Various artists album review
Head Shot
19 - 01 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Soul Syndicate - Zimbabwe (Extended Mix)
  2. The Observers - Come Dub
  3. Dillinger - Nebuchadnezze
  4. The Observers - Head Shot
  5. The Observers - Last Call Version
  6. Tommy McCook & The Observers - One Train Load of Collie
  7. The Observers - Organ Satta
  8. Bobby Ellis, Scully & The Soul Syndicate - Doreth
  9. Niney and the Observers - Can’t Enter Zion With Your Big Checkbook
  10. The Observers - Chapter Ten
  11. Bongo Herman and Faye Bennett - Nosey Joe Version
  12. Bottlehead - Bottlehead In Fine Style
  13. The Observers - Clean Heart Rasta
  14. Tommy McCook & The Observers - Zorro
  15. The Observers - Boiling Over
  16. The Observers - Beardsman Shuffle
  17. The Observers - Steam Pipe
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

The compilation set "Head Shot" takes a ride through the vaults of the legendary Observer label and the 1970s productions of Winston “Niney” Holness. Niney The Observer (called Niney when he lost a thumb in a workshop accident) has been a singer, producer, engineer, dj, fixer, arranger, manager and virtually everything else in reggae. He was born Winston Holness in Montego Bay, Jamaica in 1951. He regularly supervised recording sessions at Dynamic, Randy's, Channel One and Joe Gibbs studios, beside working with producers Coxsone Dodd and Bunny Lee. He launched his own "Observer" label in 1970. The single 'Blood And Fire' (versioned here asChapter Ten) was his first major breakthrough issued on his Observer label. The single sold over 30,000 copies on the island alone and was later named 'Jamaican record of the Year' for 1971. Niney's productions of that time are charcterised by their sparse simplicity and heaviness, often cultural/political in sentiment, and frequently espousing Rasta themes.
This collection features a selection of mind blowing dubs, powerful horn instrumentals, and some of the strangest, yet roughest, reggae songs ever recorded in Jamaica during the period 1970-1978. Niney is rivaled only by the great Lee “Scratch” Perry in the quality and magnitude of the records that topped the Jamaican charts and made Niney’s talent roster like Dennis Brown and Michael Rose household names in Jamaica. Inside are versions of top Niney productions like 'Here I Come' (Come Dub), 'Westbound Train' (One Train Load Of Collie) and 'Wolf And Leopard' (Nosey Joe Version). Clean Heart Rasta is a version across the vocal track 'Rasta No Pickpocket'. The deejay Dillinger is present here with an excellent deejay cut - Nebuchadnezze - to Junior Byles' tune 'King Of Babylon'. Nearly all takes on this album have been unavailable on CD before now, and many were previously unreleased in any form.
Good stuff from the golden age of reggae music !

Teacher & Mr. T.