Posts Tagged ‘1985’

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.


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”.


19. Peter King – Step on the Gas

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Back to England for this one. Released on Fasion Records in 1985, it shows how quickly trends moved between Jamaica and the UK, with the top riddims from Jamaica being quickly versioned in the UK to tear up dances on both sides of the Atlantic.

John Eden and Paul Meme featured this track in their excellent UK vs. JA Lyric Maker mix. Paul Meme also wrote about the record in a Pitchfork overview of the fastchat mini-genre:

Peter King: “Step on the Gas” 12″ [Fashion; 1985]
Peter King is widely regarded as being the first UK fast chat MC, but he only appears on a handful of records. The fast chat MCs had something of an obsession with cars (see also Asher Senator’s fantastic “The Original Car Style”) and many of them were, supposedly, merciless second-hand car salesmen. But this record vaporizes all those clichés. One of two 1985 Fashion releases using a re-built, industrial strength, hyper-muscular Sleng Teng (check out the dub of Andrew Paul’s utterly amazing “Who’s Gonna Make the Dance Ram” for further evidence of the incredible heaviosity coming out of UK studios at the time)– Peter King is on devastating form, deploying his rough London accent to tell a remarkably tall story about being chased by the cops in a car full of fast chat stars. And the chorus is so utterly yet inexplicably hooky, too– “step on gas KICK down the accelera – tor”. Love it. –Paul Meme

Jahtari has a bit more on Peter King:

Peter King started off MCing in 1981 as a 19 year old youth at the legendary UK soundsystem Saxon. In those early days he was sparring with the Saxon MC Papa Levy and one of Peter’s first tunes was “Ganja Business A Money Business”. Peter’s
device was that lyrics, instead of just being endless but sensless rhymes, should tell a story even for people to identify with. Peter King is famous and known as the originater of a style – the fast chat style.

In ’82 he was the first MC to do that style with the tune called “Me Neat, Me Sweet”. After mashing it up on Saxon with this tune artists like Smiley Culture, Asher Senator, Tippa Irie or Papa Levy soon adopted the fast chat, wich was getting big all over and quickly spread to Jamaica and influenced jamaican DJ’s a lot. This style is the precursor of today’s drum and bass MCing as well.

There’s also a good interview on Small Axe with Peter King talking about fastchat.

Not much more to add really, except that the dub version includes an overdub of the James Bond theme tune.






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]



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]

4. Olive Ranks – 85 Shack

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Visiting Sounds of the Universe recently I came across 3 versions of Sleng Teng on Hi Power Music. The Olive Ranks version seems to be from 1985, with two new versions from 2012 on the riddim by Blackout JA and Mikey General.

I can’t find any information about Olive Ranks online, and as far as I can see this is the only release she appears on.

85 Shack

Olive Ranks – 85 Shack

I assume 85 Shack is actually 85 Shock, with 1985 being the year Sleng Teng was first released.
In the lyrics Olive references Sting Me A Sting, Shock Me A Shock by Patrick Andy, one of the versions on the original Jammys ’85  Sleng Teng.

85 Shack Version
85 Shack Version

The version is credited to The High Power Gang, with a slightly dubby mix from Peter Chemist.