Various artists album review
Rockers From Channel One
Linval Thompson & Friends
Trojan Records
13 - 05 - 2001

Tracking list

  1. Linval Thompson - Dreader Than Dread
  2. Ranking Dread - Natty On The Rock
  3. Revolutionaries - African Love Dub
  4. Linval Thompson - I Love Marijuana
  5. Ranking Dread - Marijuana In My Soul
  6. Big Joe - Smoke Marijuana
  7. Linval Thompson - Africa Is For Blackman
  8. Ranking Dread - Africa
  9. Linval Thompson - I Love Jah
  10. Revolutionaries - Wicked Dub
  11. Dawn & Christine - Holy Mount Zion
  12. Revolutionaries - Shockin'Rock
  13. Linval Thompson - Never Push Your Brother
  14. Trinity - Freedom Style
  15. Revolutionaries - Roots Man Dub
  16. Linval Thompson - Love Is The Question
  17. Big Joe - Love Can Conquer
  18. Ranking Dread - Poor Man
  19. Linval Thompson - Stop Loving
  20. Trinity - Easy Does It
  21. Linval Thompson - Lion And Tiger
  22. Revolutionaries - Seventy Nine Rock
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Trojan Records' compilation set entitled "Linval Thompson & Friends ~ Rockers At Channel One" incorporates the term 'rockers', which actually refers to a militant style of riddim developed in the seventies, mostly based on the updating of old rocksteady classics, and associated with, first, Augustus Pablo and then the drummer Sly Dunbar and the crack Channel One session band The Revolutionaries. This excellent vintage set features 22 prime examples of Linval Thompson produced tunes delivered over rocker's style riddims laid by the Revolutionaries at Channel One and mixed at King Tubby's between 1978 and 1979.
This compilers of this set have taken eight Linval Thompson tunes as a starting point and then added one or more answer versions or dub versions. The recut of Linval Thompson's classic "Jah Jah Dreader Than Dread" (originally recorded for producer Phil Pratt) is a strong album opener, which is followed by a solid deejay version from Ranking Dread. The latter recorded a full length album entitled "Girls Fiesta" with Linval Thompson, which was released on the UK-based "Burning Sounds" label in 1978. "Africa Love Dub" is the wicked dub version with a heavy bass line and vocals flowing in and out of the mix. The heavy bass line is also present in the herb anthem "I Love Marijuana", the excellent title track of Linval Thompson's second album and also 7" single both enormously successful in 1978. Ranking Dread's "Marijuana In My Soul" keeps up the vibes and the deejay truly delivers a killer cut. Also then twenty four year old upcoming deejay Big Joe comes up with a noteworthy effort. Both pieces are delivered over a wicked, echo-laden mix of the riddim. The cultural piece "Africa Is For Blackman" happens to be another great Linval Thompson tune and it's again Ranking Dread who takes over for the deejay piece. "I Love Jah" can be regarded as another enjoyable tune by Linval Thompson which is followed by the dub outing. Tracks 11 up to 15 utilize the same riddim and includes great versions by the unknown combination Dawn & Christine ("Holy Mount Zion"), Revolutionaries ("Shockin' Rock") and Linval Thompson himself. More niceness from the artist/producer is heard when "Love Is The Question" is blowing out of the speakers with once again Big Joe and Ranking Dread fighting for the best deejay version, finally won by the latter. With "Stop loving" Linval Thompson proves that he's also capable of delivering a solid lovers tune. Trinity's "Easy Does It" is a nice piece over the very same riddim, which is once again utilized for the excellent cultural piece "Lion And Tiger" by Linval Thompson. The dub version "Seventy Nine Rock" by the Revolutionaries rounds off in fine style.
Most of the cuts selected here are of the highest premium, thus making this a fairly impressive collection of great tunes from producer/singer/songwriter Linval Thompson. "Rockers From Channel One" is a superb compilation set delivering you some of the best from "Linval Thompson Sounds"!

Teacher & Mr. T.