Lone Ranger – Barnabas in Collins Wood
Patate Records/Belleville International
LP / DR
February 22, 2021
Website Record Label
1. Barnabas Collins
2. Annie Palmer
3. Hell Driver
4. John Public
5. African Continent
2. Tribal War
4. Obeah Man
5. The Hard Way feat. Carlton Livingston
Born Anthony Alphanso Waldron in Whitfield Town, Jamaica, Lone Ranger moved to London in 1963 where he spent his youth until returning to Jamaica in 1971 at the age of 12. Before he started deejaying, he was a singer named Jah Waldron who together with Chester Synmoie and a female singer founded the High Fenders, who recorded two songs for Joseph ‘JoJo’ Hookim. It was at a soundclash where he featured as a singer with Soul Express Sound System from Kingston, he came up with the name Lone Ranger. The first record he started using his new alias was The Answer (a version of Slim Smith’s classic Never Let Go) which was released on Studio One in 1977. He released a couple of records on Studio One, some of them as a deejay duo with Welton Irie. Even though the singles made his name spread it was the Barnabas Collins, produced by Leon & Chester Synmoie for their Thrillseekers label, that was his first major hit. Just like his debut single it revitalized a Slim Smith riddim, in this case his late 1960s hit, My Conversation. Regarded as one of the most lyrically inventive deejays of his era, Lone Ranger’s Barnabas Collins was of crucial importance, for giving younger deejays a new tone of delivery and several fresh catchphrases.
No better way than having that killer tune, which includes the classic lines “Barney’s not a ref or a cricket umpire, Barney is a dreadful and wicked vampire” and “Barnie chew ya neck like a Wrigley’s”, opening Barnabas in Collins Wood. Lone Ranger’s signature song was inspired by a fictional character featured in a very popular 1960s vampire series on television called ‘Dark Shadows’. Besides vampires, it are also aliens, sorcerers, and the Frankenstein monster that appear in the subject matter of the songs alongside the usual deejay topics of the late ’70s/early 80s, all delivered in electrified dancehall style. Apart from the revitalized My Conversation riddim, the riddim spotter will also recognize relicked versions of The Heptones’ Tripe Girl (Tribal War), The Itals’ In A Dis Ya Time (Frankenstein), and Barrington Levy’s A Yad Weh Deh (U.F.O.).
Although Barnabas In Collins Wood and its follow up from 1981 Rosemarie were not only great but also hit albums, it’s the 1982 hit LP M16 that is regarded to be Lone Ranger’s strongest. Nevertheless, Barnabas In Collins Wood with great deejaying from Lone Ranger can’t be left out of any reggae collection.