Various artists album review
Roots Dancehall Party
Silver Kamel Audio
October 18 - 2003

Tracking list

  1. Anthony Johnson - Strictly Rub A Dub & Jah Thomas - Friday Night Jamboree
  2. Johnny Osbourne - Rub A Dub Session & Early B - Just Love And Inity
  3. Phillip Fraser - Dancing Time & Dub - Work Is Over
  4. Barrington Levy - Dancing Mood & Jah Thomas - Two In The Family
  5. Little John - Say What You're Saying & Danny English - Make Some Noise
  6. Anthony Johnson - Every Time I Hear The Music & Early B - The Girl Them Sexy
  7. Triston Palmer - Runaround Woman & Jah Thomas and Ranking Toyan - Black A Fi Mi Beauty
  8. Sugar Minott - Dancehall We Deh & Early B - Sunday Dish
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

After having released many notable productions in the early eighties the U.K. based "Silver Camel" label stopped its activities in 1983. With the long-awaited cd release of Billy Boyo's "Zim Zim" the now U.S.A. based record label recently re-emerged on the reggae market as Silver Kamel Audio (SKA).
The label's current releases are the compilation sets "Roots Rasta Party" and "Roots Dancehall Party". The latter contains outstanding songs, all in showcase style (vocal version followed by deejay or dub version) produced by Jah Thomas (Nkrumah Manley Thomas). In the mid 70's it was 'GG' who first recorded Thomas. Influenced by Errol Holt, they put Thomas in the studio and recorded "Midnight Rock" produced by 'GG' and released in 1977. The follow-up single was a tune called "The Girl Them Love Me" produced by Joe Gibbs. In fact Gibbs, along with Channel One, were the first people Thomas contacted when he decided to become a singer. But the producers concluded that it was Thomas' ability to "fast talk" that was his real talent. Thus he became, for a period, "the hottest toaster" in Jamaica. To date Thomas as a singer has worked with all of Jamaica's top producers. He recorded with the legendary Sonia Pottinger, the first woman producer on the male predominated scene. Their collaboration brought Jah Thomas his third hit single, titled "Tell Me The Truth". Other hit singles followed, "Come Nurse" and "Shopkeeper", both produced by Joe Gibbs. In 1979 Thomas decided to go solo. His self produced single "Cricket Lovely Cricket" was a smash! The success of the record was such that it reached the "bubbling under" position of the UK national charts! Back in Jamaica an album produced by Junjo Lawes entitled "Dance Pon The Corner" was released. This album was for local release only and in the UK on import only. Other hits followed with "Shine Eye Girl" - Barrington Levy. and "Heard It On The News". 1980 saw the release of the first dub lp "Black Ash Dub" on Trojan. Jah Thomas was a predominant name on that album. Also in that year Jah Thomas and Silver Camel joined forces, "Dancehall Stylee" (SCLP 005) was the first production. The album attained the coveted Number One position on the reggae LP charts! And as a measure of it's success, the album is still very much in demand. Jah Thomas has produced numerous artists such as Ranking Toyan, Barrington Levy, Anthony Johnson, Triston Palmer, Little John, Early B, Barry Brown and Jnr Keating to name but a few.
"Roots Dancehall Party" offers eight tracks inna showcase style, kicking off with Anthony Johnson riding the "Heavenless" riddim in a song called Strictly Rub A Dub, followed by the immensely popular deejay version of Jah Thomas. Triston Palmer hit the charts with his version pon the riddim called "Entertainment". Triston is present here with the track Runaround Woman, which happens to be a splendid version of the "Shank I Shek" riddim. Jah Thomas and Ranking Toyan lay down a blistering deejay version! Johnny Osbourne was at his best at Studio One, but several productions with other producers have stood the test of time very well, just check out the uptempo tune Rub A Dub Session and the deejay counterpart by 'The Doctor' Early B. Phillip Fraser is best known for his rootical outings, but here he puts out a fine dancehall tune, celebrating "dancing time", followed by a nice instrumental version of the tune. The 'Mellow Canary' Barrington Levy was at his best in the early 80's. Here he offers a splendid song called Dancing Mood with Jah Thomas taking care of the deejay version. Little John brings the hit tune Say What You're Saying on the "Pain" riddim. Here the (2003 ?) deejay version comes from Danny English. Anthony Johnson returns with the skanking tune Every Time I Hear The Music accompanied by Early B. with The Girl Them Sexy. The disc closes with the dancehall don Lincoln 'Granulated' Sugar Minott. One of his best known tunes of that period was Dancehall We Deh and Early B shines once again in the deejay version called Sunday Dish.
What more can we say.... Essential!

Click on the image and listen to the album mix of "Roots Dancehall Party"!

Click..and listen !

Check out Silver Kamel Audio's website for more info : WWW.SILVERKAMEL.COM.

Teacher & Mr. T.