Posts Tagged ‘Jamaica’

Carlton Jackson – History/Dub History (1977)

June 15, 2017 Leave a comment

Working my way through a Lee “Scratch”Perry boxset, I stumbled upon this fantastic slice of roots reggae from 1977. Carlton Jackson was not a prolific singer but, in just over 8 minutes, he earns his spot in the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime!

My Rough Guide To Reggae waxes lyrical about this song thus:


Just as notable an Upsetter release from 1977 was one of the first 12″ singles to appear in Jamaica. The top side, Carlton Jackson’s “History”, perfectly fused one of Scratch’s most serious rhythms with a lyric that exemplified the word “conscious”. Beginning with an account of how he was sold as a slave in Africa to a European and taken in chains to the Caribbean. the singer tackles the different versions of history to which he has been exposed.



Vin Gordon – Riding For A Fall (early 1970s)

May 17, 2017 Leave a comment

I first heard this 30 minutes ago and it’s been on repeat play since then! And now it’s been elevated to the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime!

A quite stunning take on John Holt’s classic “Riding for a Fall” features Vin Gordon overlaying possibly the finest trombone playing I have ever heard (really!) on an already wonderful record.

Produced by Bunny Lee and appearing on another impeccable Pressure Sounds release Tape Rolling!

Perfect reggae!

Linval Thompson – Jah Jah Dreader Than Dread (Extended Mix) (1978)

December 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Working my way through a pile of Trojan Records Box Sets over the last few days, I stumbled upon this stone cold classic. Effectively the original and dub versions spliced together.

Six minutes of relentless roots reggae with unbelievable bass and guitar. Linval’s vocals just soar and perfection is attained. Impossible to play too loud unless your house has dodgy foundations.

I have the complete collection of Blood & Fire and Pressure Sounds CDs and there is not really a bad one among the 150+ releases ….. The 71 (I have 66!) Trojan Box Sets are a little less consistent but remain an absolute treasure trove of reggae gold and I’ve already posted a couple of tracks (both by Ronnie Davis) from other releases here and here.

Turn up loud.

The Clash – White Man In Hammersmith Palais/The Prisoner (1978)

June 26, 2012 1 comment

Quite simply one of the best A and B side combinations in history …

There have been some great “double A-sides” such as the Strawberry Field Forever/Penny Lane release by The Beatles and Going Underground/Dreams of Children by The Jam (insert your personal favourites in the comment box below!)

What sets this apart is that “The Prisoner” was meant to be a definite B-side but turns out for significant numbers of Clash fans to be their favourite track of all time by the band.

The lyrics on both sides of the single are top drawer. The opening stanza on “White Man” sets the scene ..

Midnight to six man

For the first time from Jamaica

Dillinger and Leroy Smart

Delroy Wilson, your cool operator

The killer couplet towards the end observes that:

If Adolf Hitler flew in today

They’d send a limousine anyway


In “The Prisoner”, more namechecks for the Jamaican sound systems …

Johnny Too Bad meets Johnny B. Goode in the Charing Cross Road

The only thing that happened today is the West End jungle code

All the Germans and all the French jam themselves down the tube

And re-enact the second world war while the rude boys get rude!

The A-side then the B-side. Pop, rock, punk, reggae perfection.

Bob Marley and The Wailers – Redemption Song (1980)

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Sometimes there are “all time classics” that morph into “hoary old chestnuts” – and, though it hurts me to say this, Teenage Kicks by The Undertones is an example of a record that has been bludgeoned to death by over exposure.

Then there are records which, no matter how may times you play them, never grow old. The whole of “Closer” by Joy Division, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, “This Old Heart of Mine” by the Isley Brothers, “Lost in Music” by Chic, “Computer Love” by Kraftwerk …. I could go on but you get the picture.

Redemption Song is one of the latter.

Emancipate youself from mental slavery

Almost the only record I know that seems to strike the deepest of chords whether you be from Jamaica, the UK, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan or anywhere else on earth.

Three versions ….the acoustic solo version by Bob Marley is the killer. The “whole band” version pales by comparison but then the inspiration is revived by a great Youtube montage of amateur cover versions from around the world.

Bunny Wailer – Fighting Against Convictions (1976)

June 25, 2012 1 comment

Bunny Wailer, along with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, was one of the founder members of The Wailers in the 1960s.

As part of the real “crucial 3” (Pete Wylie, Ian McCulloch and Julian Cope take note ….), he contributed to some of the foundation statements of reggae.

But by 1973, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley were starting to carve out their own paths.

This track is from Bunny Wailer’s debut solo LP “Blackheart Man”, released on Island Records in 1976.

Quite simply, one of the greatest records ever made; utterly timeless.

Occasionally known as “Battering Down Sentence” this track stands comparison with any of the seminal records released during the 1970s by Bob Marley.

Just the track – it’s all you need

Dillinger – Fernando Sancho (1977)

June 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Ear bleeding bass and extraordinary, relentless, vocals.

A tribute to the Spanish spaghetti western actor without whom, according to the lyrics, there would be no Clint Eastwood, no Lee Van Cleef, no Al Capone. Who’s arguing?

Dillinger was one of the great reggae DJs of the 1970s and, quite rightly, was the first person namechecked in The Clash’s epoch defining “White Man in Hammersmith Palais” …. “Dillinger and Leroy Smart

Impossible to play this too loud!

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