Raver digs deep

Today we dig deep to bring you some really fine reggae gems…

A stellar reggae tune from a mediocre reggae album (Natural Wild).  The players on this one are sick, sick, sick…Prince, Ranchie, Mikey Boo, Ansel Collins, Joe Jackson.  Even our friend Chris Lane is credited!

Album features significant contributions from Joe Jackson (who dropped this stupefying bombtrack in 1982).  Natural Wild was originally issued with a limited bonus disc God Sent Dub.


Rod Taylor backed by Fully, Santa, Chinna…one of the great riddims from Soul Syndicate.


I told you I was digging deep!  Rare Sly & Robbie Black Uhuru dubs coming your way live and direct from the Raiders of the Lost Dub LP!


“Fire and Brimstone” (version to “Journey”) and “The Monkey Is A Spy” (version to “Sensimilia”)



DEB Music 7″ single “Rent Man” vocal and dub.


Michael Rose and Tamlins do “Aquarius” on a Taxi 7″ single.


TRIPLE shot from the Mikey Dread camp!  Rod Taylor w/ Soul Syndicate “Behold Him.”  Dread At The Controls 7″ single.


Hopeton “Boom Shaka Laka” Lindo (check it Festival style…) with “Black History”


Earl 16 on a DATC 10″


Dennis Brown is terrble (not terrible) just terrble like Charles Barkley on the vocal and dub.  DEB Music, Castro Brown, Battersea Rise, London, what!?


What’s that?  You don’t know this one?


King Jammy.  “Slaughterhouse Five.”  Riddim too tuff…


The Money Behind ‘Legalize It’

The following article about a new Lee Jaffe book was published in Barbados Nation five days ago.  Jaffe played an instrumental role in Bob Marley and the Wailers from 1973-1975, even playing on several well-known hits (“3 O’ Clock Road Block” and “Talkin’ Blues”) and performing live with the band on the 1973 and 1975 tours.  His impact on the sound and vibe of the group from 1973-1975 is undeniable.  Imagine “3 O’ Clock Road Block” and “Talkin’ Blues” without his trademark harmonica and you will clearly take note.

He stayed involved in the Jamaican music scene through his friendship with Peter Tosh and even co-produced and help finance Peter Tosh’s Legalize It, which in my opinion is the greatest reggae album ever recorded.  He also shot the iconic cover shot.

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He is a friend of this website and he has even contributed photos and memorabilia for some of our best posts (Bob Marley and the Wailers: NYC 1975 and Bob Marley at Cane River Falls and The Wailers Live at Max’s Kansas City, NYC, 1973.

Barbados Nation
June 23, 2014

Peter Tosh never hid his love for ganja. He wrote several songs about its spiritual powers and was a passionate advocate for its legalisation. But was the ‘Stepping Razor’ part of an illegal ganja trade that reportedly thrived in Jamaica during the 1970s?

A book co-written by American Lee Jaffe, his former associate, says Tosh was part of a 1976 smuggling operation that raised money to fund his groundbreaking album Legalize It.

Jaffe and French university lecturer Dr Jeremie Kroubo Dagnini co-wrote Bob Marley & The Wailers: 1973-1976, an extension of One Love: Life with Bob Marley and the Wailers, a 2003 book Jaffe co-authored with Roger Steffens, widely considered the authority on Marley and The Wailers.

Released last year, the book is written in French and was released by Camion Blanc, a small French publisher.

In it, Jaffe claims Tosh was short on cash to record Legalize It and shopping for a record label after splitting with Marley and the Wailers band in late 1973.

Jaffe says Tosh got US$1 000 from Marley, which was enough to record three songs. The rest, he claims, came from a one-off ganja operation.

“I was trying to make a record and we were broke, so that wasn’t like some genius idea. I had already sold herb in the US, I had friends in the business, that’s what they were doing, my best friends from school and people in Jamaica,” Jaffe says in the book. “Weed brings the foreign currency on the island, man. And in the world I was living in Jamaica, herb was not a bad thing,” he added.

“It wasn’t seen as dope and it was supporting the farmer, the community, the Rastas, so this was not dealing drugs. This was a noble endeavour. Ok.”

Jaffe says Tosh gave the operation, which originated in Jamaica, his blessing. He (Jaffe) and a pilot flew to Miami with hundreds of pounds of ganja aboard a DC-3 craft to Miami where it was sold.

“We flew beneath the radar, 100 feet above the water. With the sun going down, the world couldn’t be more beautiful. We avoided flyin’ over Cuba. Fidel would have shot our . . . out of the sky,” Jaffe related.

He said the shipment raised US$75 000, more than enough to complete Legalize It, which was released in 1976 by Columbia Records.

The Sunday Observer tried to contact Jaffe by e-mail, but there was no response.

Tosh, disc jockey Jeff ‘Free I’ Dixon and Doc Brown were killed by gunmen at his St Andrew home in September 1987. He was 42 years old.

Born in New York City, Jaffe says he first met Marley there in 1973. The singer/songwriter, then a member of the Wailers, invited him to Jamaica.

Jaffe accepted and became a member of the band’s inner circle for the next three years. He played harmonica on Natty Dread, Marley’s 1974 album.

Dagnini, 37, was born in Reims, France to a West African father and French mother. A lecturer in British and post-colonial studies at the University of Orleans, he has written two books on the history of Jamaican music.

Tosh recorded two outstanding albums for Columbia, the other being Equal Rights. Oscar-winning British film-maker, Kevin MacDonald, is producing a Tosh bio-pic.

Congo Ashanti Roy & Pura Vida ‘Step by Step’ (Lost Ark)

The Lost Ark crew is back with another killer!  The same studio that paired The Congos with Pura Vida for We Nah Give Up are back with Congo Ashanti Roy & Pura Vida Step by Step with special guests Watty Burnett & Tommy Tornado!  A righteous follow-up to the Hard Road album feat. Congo Ashanti Roy & Pura Vida. 

This one is sure to make my Best of 2014 list as Lost Ark never disappoints.

The album is available on Itunes and Amazon…where you can listen to audio samples of the tracks.

The CD will be available from 12 July 2014 @ www.lostarkmusic.be



10 things you did not know about Prince Lincoln Thompson


I’ve been listening to nothing but Prince Lincoln an the Royal Rasses lately.  What a voice…What a vibe.  And the musicianship of the Rasses never ceases to amaze.  They have a very unique reggae sound

1.  He began his recording career as a harmony singer along with Cedric Myton of The Congos in 1967 in a band called The Tartans who then split up in 1969.

2.  In 1974 he recorded the Humanity album with Cedric Myton, Clinton Hall and Keith Peterkin, and set up the God Sent label in order to sell it.

3.  At 30 years old, Lincoln Thompson, who described his Jamaican living conditions as “sub-standard,” was living in a one-room shack in the Jamaican countryside with his family of eight when he recorded the Humanity LP with the Rasses.

4.  Two months after recording the Humanity LP, the destitute Thompson received his first royalty check which allowed him to take the Rasses on a European tour.

5.  Thompson took the stage to perform for the very first time while on tour in Europe to support Humanity.  It was also the first time he ever left his native Jamaica.

6.  The success of Humanity also allowed Thompson to move into a four-room house.

7.  The song “Humanity (Love The Way It Should Be)” was given new life when it was covered by American singer John Legend backed by Philly’s The Roots and is featured on Legend’s album, Wake Up!

8.  It was Thompson’s eery falsetto on his single “Kingston 11” (God Sent) that initially caught the ear of Mo Claridge, who at the time ran Ballistics Records, a London offshoot of United Artists.  Claridge signed Thompson and immediately released the 12″ single of “Unconventional People.”

9.  After recording the album Experience without Myton, Prince Lincoln an the Rasses went into a London studio in 1980 with pop musician Joe Jackson to record Natural Wild.  While a commercial flop, the album contains one of my favorite Rasses tunes “Mechanical Devices.”

10.  In 1982, Thompson moved his family to Tottenham, London where he opened an Ital shop called The Rasses Fish and Grocery Store.

A rare radio interview from Joey Jay’s Word, Sound and Power radio program on Kiss FM.  Big up Joey Jay and the Rootikal Sounds crew (www.rootikal.net) for sharing.

Here is a Prince Lincoln Vocals and Dubs Mix.  All selections by Jah Raver!

Never-before-released photo of Prince Lincoln performing live in Helsinki, Finland (Photo by Pekka Vuorinen)

Never-before-released photo of Prince Lincoln performing live in Helsinki, Finland (Photo by Pekka Vuorinen)

This article published in MELODY MAKER on 6 October 1979 finds Vivian Goldman in Amsterdam with The Rasses.


1Melody Maker (Archive- 1926-2000)54.38 (Oct 6, 1979)- 23-24.rasses

Prince Lincoln Thompson Live Mariahissen Stockholm November 1982

Prince Lincoln Thompson Live Mariahissen Stockholm November 1982