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.


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.


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.


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]