Strong Like Sampson ~ Linval Thompson Presents The 12" Mixes
Hot Milk
August 14, 2015

Track list
Disc 1
  1. Linval Thompson - Mr Big Shot
  2. Freddie McKay - Sometime I Cry
  3. Anthony Johnson - Africa
  4. Jah Thomas - Stereograph Style
  5. Sammy Dread - Rainy Days
  6. Linval Thompson - Curfew
  7. Papa Tullo - Morning Curfew (M.16)
  8. Barrington Levy - Wicked Intention
  9. Sammy Dread & Papa Tullo - Morning Love
Disc 2
  1. Linval Thompson - Mr Boss Man
  2. Ranking Trevor - Stop Pushing Me Around
  3. Freddie McKay - Gonna Be Sorry
  4. Barry Brown - Natty Dread Nah Run
  5. Rod Taylor - Promised Land
  6. Barrington Levy - She Rob And Gorn
  7. Papa Tullo - Cat Call Francella
  8. Sammy Dread & Papa Tullo - I'm A Dread Locks
  9. Linval Thompson - Mr Collie Man
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Since early 2015, fans of classic reggae recordings and in particular of extended mixes that back in the day were put out on vinyl 12"'s, have been served well with worthwhile dbl cd collections like "Island Records Presents Reggae Discomixes (1976 to 1983)" and "Front Line Presents Reggae Discomixes (1977-1981)". Besides these two budget-priced releases there's also the excellent dbl cd "Strong Like Sampson ~ Linval Thompson Presents The 12" Mixes", which has been put out by UK based reissue label Hot Milk.

Prior to his first great hit and essential roots classic, the 1975 recorded "Don't Cut Off Your Dreadlocks" for producer Bunny 'Striker' Lee, Linval Thompson had been recording in the US for producer E.W. Martin, before he returned to live in Jamaica where he recorded for people like Phill Pratt, Lee 'Sratch'Perry and Augustus Pablo. Encouraged by Bunny Lee, he recorded and produced U Brown's "Train To Zion". The success of his 1978 released second album "I Love Marijuana" enabled him to do more and more recording sessions with established performers as well as relatively unknown artists, whose tunes were released on his own Thompson Sound imprint. In fact Linval Thompson arguably proved a more interesting producer than singer. After having worked with The Revolutionaries for his productions at the end of the rockers era, the early dancehall period saw him working with the Roots Radics at Channel One, while the innovative young engineer Hopeton 'Overton' Brown aka Scientist did the final mixes at King Tubby's studio.

During the period 1979-1980 Linval Thompson released some of his strongest and hardest hitting productions on his very own Strong Like Sampson label. A short but crucial run as the label had no more than a couple of dozen 12" single releases. Presented here and reissued for the first time on cd are all the tracks that were featured on both sides of the original 12" discomixes. However that doesn't apply to Barry Brown's "Natty Dread Nah Run" and Sammy Dread's "Morning Love", whose flipsides for whatsoever reason aren't included here. Some of the tunes have extended dub versions, while others have deejay cuts. In both cases it's a delight to listen to these tracks as they are full of heavy dread echoes and energy. Besides that they are driven by a heavyweight bass, which is mixed forward.

It's Linval Thompson himself who kicks off disc 1 with the decent "Mr Big Shot" and rounds off disc 2 with the solid "Mr Collie Man", both coming from the 1980 released original double A-side 12" single. In between the listener is treated to quite a few great tracks including killers such as Freddie McKay's lovers piece "Sometime I Cry", Barrington Levy's "Wicked Intention" and "She Rob And Gorn", Rod Taylor's "Promised Land", Barry Brown's ferocious "Natty Dread Nah Run", Sammy Dread & Papa Tullo's "I'm A Dread Locks" and Linval Thompson's "Curfew".

The collection's high consistency and the fact that no fillers are included here, makes this dbl cd an essential purchase.