Jamaican Recordings LP 48 by Johnny Clarke
Jamaican Recordings LP 48 review
Johnny Clarke is one of the great vocalists that ruled the Jamaican Dancehall scene
from the mid – 1970’s to the early 1980’s. While Bob Marley was out conquering the
world, Dennis Brown, Gregory Issacs and Johnny Clarke were winning the hearts of
the Jamaican people .Johnny Clarke’s use of the ‘Flying Cymbal‘ sound took the
Island by storm and produced a run of hit singles few could match.
Johnny Clarke (b.1955, Jamaica, West Indies) cut his first record ‘God Made The Sea
and Sun’, after winning a local singing contest in the Bull Bay area of Jamaica.
Although the single was not a hit, it led to two follow up tracks for producer
Rupie Edwards, ’Everyday Wandering’ and ‘Julie’ that fared much better, both on
the island and oversees in England and Canada. These tracks also brought the
singer to the attention of producer Bunny Lee and a working relationship that would
go on to produce a prolific catalogue of music. Johnny Clarke’s Dread Conscious /
Love Song style were to grace many hits around this time in 1974. Such tunes
as ‘None Shall Escape The Judgement’, ‘Move Out of Babylon’, ‘Rock With Me Baby’,
Enter The Gates With Praise’ to name but a few. All new songs added to a host of cover
tunes, recommended by Bunny Lee, many taken from the singer John Holt’s catalogue,
that suited Clarke’s vocal style. The rhythms were cut at various studios around the Island.
Randy’s Studio 17, Channel 1, Treasure Isle, Dynamic Sounds and Harry J’s, by a group
of musicians loosely called the Aggrovators and some tunes incorporating the
‘Flying Cymbal’ sound again introduced by Bunny Lee, working the Hi-Hat in fine style.
The tracks were then taken to King Tubby’s studio where Johnny Clarke’s vocals would be voiced.
Another phenomenon that was happening in the early 1970’s, was the version cuts to vocal
tracks. This is when the tunes were cut back to the bass and drums and the vocals were
dropped in and out in a dubbed style, and reverb and echo and various effects were added
to these tracks. The main exponent to this style was King Tubby himself, and as was the
fashion at the time, each vocal track would carry a version as its B-Side. Producer
Bunny Lee lead this style working closely with King Tubby and all of his singles from
then on would carry a Dub cut on it’s flipside. As Johnny Clarke was one of Bunny’s
main singers at the time, we would hear a great selection of popular songs getting
the dub treatment and in many cases the single was purchased for its more exciting
dub cut, again made popular at the various dances where the dubplates were played out.
We have compiled some of the best of these dubs from the time and put them together
for this release, hope you enjoy the great voice of Johnny Clarke alongside the
productions of Bunny Lee and the creative genius of King Tubby, a great combination
we hope you will agree.
None Shall Escape The Dubment
Moving Out Of Dubness
Dread A Dub
Wanty Wanty Can't Get Dub
Roots Natty Dub
Jah Jah In Dub
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