Album review
King Tubby's Rockers
The Roots Radics Band
Trojan Records

Tracking list

  1. King Tubby's Rockers
  2. Time Is Cold
  3. Patrolling
  4. Love And Understanding
  5. Jah Jah Give Us Love
  6. Lovers Mood
  7. Caring For My Sister
  8. Learning
  9. A Friend In Need
  10. Come On Baby (Dub Style)
  11. No Follow Fashion
  12. Praising Version
  13. Violence And Crime
  14. Babylon Don't Touch My Sensi
  15. Informer Dub
  16. Babylon Wrong
  17. Second Hand Girl
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : - Backing : 5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 4

The Roots Radics Band was formed in 1978 when bass player Flabba Holt joined forces with the now late guitarist Bingy Bunny. Since then, they have been joined by such excellent musicians like Dwight Pickney, Steely 'Wycliffe' Johnson, Lincoln 'Style' Scott, Gladstone 'Gladdy' Anderson, Christopher 'Sky Juice' Burt and Noel 'Scully' Simms. Other musicians filled in when needed. Some of these included Noel 'Sowell' Bailey, Eric 'Fish' Clarke and Carlton 'Santa' Davis. When a horn section was required, David Madden, Headly Bennett and Dean Fraser were brought in. As a combined force the Roots Radics became the most respected studio and stage band, which dominated the sound in the first half of the eighties. They supported artists like Bunny Wailer, Gregory Isaacs and Israel Vibration and have several albums to their name as well.
Somewhere late in 1979 the band laid down the riddims for Barrington Levy's first tunes for producer Junjo Lawes, credited at the time as the Channel One Stars. No one could envisage the importance of these sessions, but with hindsight we can point back to them as the inception of Jamaican dancehall music. After this the band was constantly in demand for session work. Dwight Pickney remembers playing on an astounding 34 tracks, in one straight session for producer Junjo Lawes.
The sound the Roots Radics created was much sparser than that achieved by the Revolutionaries, allowing more scope for a variety of one off mixes and flip side dubs.
This album concentrates on their more inaccessible work, recorded between 1979 to 1984. Seven tracks on this set were released on 12' singles, none of which have appeared on LP/CD before. These Linval Thompson produced sides include the opening track, King Tubby's Rockers, a 5 minute killer dub for Barry Brown's 'Mr. C.I.D.'. His tune 'Living As A Brother', here retitled Caring For My Sister is equally brilliant. One of the standout tracks is the dub for Pat Kelly's masterpiece 'There's Song', entitled Lovers Mood. Triston Palma's Time Is Cold and Delroy Wilson's Second Hand Girl are two more Linval Thompson produced dub workouts, whose own 'Here With Me' is included as Come On Baby (Dub Style)
Underrated vocalist Earl Cunningham contributes two tunes, Learning and Crime And Violence, both produced by Earl Morgan, one of the founding members of the Heptones. He also produced Earl Sixteen's Praising Version. Leroy Smart offers Patrolling and Scientist produced cuts to Neville Brown's Babylon No Touch My Sensi, No Follow Fashion and A Friend In Need. The set also contains three dub workouts of Cornell Campbell tracks -produced by Roy Cousins-, Informer, I'm A Man and Jah Jah Give Us Love.
All the riddim tracks were recorded at Channel One, and the majority were then mixed at King Tubby's by Hopeton Brown, better known as Scientist.
A highly recommended dub album !

Also check out the other two Trojan albums exploring late 70s, early 80s dancehall style, featuring some some tracks featured here, in their vocal form :

"Dancehall Stylee"
"Let's Go To The Blues"

Teacher & Mr. T.