Dub Salute 7 ~ Praise Jah Dub
Johnny Clarke
Jah Shaka Music
February 9, 2009

Track list
Side One:
  1. Jah Is The Light Dub
  2. Praise Up Jahoviah Dub
  3. African People Dub
  4. Signs Of The Time Dub
  5. I No Want No Guy Dub
Side Two:
  1. Blood Dunza Dub
  2. Love Jah Dub
  3. Jah Creator Dub
  4. Praise Jah Dub
  5. Sinners Repent Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3
The mid-seventies, often referred to as the heydays of Roots Reggae, were a time when Johnny Clarke ruled the roost back home. Actually there was no more popular act than he in Jamaica, where he was nominated best vocalist five times, an indication of the love Jamaicans had for his voice and music. Along with Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, and Big Youth, the very prolific Johnny Clarke held down the '70s Jamaican scene while Bob Marley was busy taking reggae to the world. His collaboration with then leading producer Bunny "Striker" Lee allowed him to work with great musicians such as The Aggrovators, which led to the creation of songs that could both charm and provoke. Bunny Lee's most successful vocalist could be called the first dancehall singer in the modern sense as he was capable of fitting his distinctive tones and fresh lyrics onto the new versions of classic rocksteady riddims Bunny Lee was building with his session musicians.

Johnny Clarke, who left Jamaica and immigrated to London in 1983, is a hero to the Jah Shaka posse for his seventies recordings for Bunny Lee, in particular the roots stuff like for example "African People", "Sinners Repent" "Cold I Up", and "Blood Dunza". So it wasn't a real surprise to see updated versions of these songs appear on the 2006 released "Praise Jah" set, the second album the veteran singer recorded for UK based legendary reggae/dub soundsystem operator and producer Jah Shaka. These old killers, of which "Cold I Up" was renamed "I No Want No Guy Here", alongside new songs including "Praise Up Jahoviah", "Signs Of The Time", "Love Jah", "Jah Creator" and "Praise Jah", were amongst the last recordings worked on at Fashion's A-Class Studio in the early '90s. Apart from Johnny Clarke's great vocal and lyrical delivery this set also benefitted from the riddims laid by brothers Leroy "Mafia" and Dave "Fluxy" Heywood and the engineering of Gussie P.

Almost three years after the release of the vocal set, Jah Shaka has finally released its dub companion featuring Gussie P's masterful dub remixes of the songs that appeared on the "Praise Jah" album. "Praise Up Jahoviah Dub" is driven by a fine reworking of Burning Spear's classic 1970s "Black Disciples" riddim forms, while the vintage-sounding "Signs Of The Time Dub" features a sly nod to "Throw Down Your Arms", another Burning Spear riddim. Other great dub versions included here are "Jah Is The Light Dub", "Sinners Repent Dub", "I No Want No Guy Dub" and the wicked steppers piece "Jah Creator Dub". But also the other tracks have a wicked dub vibe and are truly worth of hearing.

Back in the days King Tubby was the man behind the b-side dub versions that contributed no end to the beauty of any mid-seventies single release by Johnny Clarke. Some three decades later Gussie P on and on proves that he's a real good apprentice of that great dub master.