Archive for the ‘7″’ Category

21. Junior Tucker – Don’t U Touch My Baby

Friday, October 20th, 2017

Got about another 20 versions been sitting on a hard drive for a year, so here’s Junior Tucker’s 1993 tune Don’t U Touch My Baby. If you like jungle you’ll recognise the opening that was sampled a year later in the tune Warning  by Firefox (Roni Size) and 4-tree (his brother) – it also samples Shabba Ranks.

Junior Tucker was born in ’66 and – according to Wikipedia – recorded his first release aged 7. The first release on Discogs is from 1975 – as Little Junior Tucker – which would still make him only 9 years old. After a spell in New York (studying audio engineering) and London (for a short-lived contract with Virgin), he returned to Jamaica in 1991 and made dancehall through the 90s. He later became a born again Christian and moved to Florida, where he started making gospel and became a minister. In 2015 he returned to Kingston and opened his own church.

Here’s the 7″, produced by Danny Brownie for Main St.

Junior Tucker - Don't Touch My Baby

Don't Touch My Baby Version

Discogs: 7″, 12″ b/w Pinchers

 

20. Colin Roach – Hey Yo

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Back after a hiatus, with the 20th Sleng Teng version to make it onto the site.

This Jammy’s dubplate was released in 2011 on the Dubstore Japan label, which reissues dubplates and rarities on nice heavy press, period-labelled releases. I love a bit of crackle as much as the next vinyl nerd, but the pressing quality on the Dubstore reissures is fantastic, and as a result this vinyl comes across clean and loud.

While the label only credits Colin Roach, the label’s website also lists Anthony Malvo. The two recorded several combination 7″s for Jammy’s, including another Dubstore reissue on the China Town riddim.

cr-heyyo-web

The tune sees Roach and Malvo take on USA for the World’s 1985 charity song, We Are The World, written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie:

There’s no date on the record label, but would assume this is another 1985 version. Roach and Malvo are in soundclash mode and big up Jammy’s – “We are the sound, we are the champions”, to the tune of “We are the world”.

 

17. Elephant Man – Shot Will Bark

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

I’ve never been much of a fan of Elephant Man. In the early 2000s there was a concerted campaign against him by gay right’s groups because of his homophobic lyrics, and in 2012 he was charged with rape, although I can’t find any record of the outcome of the case. Musically, I find him a bit too macho and shouty, and he has a tendency to go for novelty/gimmicks.

Here he is over NYC label Massive B’s 210 Computa riddim (hence all the references to New York in the lyrics). Bobby Konders produced the riddim, an update of Harry J’s Computer riddim from 1986. I like Massive B’s productions – they have a nice fat sound to them, full of bass. Not exactly subtle, but they sound good loud. Rishi Nath has a nice profile of the label and soundsystem on the Red Bull Music Academy site.

massiveb-em-showwillbark-a

 

 

massiveb-em-showwillbark-b

16. Screw Driver – Computer Rule

Friday, February 7th, 2014

On this version, Screw Driver embraces the digi vibe, telling us “Computer rule all over the world” and shouting out Sunset producer Harry J. It’s fun for a while but gets a little repetitive. Harry J emphasises the message by “computerizing” Screw Drivers voice on and off through the tune.

Screw Driver - Computer Rule [Harry J ]

 

Harry J’s Version has a punchy bass line interspersed with claps and laser-y synths. It’s got a bit of an 8-bar thing going on, with short bursts of different percussion effects throughout the instrumental to stop it getting too samey.

 

Screw Driver - Version [Sunset]

 

 

15. Little Twitch – Good Wuk

Friday, February 7th, 2014

And so, after a short hiatus, here is Little Twitch on Steely & Clevie’s 1990 version of Sleng Teng.

The son of keyboardist Winston Wright, Twitch came up through Jaro and then Jammys in the ’80s.

Twitch rides the tuff Steely & Clevie riddim satisfyingly with some nice word play around S&C’s rat-a-tat drums and “Woah – Yeah” samples.

Little Twitch - Good Wuk [Steely & Clevie]

As you would expect, Steely & Clevie don’t put a foot wrong – a nice sparse, crisp digi instrumental with the odd vocal snippet from the various other cuts dubbed in for the Version.

Steely & Clevie - Version [Steely & Clevie]

13. John Wayne & Colonel Lloydie – Kill A Sound For Me

Monday, September 9th, 2013

“This is a case of emergency” Colonel Lloydie says in a computer voice at the start of this track, before launching into a parody of Tenor Saw’s Pumpkin Belly, one of the most famous Sleng Teng versions – altering Tenor Saw’s memorable lyrics to “How dubplate war go a sound bwoy belly / Don’t ask me that ask my sound posse / From all over the country / Dem said Lord dem never know / Dem said Lord dem never know / That my sound a really bad sound”.

John Wayne & Colonel Lloydie - Kill A Sound for Me [Sudden Attack, 1993-4]

John Wayne & Colonel Lloydie – Kill A Sound Boy For Me [Sudden Attack, 1993-4]

John Wayne then cuts in with some abrasive DJing on a similar tip – “Any sound test my sound dem dead / Dem dead, dem, dead dem dead”. His delivery echoes his earlier version on Sleng Teng, “Call The Police” from 1985.

It’s a bit shouty, but the combination style works quite well together with colonel Lloydie’s Tenor Saw imitation. Still I can’t help feeling this doesn’t offer anything the Tenor Saw original doesn’t do better. Unless you’ve always wished that Saw had done Pumpkin Belly as a soundclash tune.

The version is a bit more interesting – it’s good a good, tight, minimal ragga feel to it and some interesting sounds bouncing around in there. The track was produced by Chris Meredith in 1993-4. It’s credited as mixed by Dr. Marshall, who mixes in small snippets of the different vocals on the riddim, giving a slightly more dubby feel than a straight up instrumental version.
John Wayne & Colonel Lloydie - Version [Sudden Attack, 1993-4]

Chris Meredith – Version [Sudden Attack, 1993-4]

12. Wayne Wonder – You Send The Rain Away

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Following on from Jean Adebambo’s beautiful singing in post #11, here is Wayne Wonder doing his best to massacre Rebbie Jackson and Robin Zander’s 1986 song, You Send The Rain Away.

Can’t say the original does much for me, and neither does Wayne Wonder’s cover from 1989 on Lloyd Dennis’s Pickout Records label. It’s a shame because the version on the B-side is a stomping digital cut interspersed with orchestral synth stabs which could be great if accompanied by a suitable vocal. I’ll just have to keep a lookout for other Pickout versions.

Wayne Wonder - You Send The Rain Away (Pickout, 1989)

Wayne Wonder - Version (Pickout , 1989)

 

10. Wayne Smith – Morning News

Monday, April 29th, 2013

For this tenth post we have one of my favourite versions, featuring the man who started it all – Wayne Smith. Smith returned to the riddim that made him famous to vocal an updated version of the riddim from King Jammy. Smith comes up with another killer vocal, this time in the form of a love song. He references his earlier hits for Jammy, Under Mi Sleng Teng, Ain’t No Meaning and Come Along, which are layered under his vocals to slick effect and cleverly interwoven with the lyrics (“Sing Ain’t No Meaning, yes me sing it for you / Sing Come Along,  you know me sing it for you / Sing Sleng Teng, you know me sing it for you “).  He also reuses his “Way in My Brain” lyric.

Wayne Smith - Morning News [Kingston 11, 1993]

Wayne Smith – Morning News (Kingston 11)

 

The playful reuse of earlier lyrics is a nice touch – I’m a real sucker for tracks which reference versioning and dancehall history.  But for the most part this track stands up superbly on its own as a fantastic version – Wayne rides the riddim effortlessly and approaches it from a completely different angle. It would have been easy for him to simply rehash his previous version or rest on his laurels, knowing that the riddim will always be associated with his name.  To his credit, and aided by some nifty production, he came up with another excellent version which does justice to him as a singer.

***

Come Along and Ain’t No Meaning, the other tracks referenced in the song:

9. Cobra – Mr. Pleasure

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Another John John version, this time vocalled by Cobra.  It’s got a singjay-y chorus which I’m a sucker for, and I think the trumpets on this version give a bit of spark to the vocals on it which it might lack on another track. As you might expect, it’s fairly slack  – “Mad dem with your fat pum pum under yu frock”.

Cobra - Mr. Pleasure [John John, 1993]

Cobra – Mr. Pleasure [John John]

 

7. Josey Wales – Cowboy Style

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Josey Wales named himself after Clint Eastwood’s character in the film of the same name, so it’s hardly surprising that a lot of his songs are about cowboys and the wild west, a popular theme in reggae and dancehall.

The_outlaw_josey_wales

This version of Sleng Teng was originally released in 1993 and re-issued in 2011 on King Jammy’s Kingston 11 label, and also featured on Josey’s 1994  album of the same name.

joseywales-cowboystyle

Josey picks up on the familiar cowboy theme on this track. The track opens with him quoting another of Eastwood’s characters in A Fistful of Dollars (“Senor, build me three coffins… My mistake, make it four”).

He then launches into some dubious advice his father gave him… “Josey, I’m dependent on you son / Don’t fight fist to fist go for the gun”. Among other things, he gives a shoutout to Jammy’s son, Baby G.

Another line I like just for a glimpse of everyday life is “Dem stop sell de radio that work with battery / Everybody using electricity”.

Josey Wales - Cowboy Style [Kingston 11]
Josey Wales – Cowboy Style [Kingston 11]

Despite being one of the more iconic versions of Sleng Teng I actually came across this track through hearing the sample of Josey’s opening line on the jungle track Jungle & Western Cowboy Style on Greensleeves.