This is ‘London Rock’ by U. Brown that was released in 1977 on UK based label ‘Third World’.
The artwork on display here is by Tyrone Whyte, who was notable for his hand-drawn album sleeves for a number of UK based reggae record labels in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This one depicts U. Brown, looking somewhat under-dressed, in London with the Queens Guard in the background. The hand-drawn rear sleeve also shows another London scene.
U-Brown was born in Kingston in 1956, and he bacame one of the leading lights of the next generation of DJs that came after originators like U. Roy. His pattern and style is nearly identical to U. Roy, but he pulls it off and managed to put enough of his own stamp on it to become one of the more popular DJs of his generation. This album is a solid DJ set over big roots rhythms, and mostly political leaning subject material.
A1 London Rock
A2 Unity Of Love
A3 Here We Come Again
A4 Travel East To West
A5 Rocking Vibration
A6 Jamaican Shuffle
B2 Going To The Ball
B3 Special Request
B4 Drum And Bass
B5 Satta Natty Dread
B6 Fire And Desire
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.
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