Bunny 'Striker' Lee & Friends ~ Next Cut!
Pressure Sounds
CD / 2LP / Digital Release
July 13, 2015

Track list
  1. Johnny Clarke - Down In A Babylon aka Live Up Jah Man (Unreleased Alternate Cut)
  2. Barrington Spence - Blood Of Babylon (Unreleased Dubplate Mix)
  3. The Aggrovators - Blood Of Babylon Dub (Unreleased Dubplate Mix)
  4. Vin Gordon & The Aggrovators - Enforcement
  5. Tommy McCook - Death Trap (Steppers Cut)
  6. Linval Thompson - Big Big Girl aka Natty Dread Girl (Previously Unreleased Mix)
  7. Linval Thompson - Ethiopian Girl (Previously Unreleased Mix)
  8. Johnny Clarke & Unknown DJ - Blood Dunza (Unreleased Dubplate Mix)
  9. Barry Biggs & Tommy McCook - Tapetone Special (Unreleased Dubplate)
  10. The Aggrovators - A Friend Indeed Dub
  11. Prince Jammy - Crucial Dub
  12. Vin Gordon & The Aggrovators - Split Second
  13. Wayne Jarrett - Satta Dread (Unreleased Alternate Cut)
  14. Scientist - Satta Dread Dub
  15. Cornell Campbell - The Gorgon (Steppers Cut) (Unreleased Mix)
  16. Linval Thompson - Supernatural Love (Previously Unreleased)
  17. Johnny Clarke - It's A Disgrace (Unreleased Dubplate Mix)
  18. The Aggrovators - It's A Disgrace Dub (Unreleased Dubplate Mix)
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 4-
Very Good -Votes: 8-
Good -Votes: 1-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 13
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 5
So much music produced by Edward O'Sullivan Lee aka Bunny 'Striker' Lee has been released on the man's own record labels, which included Jackpot, Lickpot, Attack, and Justice, and reissue labels such as Pressure Sounds, Blood & Fire, Makasound, Jamaican Recordings and Kingston Sounds, that it's hard to believe that he still has a mighty treasure trove of material stored in the musical vault of his Duhaney Park studio in Kingston, Jamaica, that needs to be unleashed. But he definitely has as is once again shown by Pressure Sounds' latest release called "Bunny 'Striker' Lee & Friends ~ Next Cut!", a compilation set featuring dubplates, rare sides and unreleased cuts from the 1970s. In this decade Bunny 'Striker' Lee was the most successful reggae producer, despite competition from more celebrated names such as Lee 'Scratch' Perry or Coxsone Dodd.

The first track of this compilation, "Down In A Babylon aka Live Up Jah Man", comes from Johnny Clarke, Bunny Lee's favourite and most succcessful singer. Under the watchful guidance of the producer Johnny Clarke rapidly became one of the hottest young singers in the mid-1970s and had a string of local hits beginning with "None Shall Escape The Judgement" and "Move Out Of Babylon", all of them having the "flying cymbals" sound developed by drummer Carlton 'Santa' Davis. The solid "Down In A Babylon aka Live Up Jah Man" has a different drum pattern and lyrics to the circa 1976 released 7" single, which was included on Johnny Clarke's "Dreader Dread (1976-1978)" - released by Blood & Fire in 1998. Also included here is an awesome King Tubby's mix of roots favorite "Blood Dunza", a plea for equal rights and justice instead of mankind chasing money and vanity (in the '70s dunza was popular Jamaican patois for money). On this UK dubplate a test tone and deejay interjections, possibly done by U Brown, are dubbed over the Jamaican mix. The third Johnny Clarke track on this compilation, "It's A Disgrace", comes across a heavy roots riddim which was also used for Al Campbell's "Know Yourself", Noel Phillips "Slavery Days" and Clint Eastwood's "Rock Miss Lue". This great tune is followed by the King Tubby mixed dubplate killer "It's A Disgrace Dub", which is heavier, sparser and more effects-laden than the released mix.

Bunny Lee's other major singing star of the mid-1970s was Cornell Campbell. Although having started in the early 1960s making records in the ska vein for Coxsone Dodd, the singer with the highly distinctive falsetto made his greatest impact on the the Jamaican dance halls in 1975, promoting himself on the "Gorgon" series of records., and adapting the fashionable 'dread' lyrics with songs such as "Dread In A Greenwich Town" and "Dance In A Greenwich Farm". Of all the tunes he recorded for Bunny Lee, only his signature tune "Gorgon" is included here. Another well represented artist on this disc is Linval Thompson. Two cuts on the wicked "Death Trap" riddim are included here with "Big Big Girl aka Natty Dread Girl" - a different version from the tune that was released as 7" single on the Hot Stuff label in 1975 - running into "Ethiopian Girl", along with all the studio chatter and false starts. The second version has the same bass and guitar lines, but a different drum pattern and lyrics. There's also a third track by Linval Thompson called "Supernatural Love", which is a decent effort.

Further vocal cuts include Barrington Spence's "Blood Of Babylon", Wayne Jarrett's "Satta Dread" and Barry Biggs & Tommy McCook's Tapetone Special", s special recorded for the Tapetone sound system, which was built and later run by Prince Jammy. All in all three tracks worth hearing. Besides the vocal cuts, this collection also includes instrumentals and dubs. The thunderous "Crucial Dub" and "Satta Dread Dub" showcase the mixing skills of Prince Jammy and Scientist, while "A Friend Indeed Dub" was probably mixed by Professor, Scientist's successor at King Tubby's. Trombone player Vin Gordon (also known as Don Drummond Jr) fully shines on "Enforcement" and the killer "Split Second", which sounds stylistically close to his playing on Aswad's "Warrior Charge". And then there's also Tommy McCook's majestic "Death Trap (Steppers Cut)". "Death Trap" was originally released by Vivian Jackson aka Yabby You, but here you're offered the Prince Jammy mixed version on which Carlton 'Santa' Davis overdubbed a 'steppers' drum pattern on the original backing track.

Perhaps this isn't a totally thrilling compilation set for those who are very familiar with Bunny 'Striker' Lee productions, but it's definitely a worthwhile addition to any reggae collection. It once again shows that the man's contributions to reggae are incalculable.