Wednesday, January 30, 2013




Deep late '70s roots from Prince Far I's CRY TUFF label. Two killer tunes only ever released on JA 45, reissued for the first time. As lovers of female fronted roots tunes we had to get this killer Jennifer Lara tune out there, a rugged lick of the 'rockfort rock' riddim. Next is a monster instrumental/dub single, Deadly Headley and Asher's killer lick of the 'drum song' riddim, wicked horns, keyboard and melodica at the forefront. RIP Prince Far I, your legacy of music lives on.


A great reggae mystery, now solved! The infamous "Conquering Lion" dubplate as played by Coxsone sound, revealed! Like most who hear it, we became entranced with this infamous and awesome tune after hearing a recording of its famous broadcast on David Rodigan's Capitol Radio show, by Coxsone sound selector Festus. He announced the tune as being sung by Lloyd Ruddock, "King Tubby's from Jamaica's brother." That man of course, is better known as Scunna, the original force behind the Jayes, who had a string of massive hits in late '70s for Channel 1, like 'Queen Majesty' and 'Truly.' As Scunna is also now a Brooklyn native, we checked him to find out more about the tune. But what we found out was simple...he didn't sing it! So the mystery endured, for the moment. Until a couple years later, when a friend of ours came across a fantastic (and fantastically rare!) blank pre-release single from Jamaica, and it helped crack the case. The single was an awesome and previously unknown (to almost all, it seems!) vocal on the same riddim as 'Conquering Lion', and the voice was unmistakable, one of our favorite artists...Naggo Morris! Immediately after hearing this tune, we were eager to find out more, and like many mysteries of Jamaican music, the matrix number on the blank label 45 helped tell the tale. The matrix bore the name of another friend of ours, none other than legendary deejay and producer Prince Jazzbo! Naturally, we immediately checked Jazzbo about it, and the mystery was revealed! Jazzbo confirmed that he indeed produced the Naggo Morris tune, at the same time as the more well known "Clean Hands" 45 which appeared on his Brisco label. But this tune, called "Bootlegger", was only ever pressed in a miniscule quantity as a blank label pre-release, managing to elude most collectors of JA music for nearly 40 years! And we found out that Jazzbo did indeed produce two other cuts on the same rhythm, by The Invaders, a harmony group from Greenwich Farm and Trenchtown! One cut, "Conquering Lion" was given by Jazzbo to the then-young Coxsone sound system in London, for play and promotion on the sound. Over the years and through the Capitol Radio broadcast, the tune became legendary. The other cut, "Heaven & Earth" was released in Jamaica for the Invaders on their own new Invader label. With all this information at hand, the next move was clear. We did what it is that we do, and here now you have all three tunes on crisp 45s! Another interesting footnote to these tunes which perplexed collectors over the years, is that the dub side of the Naggo Morris 45, which is a melodica cut to the rhythm, is known to some via a mis-press from the time of it's original release. The B-side stamper for the Naggo Morris tune was accidentally used as the B-side to Sir Harry & Jah Woosh's "Way Down West" 45 on the Sir Harry label. The label states "Difendon Version" by Sir Harry All Stars, but due to a mistake at the pressing plant, the record plays the dub to "Bootlegger". This dub is also featured as the b-side to 'Conquering Lion', as we unfortunately could not locate a unique dub for this tune, though we think one surely existed so many years ago. Prince Jazzbo would also like to acknowledge the late great King Tubby, without whom these tunes would not be possible. All three were voiced and mixed by the King himself, making these yet another piece of Tubby's indelible legacy. Lastly, two further cuts on a slightly different take of this rhythm, by Big Joe and Tony Brevett, will be released a short while later this year, to complete the version excursion.

Sound Clips:

Jennifer Lara - Music By the Score

Cry Tuff & The Originals - Robin Hood Dub (Music By the Score DUB)

Deadly Headley & Asher - Drums of the Arab

Deadly Headley & Asher - Drums of the Arab DUB

Naggo Morris - Bootlegger

Invaders - Conquering Lion

Bootlegger DUB

Invaders - Heaven & Earth

Invaders - Heaven & Earth DUB

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Anonymous said...

Jesus Lordddddd, DKR BROAD!

david said...

Wicked, looks like the strongest batch of Digikiller's since the channel one 10" scorchers. Can't wait to pick them up. Not sure what that that guy on fb is whining about either. Just enjoy the music, brother!

david said...

Also, is this the same Invaders who recorded for Studio One? There is an incredible track by the invaders on Studio One lovers (studio one classics lp, not the soul jazz comp). The vocalists sound similar. Any idea if they've released anything else?

ROB said...

David - yes, same group. they did a bunch of work for Studio 1, mostly on harmonies. they also recorded a couple singles for Sir Collins (both very rare!), as well as another one for themselves in cooperation with Lloyd "Printer" Campbell, and one single for GG's on his Typhoon label.
not a huge body of released work overall, but all quality.

david said...

Thanks for the info on the Invaders. It's amazing how many unsung talents there were in Jamaican music! Thanks again for the work that you do, we are all richer for it.

Black Swede said...

Quality release, Rob! Can you put an approximate date on the "Conquering Lion" rhythm? I would presume Umaja label would've been current 1977-1980...

Black Swede said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ROB said...

i just noticed this comment now... these songs pre-date the Ujama label actually, but as that is Jazzbo's main/most recognizable imprint we went with it. I think the songs were made approx 1975 but I could be wrong. No one could recall the exact date beyond "70s." The other Naggo Morris tune cut at the same time ('clean hands') is on the BRISCO label...

Black Swede said...

That seems entirely plausible, Rob. To my ears the sound on "Conquering Lion" sounds closer to 1975 than 1978. Also, since the rhythm backing is actually a reworking of Invaders 1974 Studio 1 track "Heaven & Earth", it would make sense for Prince Jazzbo to re-record that when he too was done with Coxsone back in 1975. Thanks for the input as always.