Trinity – Trinity & Friends : The Blackbeard Years 1978-83

by Feb 3, 2021Reviews, Various

Trinity & Friends
Trinity 1984 (Photo: Beth Lesser)

Release Info

Trinity – Trinity & Friends : The Blackbeard Years 1978-83

Label:  Hulk/Patate Records | Format: LP-DR | Street date: December 15, 2020 | Website label

Tracks

Side A

  1. You Say Me Say feat. Barrington Levy
  2. Give A Little feat. Black Uhuru
  3. Fattie Bum Bum feat. Ken Boothe
  4. Mother Do That feat. Barry Brown
  5. Rock A My Baby
  6. Black Star Liner

Side B

  1. Coolie Carry Basket feat. Barry Brown
  2. Too Much Iron in the Fire feat. Black Uhuru
  3. Shubedo feat. Johnny Clarke
  4. Yaga Yaga feat. Errol Dunkley
  5. Going Forward
  6. Ali

Patate Records

About seven years after Trinity’s collaboration with French label Irie Ites which led to the release of the album Eye To Eye, Patate Records has released a 12-track compilation of tracks recorded between 1978 and 1983 entitled Trinity & Friends. And just like that aforementioned contemporary album for Irie Ites, this set of classic recordings also features a number of guest appearances. In addition to Trinity himself, there’s Ken Boothe, Barry Brown, Black Uhuru, Johnny Clarke, and Errol Dunkley. In between these two albums another French label, Poorman Records, released Trinity’s full-length album Ruff It Top.

Trinity

Veteran deejay Trinity – brother of the deejay Clint Eastwood – recorded his first single in 1976 for producer Joseph Hookim of Channel One, although producer/singer Derrick Harriott claims that he recorded his very first track called Owner Fi Di Yard for him. However, it was for producer Joe Gibbs that he made his breakthrough with the 1977 hit single Three Piece Suit. Hard on the heels of this very successful single came a spate of other popular numbers and his first-ever LP, predictably under the title Three Piece Suit. In the late ’70s and early ’80s some ten LPs came out on regular intervals and most of them sold considerably well. This was undeniable proof of Trinity’s unwavering popularity in those days. Sometime around 1987, he put out two albums as a singer (Hold Your Corner and Telephone Line) under the pseudonym Junior Brammer.

Blackbeard

Trinity was in his prime when he began to work with producer Rodguel “Blackbeard” Sinclair, the older brother of Tapper Zukie who began as an apprentice to hitmaker Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee before he started to produce and issue records on his own. In the mid-1970s, he created his own record label, Hulk, on which he issued tunes by artists like Dennis Brown, Horace Andy, Delroy Wilson, Jimmy Riley, U Brown, and many more.

Rough-edged Riddims

Apart from Shubedo feat. Johnny Clarke, the tracks collected here were previously featured on a rare LP originally released in 1983 called Trinity with the Ring Craft Posse and on the dbl cd Too Much Iron In The Fire: Anthology, put out by Trojan Records in 2004. All tracks are driven by heavy solid rough-edged riddims, mixed by Errol Brown, Errol Thompson, and Jimmy Palmer, and played by bands like The Ring Craft Posse, The Revolutionaries, and Roots Radics.

Gems

The first track, You See Me See, is an overdubbed version of the Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes produced tune Looking My Love by Barrington Levy from 1979. You See Me See, across a relick of the Real Rock riddim, is a next version of Looking My Love with most likely Trinity vocal overdubbed at a later date. Actually, the same approach of overdubbing was utilized for the other combination tunes featured here. Originally some of the vocal sides weren’t produced by Blackbeard but by Dennis Brown (Black Uhuru) and Ossie Hibbert (Errol Dunkley) or were co-produced with Bunny Lee (Ken Boothe, Barry Brown, and Johnny Clarke). After having opened with a standout piece, the listener is treated to a few more gems and relicked versions of classic riddims. Among them Mother Do That over the Love Me Forever riddim, Coolie Carry Basket on the Step It Up Youth Man riddim, Too Much Iron In the Fire, Going Forward, and Ali, Trinity’s ode to the great heavyweight champion Muhammed Ali on the Dub Organizer riddim.

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