Album review
Rocking Vibration
Linval Thompson
Maka Sound
July 4, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Never Push Your Brother
  2. Freedom Fighters
  3. Rocking Vibration
  4. More Power
  5. I Got To Have You
  6. No Confusion
  7. Black Woman
  8. Rasta Children
  9. Dangerous Position
  10. No More Problems
  11. Jah Jah A Do It
  12. Super Star
  13. Just Another Girl
  14. Mr Bossmann
  15. Don't Push Me Around featuring Ranking Trevor
  16. Give Thanks And Praises
  17. Natty Pressure Them
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Linval Thompson cut his first side in New York, but when he returned to Jamaica in 1974 he soon started recording for ace producer Bunny Lee, scoring immediately with 'Don't Cut Off Your Dreadlocks'. Bunny Lee was enjoying considerable success with both Johnny Clarke and Cornell Campbell scoring regularly at this time; Linval soon added his name to the trio of hitmakers when he recorded such classic seventies flying steppers tunes as 'Jah Jah The Conqueror', 'Cool Down Your Temper', 'Ride On Dreadlocks' and 'A Big Big Girl', the latter being a vocal on Yabby You's "Death Trap" riddim. Linval was strongly influenced by artists such as Johnny Clarke, Horace Andy and Dennis Brown.
In 1976 Bunny Lee issued a Linval Thompson album called "Don't Cut Off Your Dreadlocks" on the Third World label. That same year Linval took up producing himself. He combined very effectively on the 12" single 'Train To Zion' with deejay U Brown. U Brown also voiced on the same Revolutionaries cut of 'Real Rock' as Linval utilised for his song 'Can't Stop Natty Dread Again'. In 1977 he and the late Henry 'Junjo' Lawes produced the haunting 'Jah Jah Guiding Star'. The next year saw the release of the 10 track LP "Rocking Vibration" on the Burning Sounds imprint, produced by Linval and Lord Koos. Henry 'Junjo' Lawes became the major Jamaican producer of the early 1980s, but Linval Thompson wasn't that far behind. He cut excellent music with a host of artists right up to the mid-1980s, including Freddie McGregor, Johnny Osbourne, Barry Brown, Rod Taylor, Barrington Levy, Eek A Mouse, The Meditations and The Viceroys. Many of these productions were recently available as repressed 7" singles. He has a huge cache of unreleased product from the 1980s, and today his main focus, alongside a real estate business he runs from Stoney Hill, Jamaica, is the reissue of this extensive catalogue.
The French label Makasound describes its activities as follows : "Maka" is a Jamaican Creole for thorny and prickly. Makasound is a label which intends to issue and reissue roots reggae albums that are thorny, prickly, sharp, in short, real crackers ! Whether or not they have already been produced, Makasound will release them for you ... In the main, original albums once lost in the labyrinthine den of Jamaican music.
Well, this is excactly what happens right here. They have taken the original 1978 album and added some 7 sides for your musical pleasure. These sides are : Freedom Fighters - Jah Jah A Do It - Just Another Girl - Mr. Bossman - Don't Push Me Around - Give Thanks And Praises - Natty Pressure Them. Most stuff was dubbed from disc. The tune Don't Push Me Around is an excellent deejay cut to Mr. Bossman by Ranking Trevor, definitely worthwhile checking out, just like Linval's extended vocal cut of the song. The closing song Natty Pressure Them is a Lee Perry produced piece.
All tracks were recorded between 1975 and 1979 at Channel One, Black Ark and King Tubby's. Engineers : Scientist, Lee Perry, King Tubby, Brad Osborne and Douglas Levy. Musicians include Robbie Shakespear, Lloyd Parks, Aston "Familyman" Barret, Sly Dunbar, Carlton "Santa" Davis, Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, Earl "Chinna" Smith, Tony Chin, Ossie, Ansel Collins and Skully.
Seriously good stuff!

Teacher & Mr. T.