V/A - Strictly Rub A Dub

For those who love the sounds of the dancehall from 1977 - 1985, just before Jammy's "Sleng-Teng" digital revolution, Trojan has released a compilation for you. This is the third installment of a series that has also included the Lets Go To The Blues and the Dancehall Stylee albums. But this one is different as it is a deejay extravaganza. Filled with classic Studio One rhythms and classic deejays, Strictly Rub A Dub is sure to please.

The set starts with a combination effort by Yellowman and Fathead on the tune "Donkey Want Water". This is a good song though not exactly rare or anything as it can be found on their For Your Eyes Only album. In my opinion, its an excellent starting point.

Another nice tune is "Ride the Rhythm" by Poppa Tollo over the majority rule rhythm. This is Tollo telling people "theres no rhythm that I cant rhyme" while making fun of his deejay contemporaries who try to sing. Tollo is also on here riding a excellent cut of Full Up that was used origionally for Cornell Campbells "Trick in the Book". Tollos track "Special Request To David Rodigan and Tony Williams". This shows Tollo in fine style and it tough to choose between this and "Ride the Rhythm".

Charlie Chaplin, one of my personal favorites of the rub-a-dub era is on here with two tracks. The first is "Foreign Man Skank" which is a sort of sequel to his "Entertainer" tune about his trip to New York and his friends reaction to this, Josey Wales in particular. This is an excellent song on a great rhytym. His second tune is "Don't Leave Your Baby Mother" which is Chaplin telling the men to not run out on women they have sex with when they find out the girl got pregnant. A fine slice of social commentary.

A hit artist in the 70's, Trinity proved he could rub-a-dub with the best of them. On this record, he chats the "Psalm" over Johnny Clarkes re-cut of "Satta Massa Gana". This is a great tune and the satta rhythm or Trinity never seem to fail.

The Eek-A-Mouse wannabe, Simple Simon, gets three tracks on the album. The first is "War All Over" which has him naming off all the places around Jamaica that have been filled with killings (Greenwich Farm, Rema, Waterhouse, etc). His second is "Revolution Fighters" which talks about the days of slavery and oppression. His last track is "Obey Your Mother and Father" on the real rock rhythm. This isnt a bad song but its mostly Simon making sound effects.

John Wayne comes on strong "Heavy Rhythm" which is on the train to skaville/boops rhythm (same as Simple Simons "War All Over") which is a great dancehall anthem. He also has "Boogie Down" which is another danehall anthem and my favorite of his two on the album. The rhythm is a heavy version of the late night blues rhythm.

Borrowing heavy from the U Roy school of deejay comes Clint Eastwood who is an excellent rhythm rider. He three tunes on here. The first "Fight Inflation" which is an excellent song. The title is self explainitory. Next he comes with "It Wasnt Rasta", a conscious tune about how people always try to fight rasta and and blame things on rastafari. Another excellent tune and one of the best on the album. His third offering is a straight up dance track "Dance Kork" which is a good tune but dosent hold up quite as well as his two previous tunes.

U Brown, a genius on the mic, though borrowing heavily from U Roy at times, is here with one track, the good, but not great, song "Me Chat You Rock" the rhythm is nice though with heavy bass and drum sounds. And he adapts really well to the rub-a-dub styles.

Ranking Joe also appears here with two tracks, riding the famous "Choice of Color" by the Heptones to a great effect. He also performs his tune "Cold Blood" which is a great song as well. Ranking Joe warns "Don't kill your likkle brother ina cold blood".

Yellowmans rival (or clone, whichever you prefer), Purpleman, is on the album with just one track. A nice one it is though. Called "Sandra Dee Buy Big House For Me" on the real rock rhythm. Purpleman rides it nicely in a style closely copying Yellowmans delivery. Its a very fun song to listen to though.

The last couple of songs on the record are combination tunes. The first being "Ram-A-Jam" by General Lucky and Peter Ranking. The tune is on a version of real rock and which is a great tune and one of the best combination tunes i heard before. The last tune is a version of the no no no rhythm, a rude song called "Cockee & Pussy" by Jah Thomas and Sister Jackie. This is a good song as far as slackness tunes go. No no no is a classic rhythm and that dosent hurt at all.

Trojan has done well with this release. As the cover states, 20 killa dancehall classics and they definitely dont dissapoint. People will also enjoy the liner notes by Chris Prete as well as the photos of Nicodemus (why isnt he on the comp) on the Stur-Mars Sound System and Purpleman and Poppa Tollo on Jammys sound. Pick this up if early 80's rub-a-dub is what you crave.

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