World In Trouble
Ranking Joe
M Records
July 15, 2005

Track list
  1. Seek Ye First
  2. Poor Man Struggle featuring Michael Rose
  3. Control Your Temper
  4. World In Trouble
  5. Wake The Nation
  6. Don't Follow Babylon featuring Michael Rose
  7. Nowhere To Hide
  8. Don't Try To Use Me
  9. Don't Try To Use Me (Version)
  10. World In Trouble (Vibronics Skaboom Remix)
  11. Don't Follow Babylon (Blood & Fire Meets Waiwan Remix)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 3/4 Production : 3/4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
Following the release of Michael Rose's "African Roots", here's another Ryan Moore production, now with veteran deejay Ranking Joe, whose career as a live sound system deejay was revived recently by Steve Barrow's Blood & Fire Sound System. As with so many of his Jamaican counterparts Ranking Joe (real name Joe Jackson) began recording with Coxsone Dodd at Studio One. His first session resulted in "Gun Court", which saw him toasting over the Heptones' "Love Me Girl", but this did not make an impression on the charts. It was with his next recording, the highly infectious "750", that he enjoyed a major breakthrough . The hit resulted in many recordings for a number of producers, notably "Don't Give Up", "Psalm 54", "Natty Don't Make War", "Tradition", and a tribute to the bionic man, "Steve Austin". He also drew notable attention in Jamaica's sound system circuit as resident DJ for U-Roy's King Sturgav, alongside Jah Screw, before it was destroyed in the violent election campaign of 1980. Later in the same year, he became the resident DJ with the Jamaican sound system Ray Symbolic Hi Fi, with whom he toured the UK, giving British audiences their first taste of a real "yard" sound. By 1982 he had become an international figure with the release of the albums "Weakheart Fadeaway" and "Saturday Night Jamdown Style". After years of absence Mad Professor of Ariwa Sounds re-fueled Ranking Joe's recording career with the 1996 released "Fast Forward To Africa". Since then Ranking Joe has recorded several songs for producers in and outside Jamaica which appeared on 7" singles or compilation albums, but it lasted until now before he came up with another full length album containing brand new material. "World In Trouble" finds him in the company of top musicians like Skully Simms, Earl "Chinna" Smith, Norman Grant, Style Scott, Bobby Ellis, Vin Gordon and Dean Fraser. The album starts very strong with the excellent full sounding "Seek Ye First", a tune that benefits from Dean Fraser's horn arrangements. It's followed by the worthy combination tune "Poor Man Struggle", which features the distinctive voice of Michael Rose. The latter is also present on the former 10inch "Don't Follow Babylon", a fine combination track but lyrically or musically not that exciting. Former 7" single and title track "World In Trouble" is performed over a chugging riddim and is worth of hearing. Next drops the heaving Joe-less effects saturated dub "Wake The Nation", a real treat for the dub fan who enjoys a thick, dark, and heavy dub outing. "Nowhere To Hide" brings back to mind the roots heyday of the late '70s and the great production work done at Channel One. "Don't Try To Use Me" and its version fail to make a serious impression and thus aren't the strongest tracks featured on this album. Two bonus tracks are included with especially Steve Vibronics' 'Skaboom' Remix being a worthwhile addition.