Archive for the Linval Thompson Category

Linval Thompson ‎– She Is Mad With Me / Stop Your War (1979)

Posted in Linval Thompson, Trojan with tags , on March 27, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Thompson was raised in Kingston, Jamaica, but spent time with his mother in Queens, New York, and his recording career began around the age of 20 with the self-released ‘No Other Woman,’ recorded in Brooklyn, New York. Returning to Jamaica in the mid 1970s he recorded with Phil Pratt, only to return to New York to study engineering. … Although he continued to work as a singer, he became increasingly prominent as a producer, working with key artists of the late roots and early dancehall era such as Dennis Brown, Cornell Campbell, The Wailing Souls, Barrington Levy and Trinity, with releases through Trojan Records as well as his own Strong Like Sampson and Thompson Koos record labels. …”
Midnight Raver
YouTube: She Is Mad With Me

Barry Brown – Love and Protection (2002)

Posted in Barry Brown, Bunny Lee, Dub, Linval Thompson with tags , , , on November 21, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“b. c.1962, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Brown’s first release was ‘Girl You’re Always On My Mind’ (produced by Bunny Lee) which had little impact. However, his militant roots-style vocals, similar to Linval Thompson, soon earned him international acclaim. In 1979 he had a hit with ‘Step It Up Youthman’, which led to an album of the same name. His success led to much Barry Brown material becoming available, including ‘Put Down Your Guns’, ‘We Can’t Live Like This’, ‘Big Big Pollution’, ‘Politician’ and ‘Conscious Girl’. By 1980 Brown’s vocals appeared on disco-mix releases with notable DJs including Jah Thomas (‘Jealous Lover’), Ranking Joe (‘Don’t Take No Steps’) and Ranking Toyan (‘Peace And Love’). Having worked with Linval Thompson on ‘Separation’ and Sugar Minott on ‘Things And Time’, Brown decided to go into self-production. …”

YouTube: Love & Protection, I Want to Get Closer, When You Love a Girl, Check Yourself, Things And Times + Dub

Freddie McGregor – Big Ship (1982)

Posted in Dancehall, Freddie McGregor, Linval Thompson, Rastafarians with tags , , , on August 13, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“R&B has long been a major influence on reggae (just as it influenced ska and, before that, mento). In the early 1980s, different reggae artists were being influenced by different types of R&B — some were getting into slick, keyboard-driven urban contemporary sounds, while others maintained their devotion to 1960s and 1970s soul. On 1982’s Big Ship, Freddie McGregor’s love of African-American soul music comes through loud and clear — even though many of the more Rastafarian-oriented lyrics are very much a product of the Jamaican experience. True to form, the singer provides a variety of political and apolitical songs. While gems like ‘Holy Mount Zion’ and ‘Get United’ underscore his political/spiritual beliefs as a Rastafarian, McGregor favors more of a lovers rock approach on ‘Let Me Be the One,’ ‘Stop Loving You,’ and ‘Sweet Lady.’ In reggae circles, the term lovers rock refers to reggae that chooses romantic themes over social or political topics — essentially, it is the reggae equivalent of romantic R&B. And any soul lover who has spent a lot of time savoring the romantic sweet soul of the Delfonics or Brenton Wood should have no problem getting into the lovers rock on this album. For that matter, McGregor’s more sociopolitical songs have just as much classic soul appeal.”

YouTube: Big Ship, Sweet Lady, Peaceful Man, Stop Loving You, Get Serious, Don’t Play The Fool, Get United, Let Me Be The One, Roots Man Skanking, Holy Mount Zion

Linval Thompson Ride on Dreadlocks: 1975-77

Posted in Bunny Lee, Dancehall, Dub, Linval Thompson with tags , , , on June 13, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“As a vocalist, Linval Thompson may not have been the equal of Johnny Clarke and Cornel Campbell, who, along with Thompson, were favorite singers of the great producer Bunny Lee. But the songs he cut for Lee in the mid-’70s remain some of the most influential of the period — ‘Ride on Dreadlocks’ and ‘Cool Down Your Temper’ still show up frequently on dub compilations and various-artists collections. This album compiles 11 classic Thompson singles with their dub versions in showcase style; most are Bunny Lee productions and feature his signature ‘flying cymbals’ drum sound, but ’12 Tribes of Israel,’ ‘Jah Jah Is I Guiding Star,’ and ‘Can’t Stop Natty Dread Again’ were produced by Thompson himself (and, interestingly, tend toward a less militant one-drop feel); Thompson would later go on to more fame as a producer than he had achieved as a singer. As always with Blood and Fire releases, the sound quality is superb and the packaging an obvious labor of love.”

“Ride on Dreadlocks”
“Producer Bunny Lee radically transformed the Jamaican music industry not just with his militant ‘flying cymbals’ sound, but by his use of classic rocksteady melodies, to which his singers wrote new lyrics. ‘Ride on Dreadlocks’ utilized The Tennors’ rural masterpiece ‘Ride Yu Donkey’, and turned it into a militant cultural smash. The high hat heavy beats fuel the song, abetted by the thick bass pulsing along, but the pretty melody still feeds through the piano, and is picked up by the guitar solo. It’s a fabulous arrangement, superbly performed by Lee’s studio band The Aggrovators, and emphasized Linval Thompson’s tough lyrics as he sings down Babylon and its wicked inhabitants. The chorus of ‘Babylon a bawlin’, Babylon a sinner, Babylon a wicked man, Babylon,’ is just as anthemic as ‘ride yu donkey,’ and the singer rode this smash single across the island’s sound systems.”
YouTube: “Ride on Dreadlocks”

“Cool Down Your Temper”
“Although Linval Thompson was not yet capable of the deeper and more mature lyrics of Johnny Clarke, one of Bunny Lee’s greatest finds, his mesmerizing vocal delivery more than offset this flaw. Lee himself seemed to instinctually realize this, and handed the singer some of his most steaming rhythms. They were all laid down by The Aggrovators, Lee’s studio band, whose militant rockers sound was fueled by Carlton ‘Santa’ Davis’s distinctive high hat and cymbal heavy rhythms. The group’s backings were crucial to Lee’s productions, with the flipside’s dub often as much sought after, if not more so, than the vocal version. ‘Cool Down Your Temper’ boasts one of the band’s most atmospheric accompaniments, the seething beats and sturdy piano riffs counterpointed by Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith’s evocative guitar flourishes. It’s a brooding, haunting rhythm, that intertwines with the singer’s almost chanted delivery, with it’s mantra of ‘cool down your temper youthman,’ and which Lee began dubbing before the vocal version even ended, enhancing the mesmerizing quality of the piece. Thompson cut a slew of crucial cultural singles for Lee across 1975, this was one of his most best, and one of his biggest hits.”
YouTube: “Cool Down Your Temper”