Jah Lion – In Action With Revolutionary Band
Burning Sounds Records
Website Record Label
1. Life Story
2. Master Degree
3. Lots Of Loving
1. Fight Zero Wondalem
2. When I Went Away
3. Jah Say
4. Give Thanks
5. Everyone Happy
Patrick Francis is also known as Jah Lloyd, Jah Lion, The Black Lion of Judah, and Jah Ali. His nicknames are a reference to his Rastafarian principles, as he adopted the Rastafarian faith in 1970. As a youth, he moved to Kingston where he started singing in a group called The Mediators. In 1974 he established the Teem record label. The input of dub inventor King Tubby greatly influenced the quality of his excellent productions. He worked a lot with percussionist Bongo Herman, with whom he recorded several wicked sides like Soldier Round The Corner. As a result of his close relationship with The Mighty Diamonds, he recorded a killer deejay cut, with Bingy Bunny, on the Mighty Diamonds’ tune Shame And Pride, called Killer Flour. The song was a bitter commentary on the poisoned flour scandal from early 1976. The undisputed high point of his career came in 1976 when he and Lee Perry, who changed Lloyd’s name from Jah Lloyd to Jah Lion, released the album Colombia Colly. His most creative years were the 1970s, and he continued to record on an irregular basis after that. He died a penniless man in 1999.
In Action With Revolutionary Band
In 1983 Vista Sounds released the album In Action With Revolutionary Band, an album he co-produced with Count John, a producer about whom we have no further information, except for the fact that he also produced the album In A Dancehall Style by The Heptones, which was recorded in London. The backing artists mentioned are The Revolutionary Band, better known as The Revolutionaries, and Bingy Bunny + The Radics, aka the Roots Radics, being the usual session musicians of the time. The studios they worked in are Channel One and King Tubby’s.
On the 10-track album, Jah Lion presents himself as a singjay, a style in which the artist combines singing with deejay, whereby it should not be left unmentioned that the result does not always yield top performances. Although Jah Lion was also active as a singer during his career, his releases, which showcase his uncompromising, raw deejay style, are the most appreciated. The 1983 album -now reissued by Burning Sounds- turned out to be his last regular album, after which his career came to a halt. Although there is plenty to enjoy, we cannot qualify this album as one of his highlights. Count John has made extensive use of echo and reverb, as we often hear on dub albums.
Let’s check some of the tunes. In the autobiographical Life Story he tells us about his hard life, toasting across the famous No, No, No riddim. Master Degree evokes memories of the well-known deejay duo Michigan and Smiley. Action is a successful effort, resembling Prince Far I using the Tune In riddim. Also worthy of note is his “report” of President Reagan’s visit to Jamaica. He switches to lovers rock inna singjay style with When I Went Away, using Ken Boothe’s 1967 hit I’m Gonna Tell You Goodbye Babe. With Jah Say we hear something of his raw deejay style, a great track! We cannot fully appreciate the next track –Give Thanks-, a more or less sung praising tune. The album closes with the lyrically obligatory Everyone Happy, which is performed across the Drum Song riddim.
When I Went Away