Archive for the Prince Far I Category

Prince Far I – Under Heavy Manners (1976)

Posted in DJ, Dub, Joe Gibbs, Prince Far I with tags , , , on January 11, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“A fairly obscure figure even by reggae standards, Prince Far I was one of the sternest of the ‘cultural’ DJs that proliferated on the Jamaican scene in the late ’70s; he rarely toasted (or, as he preferred, ‘chanted’) about the joys of dancing or romantic love; his message was always focused on matters spiritual and political. This didn’t mean he couldn’t be whimsical at times: He once used his musical pulpit make fun of neo-Nazis for the clothes they wore and sometimes (as on this album’s title track) lectured the youth on matters of etiquette, and he once recorded an entire album of Old Testament psalms. Under Heavy Manners, which he recorded for the great producer Joe Gibbs, is one of his finest albums, but until the Rocky One label was revived in the late ’90s as Joe Gibbs Music, it was almost impossible to find. Now it’s back, and the original ten-track program is augmented by several new songs with their dub versions. It’s a bonanza for Prince Far I fans; one of the bonus tracks is a dub version of the title song, and other highlights include the very dread ‘Young Generation’ (‘Let us stand in formation and let us build up foundation/For the young generation’) and ‘Show Me Mine Enemy.’ This set stands with his Front Line recordings and the spectacular Trojan collection Voice of Thunder as one of the best documents of Prince Far I’s unique talent.”

“Little is known, or little has been revealed, about Prince Far I’s time with Joe Gibbs Music in 1976 and 1977, but the legacy of Far I’s essential ‘Under Heavy Manners’ album is secure nearly 25 years after its release. Prince Far I started in the late 1960s in the deejay business under the name King Cry Cry for the sound Sir Mike The Musical Dragon. Although he has always been referred to as a deejay, Prince Far I preferred to be called a ‘chanter’, and his unmistakably deep, gravelly tone, the ‘voice of thunder’, helped identify his style from the beginning. His first recording, ‘The Great Booga Wooga’, was made for Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee in the early 1970s. He also recorded for Coxson Dodd and then Enos McCleod, who gave him the name Prince Far I. After a handful of singles, he recorded his first full length, the essential ‘Psalms For I’, for Lloydie Slim in 1975. Reggae enthusiasts widely regard Far I’s ‘Under Heavy Manners’ as a crucial work of the rockers era, both for the artist and the production team. While it was only the second Prince Far I album recorded, and the first to be released, ‘Under Heavy Manners’ showed Far I’s craft in full bloom on some of the best rockers rhythms ever put on tape. In addition, the album provides a great example of reggae’s role in Jamaican sociopolitical commentary.”
Prince Far I

YouTube: Under Heavy Manners – Full Album 33:16

Prince Far I – Dub to Africa (1979)

Posted in DJ, Dub, Prince Far I with tags , , on July 4, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“A dub side that was originally issued in a very limited pressing in 1979, DUB TO AFRICA is a very welcome reissue from the good folks at Pressure Sounds. Great new renditions of classic reggae rhythms are featured, with just the round and clean basic tracks of drum, bass, and rhythm guitar to feast on. The mixing is restrained to simple yet seamless channel dropouts, with no extraneous echo, and unlike other Prince Far I dub productions there is only the occasional percussion overdub. For this recording, Far I brought on board the phenomenally precise drummer Style Scott. The lovely fluidity of Far I’s music, as delivered by his long-time bass ace Flabba Holt, is here rendered with a machine-like precision on the acoustic drum kit. Through this drum and bass meeting, the foundation was laid for the Roots Radics, the definitive working reggae group of the early ’80s. The listener is also treated to Prince Far I’s vocal intros to the tracks, plus a pair of even more rare and profound bonus dub tracks.”

“The year of 1979 was perhaps the most busy and fruitful in the tragically curtailed career of the gruff but genial reggae deejay known as Prince Far I. After some fifteen years of dipping in and out of the music field and generally skirting its fringes, he had finally during the past couple of years consolidated a following and now had a total of five albums to his name, including two prestigious releases the previous year on Virgin Records’ Front Line label with ‘Message From The King’ and ‘Long Life’. As well of course as the ‘Under Heavy Manners’ set for Joe Gibbs, which had done brisk business and sealed his reputation. Now he was pursuing new goals with a sense of urgency and had set about investing his earnings in yet more recordings, able now to fulfil an ambition to concentrate on producing his own records and those of other artists too. …”
pressure sounds

YouTube: Bass ace
Dub To Africa, Good Music Brother, Hello, Love Brother, Cry Tuff & The Originals, Give Love, Big Fight Dub

Prince Far I & The Arabs – Message from the King (1978)

Posted in On-U Sound, Prince Far I with tags , on April 5, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“The gravel-voiced DJ Prince Far I recorded a number of albums for Virgin’s Front Line imprint in the late 1970s, and though bad blood later developed between the artist and the label (as Prince Far I would explain in bitter detail on ‘Virgin,’ a 10″ single recorded for On-U Sound in 1981), those Front Line recordings remain some of his best. When the first set of Front Line reissues hit the U.S. marketplace in the early 1990s, the Prince Far I material was represented by two collections, one of which (Black Man Land) included the entirety of his Livity album and seven of the ten tracks from Message From the King. Now that Message From the King is available separately, fans who snapped up the 1990 compilation will wonder whether those three cuts are sufficient to justify purchase of the original album. For fans, the answer is probably yes — ‘Wisdom,’ ‘Concrete Column,’ and ‘Dry Bone’ are as good as everything else on the program, which is to say very good indeed. For the merely curious, either of the previous compilations will do.”

YouTube: Message from the King, The Dream, Commandment Of Drugs, Moses, Moses, Blackman Land, Foggy Road, Wisdom, Armageddon + Dub

YouTube: Message From the King (1978) Full Album