Archive for March, 2013

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.

6. Hugh Griffiths – Honey, Honey

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

On this version Hugh Griffiths covers The Manhattans’ Honey, Honey, released in 1981 on Columbia Records and written by Earl King Jr.

manhattans-honeyhoney

Here Griffiths sings over the Top Rank Gang’s version of Sleng Teng, seemingly released in 1985 (neither the 7″ nor the riddim LP have a date, but a rerelease (?) is dated 1985). The vocal and dub both have a slightly mellow feel to them, as do most of the other vocals on this version.

Hugh Griffiths - Honey, Honey (Top Rank) - A

Hugh Griffiths – Honey, Honey [Top Rank, 1985]

Top Rank Gang - Honey Dub (Top Rank) - B

Top Rank Gang – Honey Dub [Top Rank]