JUNIOR DELGADO (b. 1958 - † 2005)
SONS OF SLAVES - REBEL ANTHEMS FROM A ROOTS LEGEND
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1975-1988 - Trojan - studio - discs:1Oscar Delgado Hibbert was born on 25 August 1954 in Kingston, Jamaica, and has died too early on 11 April 2005 in London, UK. As a lot of artists from Jamaica, he started singing when still young in church and at talent contests. He started seriuosly with a group called Time Unlimited. Once the voices got some confidence with singing Trevor "Leggo Beast" Douglas brought them to Lee "Scratch" Perry. The Upsetter recorded their debut "Reaction", which was released by Joe Gibbs in 1973. Delgado was nineteen years old. Two still unreleased albums were recorded for "Scratch", one as a group and another one as a solo effort. Delgado has always spoke of those moments with Perry as pivotal for his later developments. The group also recorded for other producers until they split in 1975. Once alone he recorded for Niney The Observer, Larry Lawrence and Joe Gibbs. Returning to Lee Perry he recorded the stellar, "Sons Of Slaves" (featured here as a 12" extended version: a five stars song!), with The Heptones and his friend Dennis Brown on backing vocals in 1977. This song is a highly deep Roots masterpiece. Junior sings about the consciousness of being a "son" of the slaves, grabbed as if they were unhumans from their African homelands and brought to Jamaica to face a hard and sad new future. This heavy track is made seminal thanks to the musical genius of the great Perry. Even if Delgado's sounds changed later, his militant approch has always remained the same. The friendship with the late Dennis Brown brought to Delgado's debut set "Taste Of The Young Heart", released on Brown's label DEB in 1978, followed the next year by "Effort". After these sets he recorded by the end of the 70's for Augustus Pablo and Sly & Robbie. The new musical era was approaching and Delgado turned easily to the new sounds without difficulties. As stated before he kept the spiritual and social themes in his lyrics as the heart of his compositions. He produced and released his third album "Bushmaster Connection" in 1982. After some years in London he returned to Jamaica in 1985 were he recorded for Henry "Junjo" Lawes, King Jammy and again Augustus Pablo. By the end of the decade he produced some sets with Yami Bolo, White Mice and the legendary Johnny Osbourne. As the 90's started Delgado relocated in London were he continued to produce and sing up to his death. This compilation is made of two parts: the first nine songs are from the 1975 - 78 period. The remaining eleven are all from 1988. For this reason you will hear two sides of Junior. For those acquainted in this web site it will not be a surprise to learn that I prefer the first part, but the 80's tracks are not bad at all. The songs from the 70's deliver some great Roots vibes, with the already mentioned "Sons Of Slaves" (a gem) and "Twenty Third Psalm" recorded and produced by Lee Perry as maybe the best tracks here. "Jah Jah Say" (here in its 12" version) is another great slow tune. Since this release is a compilation, of course it can not be exaustive to understand and appreciate what is the message of Junior Delgado. Check inside for your favourite sound, I am sure that as I will do some other sets from Junior will be explored and loved.