Various artists album review
Can't Stop Us Now ~ Linval Thompson Productions
Easy Star Records
26 - 07 - 2002
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 4/5||Sleeve : 5|
The New York based label Easy Star Records put out its first disc "Easy Star Volume 1" in 1998 and that release marked the beginning of a string of noteworthy releases of quality reggae/dancehall music. |
The company's latest releases shines on the works of one of reggae's most eminent producers, Linval Thompson. From the second half of the 70s through the early 80s, Linval Thomspon was extremely active, both as an artist and producer.
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". '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 are 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.
Easy Star has put together a precious collection of gems from Linval's catalogue. most of which have been previously unreleased on cd. The mighty Viceroys open with the majestic Can't Stop Us Now, which was featured on their 'We Must Unite' set, which we regard as their best album ever. Next comes Freddie McGregor, the artist who scored enormously with the Linval Thompson produced 'Big Ship' album. Here he's present with Jah Help The People inna extended mix. Junior Reid delivers a noteworthy effort with Mr. Big Man. Barrington Levy is featured three times here. Jah Help Us is a fine rootical tune, Sensimilla is a well known ganja anthem from his 'Poor Man Style' album and on Bad Boys he teams up with Linval himself for a topnotch song! Johnny Osbourne delivers Nightfall inna extended mix. This tune comes from his 'Nightfall' (aka 'In Nah Disco Style') album. This tune resembles the epic Wailing Souls tune You Can Stay, which is also known as 'Who No Waan Come'. Eek A Mouse cut some fine albums (Skidip & The Mouse And The Man) for Linval, and here he performs the enjoyable tune Sensi Party. Across the same riddim enters Sugar Minott with Move Up aka 'Dress Up'. Further tracks which can be termed anything more than "interesting" are Poor & Humble by Wayne Wade and Barry Brown's extended mix of Love Is What The World Want.
"Can't Stop Us Now" is a well structured 20 track collection which runs through the best outings of Linval's career as a producer.