Yellowman and Fathead are the (probably unintentional) kings of funny and cartoonish album covers. “Live at Aces” came out in 1982 on Music Works record label and it’s a collection of tracks from Yellowman and Fathead (and others) live on stage.
I have no idea what “Feeding in the Dancehall” refers to. Seriously.
In 1982 Yellowman was fast becoming one of the biggest reggae DJs on the planet. The ‘Bad Boy Skanking’ album saw him paired up with fellow DJ and long time friend ‘Fathead’ to produce a classic early 80’s dancehall album with the super producer of the time, Henry Junjo Laws.
The cover is brilliant, totally endearing, and free from the swagger and crassness that would come to dominate dancehall a few years later – plus Fathead has obviously deemed the occasion important enough to bust out his bus conductors hat to go with his tracksuit. Yellowman is also sporting some killer headwear.
Yellowman would go on to become the bigger star out of the two DJs, but this album captures the easy-going relationship between Yellowman and Fathead perfectly.
Bottom line – good album, great rhythms from Henry Junjo Lawes, one for the collection.
1. Bad Boy Skanking
3. King Inna The Jungle
4. I Can’t Stand It
5. Give Jah Thanks
6. Bam Bam
7. Love Fat Thing
8. Come When I Call You
9. Natty Dread Something
10. Crying For Love
Listen to ‘Bad Boy Skanking’ by Yellowman & Fathead:
Listen to ‘Give Jah Thanks’ by Yellowman & Fathead:
Get Bad Boy Skanking by Yellowman & Fathead from Amazon.com
Get Bad Boy Skanking by Yellowman & Fathead from Amazon.co.uk
Get Bad Boy Skanking by Yellowman & Fathead from iTunes [UK]
Get Bad Boy Skanking by Yellowman & Fathead from iTunes [US]
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.
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 ‘Jah A Mi Guiding Star’ by Joesy Wales:
Listen to ‘Strictly Bubbling’ by Yellowman:
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]
In the early 1980s, Yellowman pretty much ruled the dancehall and the ‘Mister Yellowman’ album by Yellowman is one of my favourite covers ever – there is something simple and unpretentious about this album cover, and it looked great on a full size album sleeve. Dancehall would go on to have more crass and image conscious album covers as guns, girls and personal wealth would become dominant themes in the late 80’s and early 90’s (Yellowman himself was equally to blame in later years), so there is a nice simplicity and sense of reality about this Yellowman album cover – it’s like finding somone’s personal photo.
The sense that this album cover was not planned and staged also comes through by the fact that Yellowman doesn’t look like he’s enjoying being in the sun (as it probably evident, Yellowman was born with albinism), you can see him squinting behind the cover of his glasses and hat…….and what a hat! I’ve never seen anyone else pull off wearing a two piece matching tracksuit and what looks like a wool trilby….incredible.
The album itself is a classic – Mister Yellowman was Yellow’s first album with producer Junjo Lawes, and remains one of his best. Some of the dancehall albums of the early 1980’s still sound fresh today and ‘Mister Yelowman’ is one album that I can return to and still get huge amounts of enjoyment from. Natty Sat Up On A Rock is an all-time classic track.