Rub-A-Dub Soldiers
March 18, 2007

Track list
  1. Toyan - Posse Ready
  2. Captain Sinbad - Eyes Of The Tiger
  3. Lui Lepkie - Positive Conversation
  4. Ranking Joe - Sheperd's Bush
  5. Little John & Billi Boyo - Bushman Connection
  6. Lee Van Cliff - Water Gone
  7. Brigadier Jerry - Roots Man Skank
  8. Nicodemus - Five A Dem Trax
  9. Yellowman & Fathead - Operation Eradication
  10. Lui Lepkie - Walter Rodney
  11. Nicodemus - Bone Connection
  12. Trinity - Safe Sail
  13. Ranking Joe - River Jordan
  14. Toyan - Hot Reggae Music
  15. Nicodemus - Nicko Dread
  16. U Brown - Strictly Reggae Music
  17. Brigadier Jerry - Fight For Your Rights
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 4
Rub-A-Dub was adopted in Jamaican music as the name for the early D.J. 'chatting' or 'toasting', which later became known as Dancehall. It primarily refers to roots music mixed in a dub style, over which the D.J. talks or sings. It appeared at the junction of the 70's and 80's. The style was characterized by a powerful, round, low and deep bass, as well as a very simple drumming with the bass drum and the snare drum alternating on the first beat of each bar. According to artist/producer Linval Thompson -- all tracks were licensed from him -- Rub-A-Dub is just a highly swinging dub (drum and bass), particularly well suited for dancing.

The album offers 17 examples of Rub-A-Dub, all of them recorded between 1980 and 1983 at Channel One with riddims provided by then leading backing band Roots Radics and Henry 'Junjo' Lawes, Linval Thompson, Ilawi and Toyan being the producers in charge.

The collection kicks off with Toyan, chatting across a Treasure Isle riddim ('Everybody Bawling') by The Melodians. He also delivers Hot Reggae Music. Toyan began deejaying with sounds like Socialist Roots and Romantic. His first record was for Don Mais' Roots Tradition label. Working with Henry 'Junjo' Lawes in the early 1980s he recorded the very successful LP "How The West Was Won" in 1981.

Next there's Captain Sinbad with one of the top tunes here Eyes Of the Tiger, the riddim made popular by Johnny Osbourne as 'No Lollipop No Sweet So'. Captain Sinbad, real name Carl Dywer, was first heard on the Sounds Of Silence HiFi. By the late seventies he was recording for Youth Promotion. "51 Storm" with Little John, was an early hit followed by his debut LP "The Seven Voyages Of..." produced by Henry 'Junjo' Lawes.

Lui Lepki made his first record for Joe Gibbs called "Can't Take Me Landlord" and went on to record the very popular "Late Night Movie" for the same producer. More success came with Channel One for whom he cut the "Willie Red" LP in 1982. Lepki was killed in 1988. Here he brings the uptempo tune Positive Conversation and the roots tune Walter Rodney.

If you like real heavy sounds and a wicked intro listen to Ranking Joe as he tells about natty steppin inna Sheperd's Bush a wicked and explosive tune! He's also responsable for another top tune here, River Jordan, the DJ cut to Barrington Levy's 1979 hit 'Cross River Jordan'. Ranking Joe, born Joe Jackson, started out with El Paso sound system, but became very popular on U Roy's Stereograph sound. In 1980 he had two big hits with "Drunken Master" and "Leave Fi Mi Gal Arleen" for Joe Gibbs, with whom he also cut the "Natty Superstar" LP.

Lee Van Cliff, born Devon Perkins, was a popular DJ of the early eighties working with all the big sets of the time like Gemini and Virgo. "Rock It To Me Twice" produced by Scientist and released in 1982 was his debut album. He was killed in 1988. Here you can check him out in a brutal Linval Thompson production called Water Gone.

The late deejay Nicodemus (1957-1996) started his career at the mic in 1976 after hearing Ranking Trevor. Thanks to the blossoming dancehall era in the eighties, Nicodemus established himself a name and became a relevant part in the story of Jamaican music. His deejay style inspired many young and upcoming dancehall artists, including those who used his namesake for their stage names like Grandson Demus and Junior Demus. This collection comprises two tunes by this legendary deejay : Five Dem A Trax, Nicko Dread and one of his biggest hits Bone(man) Connection.

Probably the most famous deejay on this is album ,Yellowman, real name Winston Foster, won the Tastee Talent Contest in 1979, and then worked with Aces Disco. By 1980/81 he had at least 10 albums released with various producers. His best work can be heard on the Junjo produced "Mister Yellowman" LP. In the eighties he was signed by a major record company. Together with his sidekick Fathead he excels on the immensely popular Operation Eradication.

The deejay Trinity - born 1954, Kingston JA, real name Wade Everal Brammer - started his recording career in the mid-seventies when his friend Dillinger took him to the Channel One Studio where he recorded the immediate successful "Step Up Yourself." During the second half of the seventies he established himself as one of the best cultural deejays and his immense popularity even increased further with the release of the Joe Gibbs produced single "Three Piece Suit". Here he licks Freddie McGregor's monster hit 'Big Ship' and renames it Safe Sail.

'Rub-A-Dub Soldiers' is a boss selection of early 80's deejay tunes.

Some of the artists bio's are taken from Ray Hurford's Small Axe site.