Never Let Go aka The Answer Riddim

by Sep 19, 2018

Never Let Go Riddim

“Never Let Go” is one of the most popular riddims ever. Slim Smith’s original cut is music that is one of a kind; the riddim with its juggernaut bassline steams along, punctuated by a striking horn riff, over which Slim sings in his inimitable soulful way. Slim Smith made so many outstanding records, but the riddim on this one is something else.

The Answer

Some years later Coxsone Dodd used the riddim for “The Answer” by Lone Ranger. At this time Lone Ranger was an up and coming deejay, and it was the popularity of “The Answer” that initially made his name. Indeed, many people still call this riddim “The Answer” as it was this record that brought the riddim back to the people’s attention, and it has just kept on coming back since then.

Studio One

Other Studio One deejay cuts include another Lone Ranger version, “World War One” and Jim Brown’s “Calypso Calypson”. Coxsone also issued vocal vocal cuts by Willi Williams with “Keep On Moving” and a great Earl Sixteen song, “The In Thing Now”.

More Versions

Outside Studio One there are well over 300 versions of this riddim, and one of the best is another deejay cut, Brigadier Jerry’s “Pain”, on which Briggy delivers a stunning toast over a slow recut of the riddim distinguished by a very different and effective horn riff. This cut of the riddim was also used for Phillip Frazer’s cover of “Never Let Go”. Another great deejay cut is from a pupil of Briggy, Charlie Chaplin, whose “DJ A Dance” is an excellent track from the outstanding “Que Dem” album.

Excellent Versions

There are also excellent deejay versions from Josey Wales, Peter Metro& Zu Zu, General Trees, Jah Batta and Mikey Jarrett. And for an outstanding singing cut one has to look no further than Sugar Minott’s “Rock Of Ages”, which is a brilliant adaptation of the standard that only he could have pulled off.

Massive Hits

There have been some massive hits on the riddim and two of the biggest included Smiley Culture’s “Police Officer” and the progressive “Rub A Dub Soldier” by Paul Blake & The Bloodfire Posse. There has been one album on the riddim, “One Way Style”, but despite some good performances it is let down by a rather weakly mixed riddim track.

(Source: Ray Hurford & Jean Scrivener’s “Rhythm Wise One & Two”)


Selected tunes from the ’60s, ’70s & ’80s :

Slim Smith – I’ll Never Let You Go
Lone Ranger – Answer
Ranking Trevor – Answer Me Question
Barrington Levy – Like A Soldier
Brigadier Jerry – Jamaica Jamaica
Brigadier Jerry – Pain
Charlie Chaplin – DJ A Dance
Charlie Chaplin – Free Africa
Cocoa Tea – Jah Made Them
Cornell Campbell – I’ll Never Let It Go
Daddy Freddy – She Bran New
Dennis Brown – I Can’t Stand It
Dillinger – Answer My Question
Don Carlos – Laser Beam
Don Evans – Lately I Found Out
Earl Sixteen – Batman & Robin
Earl Sixteen – Slave
Earl Sixteen – The In Thing Now
Frankie Jones – Rocking Jamming
General Trees – Heart, Mind And Soul
Horace Andy – Jah Love Light
Jackie Chang & Silver Fox – Karate
Jah Batta – Ten To Seven
Jah Thomas – New Dress Style
Jim Brown – Calypso Calypso
Jim Screechy – Walk And Skank
Josey Wales – Kingston Hot
Josey Wales – Walking Hustler
Junior Brammer – Fire Mus Tail

Junior Reid – Rub A Dubbing
Junior Reid – She’s A Regular
Lee Perry & Scientist – One God In Space
Little John – Hook On The Crock
Little John – What Is Catty
Lone Ranger – World War One
Massive Horns – Merrie Melodies
Michael Buckley – Dance Gate
Michael Prophet – Come And Dance
Michigan & Smiley – Blackness Awareness
Mikey Jarrett – Rich
Mikey Jarrett – Sadat
Mikey Merican – Bad Bad Feelings
Patrick Andy – Cowhorn Chalice
Paul Blake & Bloodfire Posse – Rub A Dub Soldier
Peter Metro & Zu Zu – In The Army
Peter Ranking & General Lucky – Eassy And Squeezzy
Phillip Frazer – Never Let Go
Pinchers – Hypocritical Mind
Prince Psalms – Cool And Deadly
Reverent Dread I – Them A Rip And Run Off –
Sister Carol – Free Food Ticket
Smiley Culture – Police Officer
Snowman – – Black Heroes
Sugar Minott – Rock Of Ages
Sugar Minott – Rydim
Wayne & Johnny – Gambling
Willi Williams – Keep On Moving
Winston Reedy – Sinsimilla
Yellowman – Body Move
Yellowman – To The Bump
Brigadier Jerry - Pain
Paul Blake & Bloodfire Posse - Rub-A-Dub Soldier
Josey Wales - Kingston Hot