Leroy Smart – Let Everyman Survive [1979]

Leroy Smart - Let Everyman Survive

Leroy Smart dishing out the dollars to the neighbourhood with a jaunty stance. But wait a minute, what’s that – tie dyed jeans, or has a pen leaked in his pocket? Nope, the jeans look way too tight to allow a pen to be squeezed into the pocket, must be tie dyed.

This album was recorded at the Channel One Studio in Kingston, Jamaica, and was released in 1979 on GGs Records. It has since been re-released via the Jamaican Gold label.

Leroy Smart basically split himself between love songs and roots songs throughout his career, and interestingly, more than any other singer, he divides some reggae fans that I know who either love or hate him.

Let Everyman Survive fluctuates between love songs and roots tracks.

Track Listing:

  • Sugar In My Coffee
  • Jah Is At Hand
  • I Still Pray
  • If You Want My Love
  • Live Up Right
  • Let Everyman Survive
  • Collie Give Me Wisdom
  • You Are Mine
  • Black And White
  • You Never Need Me

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Jimmy Cliff – Struggling Man (Island Records, 1973)

Jimmy Cliff - Struggling Man (Island Records, 1973)

Jimmy Cliff - Struggling Man (Island Records, 1973)

Jimmy Cliff - Struggling Man (Island Records, 1973)

Not Jimmy Cliff’s greatest album musically (it’s not bad by any means, just not up to classic Jimmy Cliff standards), but easily his best album sleeve. This is beautiful album art, there is so much to take in we’ve included a shot of the back of the album as well. The artwork and album sleeve design is credited to’ David Dragon: Flying Colours’

The album was recorded not long after Cliff’s longtime friend and producer Leslie Kong died, and Cliff’s despair is probably evident in the fact that he only has a writing credit for about half of this album.

1. Struggling Man
2. When You’re Young
3. Better Days Are Coming
4. Sooner or Later
5. Those Good Good Old Days
6. Can’t Stop Worrying, Can’t Stop Loving You
7. Let’s Seize the Time
8. Come on People
9. Can’t Live Without You
10. Going Back West

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Listen to Sooner or Later by Jimmy Cliff:

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Little John – English Woman [1983]

Little John - English Woman (1983)

Awesome….in a bad way. Little John looks like a Scout Master that has had one drink too many and has got up on stage.

What ‘English Woman’ would be able to resist the short-trousered charms of Little John? I bet he was surrounded by them day and night after releasing this. Still, gotta give Little John credit, we’ve never seen him look anything less than insanely happy on a record sleeve.

This showcase album for Little John came out in 1983 on Gorgon Records, and it’s a pretty solid dancehall vocal record.

Track Listing:

  • English Woman
  • It’s Me
  • Make A Way
  • Name And Number
  • This New Love Of Mine
  • Endlessly

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Little John – Clarks Booty [1985]

Little John Clarks Booty

When Vybz Kartel released ‘Clarks’, he was revisiting a well-worn (excuse the pun) trend in Jamaican Dancehall music, the tribute to the island’s favorite footwear – Clarks boots.

This is a great cover – Little John is looking as happy as it gets, perhaps he’s just bought himself brand new Clarks Bootys. And if he has, I hope they are white and furry to match the hat.

Originally released in 1985 on the ‘Live and Love’ record label and produced by Prince Jammy, this album was a collection of the biggest dancehall rhythms at the time with Little John doing his thing over the top of them.

Little John’s album is pure dancehall in it’s subject material:
“Hol’ up yuh foot and show your Clark’s Booty, Show crowd a people that yuh trash and ready”.

Track List:
I Am A Lover
Dance Hall Vibes
Give Me A Chance
Follow Me
Give Me No Bun
Rip And Run Off
Love Don’t Come Easy
In The Ghetto
Hook On The Crock
Clarks Booty
Yes Mama *
Shock Out *
Come Do It To Me *
House Land *
Dance Medley *

Clarks Booty by Little John has recently been digitised and is a great snapshot of mid-80s Dancehall and well worth picking up.

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Gregory Isaacs – Talk Don’t Bother Me [1987]

gregory isaacs talk don't bother me
Talk doesn’t bother Gregory, and neither do crappy album covers it would seem.

Gregory Isaacs has produced some stunning music, and he’s also produced a lot of crap (especially during his years when he was struggling with drug addiction) – and this unfortunately isn’t one of his better ones.

The album cover is terrible…. albeit in an endearing and dated way. This was either done without much thought, or maybe thought it would maybe make the product appeal to a younger demographic? Either way, it is on a par with my photoshop skills.

The album was released in 1987 on Skengdon records, and featured the legendary Jackie Mittoo on keyboards.

And is that an air conditioning unit, or the top of a cooker that he seems to have in the passenger seat with him?

Track Listing:
01 – Overdrive
02 – Carry My Name Abroad
03 – Talk Don’t Bother Me
04 – Here Comes Trouble
05 – Rebel With A Cause
06 – Don Of All Don
07 – Easy Lover
08 – She’s Gone For Real
09 – Duke Of Earl
10 – Love Without Intermission

To be fair, Gregory Isaacs made a fairly successful transition from roots reggae to a more digital sound when digital riddims began to dominate in the 1980s. Many other singers failed to adapt and make the change.

That said, this still remains a fairly bland offering.

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