Saturday Night Jamdown Style
March 5, 2013
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Born 1st July 1959, Joseph 'Ranking Joe' Jackson grew up in the Waltham Park Road area of Kingston, Jamaica, where his father ran a small local sound system and, from an early age, Joe would practise deejaying on his father's set. A singer named Carl Dryden was a good friend of Joe's and encouraged Joe at the start of his career. Joe went on to work on a number of local sets including El Paso Hi Fi alongside Dennis Alcapone and Lizzie. Fellow deejay Joseph Spaulding had already made a name for himself as Big Joe and so Joe Jackson was originally known as Little Joe. This has led to a certain amount of confusion over the years.
His recording debut came in 1974 for Coxsone Dodd at the legendary Studio One, where as Little Joe he deejayed "Gun Court" on Larry Marshall's "Mean Girl" riddim. He then began to work for other producers including Bunny 'Striker' Lee, Lloydie Slim and Pete Weston. When he began to work with Prince Tony Robinson in 1977, he changed his name to Ranking Joe and released a series of very popular 7" singles and his first LP "The Best Of Ranking Joe" on TR Groovemaster. At the same time he was also recording for Joe Gibbs on some of the first 12" disco-mix releases including Culture's "Baldhead Bridge" and The Mighty Diamonds' "Just Like A River". As the decade drew to a close Ranking Joe showed the way forward with classic releases for Sly & Robbie's Taxi label and Sugar Minott's Youth Promotion.
Ranking Joe never stopped deejaying live and direct on a sound system. He worked with U Roy's Stur Gav Hi Fi and was the resident deejay on Ray Symbolic Hi Fi, which in 1980 was invited by singer Errol Dunkley to England to tour. It catapulted Ranking Joe and selector Paul Love aka Jah Screw to superstar status. 1980 was a very prolific year with no less than five album releases including "Dub It In A Dance", "Natty Superstar", "Saturday Night Jamdown Style", "Shaolin Temple", and "Zion High". Driven by the huge hit "Clark's Booty Style", his self-produced album "Dub It In A Dance", released by Trojan Records, sold like hot cakes, and so did his masterpiece, the Henry "Junjo" Lawes produced "Saturday Night Jamdown Style", which recently has been re-issued for the first time.
What the listener gets is pure vintage dancehall excitement from an energetic sounding Ranking Joe who, in his prime, was one of the hottest deejays ever. The songs included on this set showcase the deejay's versatility running from raw roots to slackness. Examples of the former are "Hooligan", "River Jordan" and "Dreadlocks Time", while the latter comes to the fore on "Lift Up Your Frock" (across a relick of Studio One's "Swing Easy" riddim) and, of course, "Sex Maniac". Quite a few tracks here are deejays versions of Barrington Levy tunes like "Rub Sister Rub It" ("Love Sister Carol"), "Spread Propaganda" ("Mary Long Tongue"), "River Jordan" (same title), "Dreadlocks Time" ("In This Time"), and "Love It Like A Light Post" ("21 Girls Salute"). The riddims featured on this 10 track album were laid at Channel One by the Roots Radics, while voicing and mixing was done at King Tubby's studio by Scientist.
This classic album is a must have in any serious Reggae collection!