Posts Tagged ‘king jammy’

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”.

 

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:

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.