name: “Musical Liquidator”)

Track Listing:
1. King Of The Track
2. Girl Of My Dream
3. Here I Come
4. Don’t Rush It
5. Memory Lane
6. Two Of A Kind
7. Lorna Banana
8. Jamaica Way
9. Freedom Skank
10. Musical Message
11. Musical Liquidator
12. Cassius Clay

Listen To It
 
 

Listen to ‘Here I come’ by Dennis Alcapone:

Listen to ‘Cassius Clay’ by Dennis Alcapone:

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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

Massive Dread – Massive Dread [1979]

Massive Dread - Massive Dread
Massive Dread has his name on one of the worst album covers of all time, but this is a much cooler offering.

This is the album sleeve art for Massive Dread’s first album that was released in 1979 and it reminds me of Lee Perry’s Super Ape album cover.

I’m a huge fan of the hand drawn album cover art that took place a lot during the 1970’s and this is a first rate example.

Track Listing:

  1. African Roots
  2. Squatters Connection
  3. Black Is A Natural Fact
  4. Economical System
  5. Right Time Come
  6. Natty Dread International
  7. Mutual Inspiration
  8. Humble Lion

Listen To It
 
 

Listen to Massive Dread – “Right Time Come”

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Sadly there isn’t much Massive Dread readily available for download, you can still pick up a few of his standout tracks online though (but it would be nice to see his albums re-issued as downloads):

Massive Dread – This Is Massive

Massive Dread - This Is Massive
This is as bad as it gets. Even if you are struggling to establish your identity in the music business, surely a blank album cover is preferable to this?

Massive Dread also looks like he’s possibly asleep and someone has put some sunglasses on his head and taken a picture.

“This Is Massive” was a compilation album of Massive Dread’s past hits and favourites and was released on Nyam Up Records. Despite the horrific album cover its got some classic tunes on it that are rarely heard outside of core reggae circles.

Massive Dread was sadly shot dead in 1994, just one year after he helped establish the Trenchtown Reading Centre – a community project designed to improve literacy and learning for the children of Trenchtown.

Track Listings
1. This Is Massive
2. Strictly Bubbling
3. Chicken Chest
4. Vamps on the Corner
5. Justice Love Harmony
6. Pussy on the Window
7. Bubble Her, Inna Ja
8. Monkey Do
9. Wa Do Dem
10. Nice Dem Up
11. Shake-Bubble Senora
12. No Sell Yuh Body
13. Nimble

Listen To It
 
 

Listen to Massive Dread – “This Is Massive”

Buy It
 
 

Sadly there isn’t much Massive Dread readily available for download, you can still pick up a few of his standout tracks online though (but it would be nice to see his albums re-issued as downloads):

Big Youth – Rock Holy [1980]

Big Youth Rock Holy
I’m a massive Big Youth fan, but it has to be said that the cover of this album is better than than the actual tracks within. This was released in 1980 on Big Youth’s own Negusa Nagast record label and despite having a couple of standout tracks (such as ‘Rock Holy’) Big Youth’s powers were beginning to wane somewhat.

But still, what a cover – this album artwork sums up for me exactly what Big Youth represented when he was at the height of his popularity and really conveys the excitement of his music (sadly not on this album though).

Track Listing:

  1. Living
  2. Rock Holy
  3. Love Jah Jah With All My Heart
  4. Many Moods Of Big Youth
  5. Get On Up
  6. We Can Work It Out
  7. Time Alone Will Tell
  8. Dancing Mood
  9. Bang Dibo

Listen To It
 
 

Buy It