Dub It To The Top
Yabby You
Blood And Fire Records
09 - 06 - 2002

Track list
  1. Zambia
  2. Revolution Conference
  3. Zambia Dub featuring Jah Walton
  4. Steppin' High featuring Tommy McCook
  5. Vengeance in Dub
  6. Mount Zion Version
  7. Heads A Roll Dub
  8. Achieving in Dub
  9. No Tarry Yah Version
  10. Dub It To The Top
  11. Rock With Me Dub
  12. Turn Me Loose Dub
  13. Conscious Man Dub
  14. Mash Down Rome Dub
  15. Warn Them Jah Dub
  16. Humanity Dub
  17. Praise You Jah Jah Dub
  18. Tribal War Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 5
This latest Blood and Fire CD reissues the 1977 King Tubby-mixed LP "Yabby You Meets Michael Prophet : Vocal & Dub" in its entirety, together with seven b-side dubs from Yabby's 45s of the period, and a 12" b-side featuring the late Tommy McCook. By 1977, the career of Vivian 'Yabby You' Jackson had undergone a change of direction; the emphasis was no longer on the vocal performances of Yabby and his group the Prophets, whose output and early days are chronicled on the Blood and Fire 2-CD set "Jesus Dread". Yabby had begun to release songs by many other artists as well as nurturing the early careers of several younger singers, displaying a remarkable ability to pick out promising talents. The first to benefit from Yabby's mentorship were Michael Prophet and Wayne Wade, both of whom went on to further success in the next couple of decades; both continue right up to the present. Yabby issued two albums each by the pair. During 1978-9, Michael did "Serious Reasoning" and "Know The Right", Wayne had "Fire Fire" and "Dancing Time"; Michael also gained exposure from two further dub sets ["Michael Prophet In Disco Showcase" and "Yabby You and Michael Prophet Meet Scientist At Dub Station"], in addition to the one included on this CD.
The original dub LP - mixed by King Tubby - is one of the best of the time, with everyone involved displaying the qualities that originally made their reputations. Prince Jammy mixed several of the tracks added to the original LP for this release. As with his contemporary the late Augustus Pablo - another with a sharp eye for emerging talent - King Tubby's studio provided the defining mix that optimised the spiritual depth of Yabby's output, yet also enabled it to appeal to the dancehall audience of the day, perhaps more so than Pablo. Thus Yabby was not only able to compete with newer emerging outfits like Bertram Brown's Freedom Sounds and Michael Campbell's Dread At The Controls, but could also develop talent that would last well into the future. Yabby's leanings in the direction were only curtailed when a severe arthritic condition prevented him from continuing in the music business beyond 1981 until his eventual return to studio work and limited touring from the early 1990s. At the onset of his illness, he was working with Half Pint, who later scored massively for Jammy, George Phang and others.
The dubs here feature all the Yabby You trademarks - superb horn lines, deeply-felt vocals and unrelenting, hard-driven rhythms and at the controls, King Tubby and Prince Jammy.
The album opens with three cuts of Yabby's version of the "Shank Kai Shek" rhythm; the melody was first recorded as a ska instrumental by Baba Brooks for King Edwards the Giant, recut by Bobby Ellis for Mrs Sonia Pottinger in the mid-seventies. The first two cuts here were originally released as a & b-sides on Yabby's "Jammy's" imprint in 1976. The label, originally intended to give Jammy a helping hand on the engineer's return to Waterhouse from Canada that year, was manufactured and distributed by Yabby before Prince Jammy set up his own label in 1978. Zambia - the straight instrumental, rockers-style, is credited to both Tubby and Jammy; Zambia Dub is from the 'Vocal & Dub" LP; it features Jah Walton [later to rename himself Joseph Cotton] toasting the virtues of King Tubby's studio at the microphone. Walton/Cotton was often around at the studio in those days - he recorded sides for Harry Mudie, and Carlton Patterson in this period. He also contributed intros for Michael Campbell's "Dread At The Controls" releases, including the memorable "dash it weh now Dread, dash it weh - nasty it up" on Rod Taylor's epic "His Imperial Majesty / Parrot Jungle" 45.
Steppin' High features Tommy McCook on tenor sax. It was originally released as b-side to Trinity's "Blessed Are The Meek" 12". The late saxophonist eventually made an excellent album ["Blazing Horns"] for Yabby, along with several other singles. Vengeance in Dub is the b-side of Ranking Trevor's Prophets 7" 45 "Jah Vengeance", a steppers recut of the original Yabby You classic. Track 6, Mount Zion Version is the b-side of Patrick Andy's 7" "Living In Mount Zion". Patrick Andy followed his namesake's style, and was another of the young talents first exposed by Yabby. From the original "Vocal & Dub" set comes Heads A Roll Dub, this is a dub of Yabby & the Prophet's "Blood A Go Run Down King Street", a standout track on the vocal set "Deliver Me From My Enemies". Achieving in Dub is the b-side of Junior Brown's 45 " I Must Achieve What Is Mine"; Brown also recorded a handful of sides [for Hit Bound and Ises International] up to the early 1980s. According to Yabby he died shortly after.
No Tarry Yah Version is the dub of Tony Tuff's "Warrior No Tarry Yah" 7", wherein Tony, a founder member of the African Brothers trio alongside Sugar Minott and Derrick Howard, can be heard deejaying over his own vocal cut. Dub It To The Top is the b-side of Michael Prophet's 7", a cover of the Leroy Sibbles song "Heptones Gonna Fight", originally done by that legendary trio at Studio One. Rock With Me Dub is a solid version of Delano Stewart's original song, this had also been revived before by Johnny Clarke for Bunny Lee in 1974. In 1977, Michael recorded it again for Yabby; it was also issued as a 7" 45 with different dub mix to the one here. This cut is taken from the "Vocal & Dub" set, just like the following pieces Turn Me Loose Dub and Conscious Man Dubwhich are two versions of songs from Michael Prophet's "Serious Reasoning" debut.
Mash Down Rome Dub is a version of Michael Prophet's "Love & Unity", and another cut from the original dub LP. Similarly, Michael's vocal can also be found on the "Serious Reasoning" set, whilst Warn Them Jah Dub is a 12" mix of this with full vocal [and differently-mixed dub section] was also issued on Grove Music in the UK; this cut is again from the original "Vocal & Dub" set. Humanity Dub is an excellent version of "Hear I Prayer" [vocal version on "Serious Reasoning"] from the original "Vocal & Dub" set. The last tune on this wicked set is Tribal War Dub which versions the Prophets "No Tribal War" from the 'Vocal & Dub' LP. Trinity did a deejay version of this rhythm, included on his "Shanty Town Determination" set.
Musicians include : Drums: Carlton 'Santa' Davis [Sly Dunbar, tracks 1-3 only], Bass: Clinton Fearon [Robbie Shakespeare, tracks 1-3 only], Rhythm Guitar: Albert Griffiths, Lead Guitar : Earl 'Chinna' Smith, Keyboards: Bernard 'Touter' Harvey, Ansell Collins, Horns: Tommy McCook, Bobby Ellis, Vin Gordon and Percussion: Noel 'Skully' Simms.The set was recorded at Channel One Studio except #18 at Black Ark.
Complete with the well known superior Blood And Fire packaging this release is a must buy for every reggae fan !