Barry Brown – Pass Up The Chalice: The Blackbeard Years 1978-83

by May 31, 2020Artist, Reviews

Barry Brown - Pass Up The Chalice (The Blackbeard Years 1978-83)
Barry Brown

Release Info

Barry Brown – Pass Up The Chalice: The Blackbeard Years 1978-83

Label:  Patate Records | Format: LP-DR | Street date: March 10, 2020 | Website label


Side A

  1. We Nuh Run
  2. Rich Man Poor Man
  3. Just Can’t Stop Us
  4. Jah Jah Protect Them
  5. Don’t Know What To Say
  6. Bad Girl

Side B

  1. Separation
  2. Pass Up The Chalice
  3. I’m Moving On
  4. Fight Against You
  5. Coolie Carry Basket (Step It Up) feat. Trinity
  6. Life Is Funny
Patate Records

With the release of Barry Brown’s compilation album “Pass Up The Chalice: The Blackbeard Years 1978-83”, French record label and record shop Patate Records has added another worthwhile release to its large catalogue of Roots Reggae titles which includes artists such as Culture, Tony Tuff, Horace Andy, Rod Taylor, Earl Sixteen and Dr Alimantado, and producers like Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee, Augustus Pablo, Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes, and ‘Blackbeard’ Sinclair.

Barry Brown

Most likely every Reggae fan, whether young or old, knows Barry Brown’s song “Far East” – originally recorded for Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One label in the 1970s, but becoming a dancehall staple when re-recorded at Channel One in 1982. However, probably little will they know about the artist himself, who died at age 42 on May 29, 2004. Just like artists like Tony Tuff, Sugar Minott, Rod Taylor, and Tristan Palmer, the asthmatic singer with a rough and ready vocal style emerged from Kingston’s ghettos during the mid-1970s. In 1979 he had a hit with “Step It Up Youthman”, which was also the title of his debut album for Bunny Lee. The success led to Barry Brown recording more material including “Put Down Your Guns”, “We Can’t Live Like This”, “Big Big Pollution”, “Politician”, “No Wicked Shall Enter”, “Lead Us Jah Jah”, and “Conscious Girl”.


Having worked with Linval Thompson on “Seperation” and Sugar Minott on “Things And Time”, he decided to go into self-production. His initial release “Cool Pon Your Corner” preceded an album that featured the classic “Jah Jah Fire”. However, mostly his self-produced releases weren’t very successful. Then “Far East” revived interest in the singer, and other releases followed including “Dreadful Man” and “Serious Man”. Though he no longer set the charts ablaze in the second half of the 1980s, he continued to record high-quality tunes.

Tuff Selection

The Patate Records crew has compiled a tuff selection of Barry Brown tunes, recalling the recording sessions he did with producer “Rodguel ‘Blackbeard’ Sinclair between 1978 and 1983. The singles gathered on this 12-track LP were mixed by dub masters King Tubby and Scientist and originally appeared on Blackbeard’s Hulk imprint. This powerful set has nuff, nuff exciting moments such as the much in demand opener “We Nuh Run” (aka “Natty Dread Nuh Run”), the heavyweight killer “Rich Man Poor Man”, “Jah Jah Protect Them” (aka “Jah Jah Guide Them”) across a relicked version of the “Love Me Forever” riddim, “Separation” which simply is massive Roots Radics/Scientist business, the anthemic title track “Pass Up The Chalice” on the “Death In The Arena” riddim, and the wicked sufferer’s piece “I’m Moving On” over the “Sacrifice” riddim. Barry Brown also did quite a few noteworthy combination tunes with several deejays such as Ranking Joe, Toyah and Jah Thomas. One of the best is the rare “Coolie Carry Basket” with Trinity, which is the latter’s awesome deejay version of “Step It Up Youthman”.

Buy @ Amazon

Barry Brown – Pass Up The Chalice: The Blackbeard Years 1978-83