Album review
Hugh Mundell
June 2, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Rasta Have The Handle
  2. Tell I A Lie
  3. 24 Hours A day
  4. Red Gold & Green
  5. Going Places
  6. Jah Music
  7. Jacqueline
  8. Your Face Is Familiar
  9. Walk With Jah
  10. Can't Pop No Style
  11. Jacqueline Dub
  12. Rasta Have The Handle Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Hugh Mundell was born in East Kingston, Jamaica, on the 14th July 1962, and shot dead there in 1983 while sitting in a car with a very young Junior Reid. Mundell was extremely young when he recorded his first tune for producer Joe Gibbs, the unreleased "Where Is Natty Dread". However, his recording career really took off when his precocious talent impressed Horace Swaby better known as Augustus Pablo. Mundellís singing style was a hypnotic, chant-like vocalizing with a keen, ready tone-a kind of vocal counterpart to Pabloís Far East Sounds. Augustus Pablo produced the blessed youth's first single release "Africa Must Be Free" in 1975. From then Mundell went on to make other distinguished records for Pablo and maintained the association with him on his own "Muni Music" label until he went to record for Prince Jammy and Henry "Junjo" Lawes. Sundry other recordings were undertaken in his DJ mode as Jah Levi, surfacing mainly on 12-inch releases. The classic roots set "Africa Must Be Free In 1983" was released in 1978 and swiftly established Mundell's name as a new bright roots star. Two years after his debut set (at the age of 18!) he released his second album, "Time & Place", on his own "Muni Music" imprint, which was followed by the "Junjo" Lawes produced "Mundell", the self-produced "Blackman's Foundation" and the posthumous "Arise" album.
As a part of their 'Reggae Classics' series, Greensleeves puts out the original "Mundell" album, but changed the track listing and adds some fine sides of this rootical singer. The album was recorded at Channel One (Kingston, JA) & King Tubbys (Kingston, JA), while the ever present Roots Radics provided the backing. The set was originally issued on vinyl and cassette in 1982, a year before Hugh Mundell was brutally murdered. Listening to these sounds from way back, the listener has to draw the conclusion that the album has lost none of its impact. The youthful, and somewhat innocent sounding Mundell delivers his songs across the hard Roots Radics riddims, carefully mixed by the one and only Scientist. There's one previously unreleased track here -Walk With Jah and the self produced 12 inch Can't Pop No Style, which surfaced in 1981 on Greensleeves, coupled with Junior Reid's "Know Myself". The set also offers two notable dubs : Jacqueline Dub and Rasta Have The Handle Dub, both showing the dubmaster Scientist in fine style.
Get this one!

Teacher & Mr. T.