HERE I COME
* * *1985 - 1993 - Spectrum Music - studio - discs: 1
Party oriented 80's Dancehall compilation from Levy. I am not a fan of this style, expecially if it goes too much in a crossover direction to meet the US black dance sounds. "Here I come" is the trademark of Levy second half of the 80's efforts. This compilation is for those interested in the late 80's early 90's party score. Look for the late 70's early 80's Levy's material to find his best music. Putting The Lion of Judah on the cover sheet is an insult to Rastafari artists and Rastafarians. Listen to the words and you get the nonsense.
* * * *1979 - Greensleeves - studio - discs: 1
Barrington Levy was born in 1964 and started his career in 1977 with a group called the Mighty Multitudes. Soon they disbandled and in 1979 Levy started to cut tunes as a solo artist. Tracks as "A Yah We Deh", "Shine Eye Gal" and his first hit "Collie Weed" paved the way to the Dancehall era. Under the producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes and with the rhythms provided by one of the strongest band of the period, the Roots Radics, Levy's career started there. In 1979 he released his debut set called "Bounty Hunter". A new talent was quickly emerging in the upcoming Dancehall scene. Levy will be an important figure inside the 80's with probably his best material cut under Henry Lawes during the first half of the decade and later under the producer Jah Screw. Also in 1979 Barrington, fifteen years old at the time, cut the present set. This re-release presents the original ten tracks plus four bonus: two 12" mixes and two versions from the deejay Scorcher. The music played by the Roots Radics was recorded at Channel One and engineered by the great Overton H. "Scientist" Brown. While the vocals were cut at King Tubby's with Lloyd "Prince Jammy" James engineering. This is a good set especially if considering how the confident Levy approached the strong early Dancehall musical atmospheres of the Radics. Note: the entire set was remixed by Prince Jammy and Scientist as "Big Showdown at King Tubby's".
LOVE YOUR BROTHER MAN - THE EARLY YEARS / Includes: SHAOLIN TEMPLE (1979)
* * * *1979-1984 - Trojan - studio - discs:1
With the released of the debut set "Bounty Hunter" in 1979 Barrington Levi established himself as a new and strong voice in the emerging Dancehall era. The debut had two different releases: "Shaolin Temple" was compiled for the Jamaican market and "Bounty Hunter" was issued for the U.S.. The debut was mixed at King Tubby's by the stellar talent of Overton H. "Scientist" Brown. The present collection contains the entire "Shaolin Temple" set, but pay attention that some tracks are extended versions. So actually if you are looking for the real original, please scroll down to the next entry for my comments on this set. These songs are: "Bounty Hunter" (here presented in its 12" Mix version), "Skylarking", "Collie Weed" (released only for the Jamaican market), "Moonlight Lover", "Looking My Love" (released only for the Jamaican market), "(Sweet) Reggae Music" (aka "Don't Fuss Nor Fight"), "Wedding Ring", "It's Not Easy" (aka "Trod Along With Jah"), "Shine Eye Girl" (here presented in its 12" Mix version and also featuring Jah Thomas) and finally "Shaolin Temple" (here presented in its 12" Mix version and also featuring Jah Thomas). Two other tracks are from 1979: "A Ya We Dah" (here presented in its 12" Mix version) and "Give Thanks & Praise" (a reprise of "A Ya We Dah" and here presented in its 12" Mix version and also featuring Jah Thomas). The collection also presents four songs taken from the "Get Ready" set cut for Alvin "GG" Ranglin (1983): "Jah", "Love Your Brother Man" (a deep Dancehall song: five stars here!), "Jah The Creator" and "I Hold The Handle". And finally we have "Young Free & Single" from 1984. The "Shaolin Temple" set is actually quite strong, and I suggest to all the Dancehall fans to check it out quite carefully. The songs from Barrington from these early days are his best.
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1979 - Auralux - studio - discs:1
In 1979 Barrington Levy met the producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes. At King Tubby's premises Levy voiced two dozens of new tracks from The Roots Radics. The result of these sessions bacame Barrington's debut set. Actually there were three releases. For the American market the album issued by the Jah Life label was called "Bounty Hunter". The list of the tracks reads: "Bounty Hunter", "Shaolin Temple", "Shine Eye Girl (a previous hit)", "Moonlight Lover", "Trod With Jah Jah", "It's Not Easy" (a previous hit called "Looking My Love"), "Sky Larking", "Jah Life", "Wedding Ring" and "Don't Fuss Or Fight (a previous hit called "Reggae Music")". For the British market the album issued by the Burning Sounds label was called "Shine Eye Girl". The list of the tracks reads: "A Ya We Deh (a previous hit)", "Shine Eye Girl", "Collie Dread" (a previous hit called "Collie Weed"), "Captivity", "Pretty Looks", "Revelation", "Christmas Day" and "Jam Down". The present set "Shaolin Temple" was aimed to the Jamaican audience. It was released by the recently established Lawes' and his friend Linval Thompson's Jah Guidance label. These three albums are similar but not the same at all. First of all the mix differs from each other. Than in some occasions even the lyrichs changes. And finally each presents a different number of tracks. It could seem quite puzzling, but starting from the present reading you can at least see what track name is also presented in the other sets. The album opens with "Wedding Ring", a version of The Heptones "Hold Me Strong" and is followed by an old Arthur "Duke" Reid' Treasure Isle classic called "Moonlight Lover". The third track is "Bounty Hunter", a classic. Follows a version of Horace Andy's "Skylarking", quite dark indeed. The fifth song is "It’s Not Easy", versioning the Silvertones "Smile". Follows "Looking My Love", a version of the classic "Real Rock" rythm. The seventh track is "Shine Eye Girl". Follows the title track "Shaolin Temple". The nineth song is "Reggae Music", based on the "Full Up" rythm. The set closes with "Collie Weed", a version of the Slim Smith's (The Uniques) classic "My Conversation". This last track was the first song mixed by Scientist at Tubby's! This re-release from Auralux offers four 12" bonus tracks. The first is "Stray Away Girl", a very strong cut. Stellar. Follows "Hammer". The third bonus is "Shaolin Temple". The last is another version of "Shaolin Temple", featuring Jah Thomas. These 12" are very good and tough. Talking about the original set, is far better than the releases for the foreign markets. The Jamaican "version" is rougher and purer. It stands directly close to its audience and therefore is the original. Jamaican sounds. The set was mixed by Scientist and recorded by him and Maxie.