Various – The Joe Gibbs DJ Albums Collection

by Jul 23, 2023Reviews, Various

Various - The Joe Gibbs DJ Albums Collection

Release Info

Doctor Bird/Cherry Red Records
Street date
July 14, 2023
Website Record Label




1 Song Of The Midnight Hour
2 Queen Majesty
3 Render Your Heart
4 John Saw Them Coming
5 Strickly Cash
6 Rasta Dub
7 Kingston Two Rock
8 Mr. Bassie
9 Three Piece Suit
10 Mohammed Ali


11 Rain A Fall
12 Big Fight
13 You I Love And Not Another
14 Young Generation
15 Shine Eye Girl
16 Boz Rock
17 Show Me Mine Enemy
18 Shadow
19 Deck Of Cards
20 Heavy Manners
21 Heavy Manners (reprise)
22 Zion Call *



1 Pork In The Corner *
2 Sister Pam *
3 Jump The Fence *
4 Rock It On *
5 Something On My Mind *
6 Natty Superstar *
7 Physical Fitness *
8 See A Girls Face *
9 Leave Fe Mi Gal Arlene


10 Money Man The Gal Want *
11 Tom Tom *
12 Forty Leg (Dread)
13 Some Like It Hot *
14 Harbour View Rock *
15 Sip-Sail Sail Fast *
16 Step Out Of Babylon *
17 Holligan Stop A While *
18 Bubbling Love
19 The Capitols *
20 Cool Runnings
21 Give I Power *
22 One Time Daughter *

* New to CD

Comprehensive Collection

A comprehensive collection of four classic late ’70s/early ’80s deejay albums, expertly produced by Joe Gibbs, is made available in one impressive set. This package showcases the deejay style that dominated Jamaica during this time period. Two of the albums included – Natty Superstar by Ranking Joe and Inna Him Head by Prince Mohammed – have never been released on CD before, while two of the original albums – Under Heavy Manners and Prince Mohammed’s Inna Him Head – are complemented with bonus tracks. Joe Gibbs played his role in perfecting the deejay sound on record, skillfully layering spoken vocals over captivating riddims. These deejay tracks are not as abstract as dub tracks, yet they boast a more relaxed and fluid quality compared to most of the reggae works at the time. Gibbs’ delving deeper into the deejay style, resulted in albums such as Three Piece Suit by Trinity, Under Heavy Manners by Prince Far I, Natty Superstar by Ranking Joe, and Inna Him Head by Prince Mohammed, which all four are included on this dbl CD set.


Trinity, brother of deejay Clint Eastwood, was an avid enthusiast of soundsystems like Tippertone, El Paso, Kentone, and King Tubby’s HiFi, among others. He began his career at soundsystem Vee Jay the Dubmaster and stayed there for about four years. It is unclear whether his first song was recorded for producer Derrick Harriott (Owner Fi De Yard) or for Channel One boss JoJo Hookim (Step Up Yourself), as both songs were released in 1976. Trinity then worked on more songs for Hookim before switching to then highly in-demand producer Joe Gibbs. There, he recorded his most popular song Three Piece Suite in just one take! The song used the riddim from Marcia Aitken’s updated version of Alton Ellis’ Studio One hit I’m Still In Love. Trinity continued to release a series of excellent singles, including John Saw Them Coming, Starsky And Hutch, and Judgement Time. In 1977, Joe Gibbs released Trinity’s debut album, predictably titled Three Piece Suit.

The ten songs presented here feature the timeless Jamaican riddims that Joe Gibbs frequently incorporated in his productions. The track Queen Majesty embodies the essence of the rocksteady style, blending seamlessly with the riddim of the same name. Strickly Cash takes on another rocksteady riddim, that of the popular Ba Ba Boom by The Jamaicans. Trinity delivers a captivating rendition called Render Your Heart on Heart And Soul, which was originally a hit for Junior Byles. Bob Marley’s iconic Hypocrites riddim is showcased in full force on John Saw Them Coming. Coxsone Dodd, from Studio One, released multiple tunes on the renowned Rockfort Rock riddim, and Joe Gibbs couldn’t resist relicking it. Trinity’s version on the riddim, Kingston Two Rock, adds a touch of eccentric sound effects. Furthermore, the compelling Muhammed Ali track is complemented by the Joe Frazier riddim. Trinity’s debut album remains an entertaining listen after all these years.


In 1976, Prince Far I, a chanter rather than a deejay, was collaborating with producer Joe Gibbs, when Jamaica declared a state of emergency in June 1976 due to escalating violence before the election. In response to the situation, Prince Far I wrote and recorded the song Under Heavy Manners using the riddim from Naggo Morris’ 1975 single Su Su Pan Rasta. The song kept Naggo’s distinctive wailing and additional elements like police siren imitations were included. The successful single then served as the title track for Prince Far I’s third album.

The album commences with the rough & tough track Rain A Fall, which has a powerful and captivating bassline. At one point in this song, Prince Far I makes a reference to Bob Marley’s Them Belly A Full and embodies the concept that “a hungry man is an angry man.” Following this is the equally enthralling Big Fight, an imaginative story about a boxing match between a Rastafarian and someone from Babylon. In You I Love And Not Another, Prince Far I’s distinctive gravelly voice is accompanied by the vocal of a female vocalist. Also Shine Eye Gal (not the Black Uhuru song) adds a touch of romance to the listener’s experience, although it’s not that often that Prince Far I does these kind of songs. The dread-filled Young Generation, which incorporates snippets from Dennis Brown’s Ghetto Girl, and Show Me Mine Enemy with its quirky effects are unquestionably standout tracks on the album. Additionally, the song Deck Of Cards greatly resembles a revamped rendition of the iconic Satta Massa Gana riddim. The track Under Heavy Manners, originally featured as the concluding piece on the original LP, delivers a profound and impactful message. The majority of the songs featured on the album serve as a significant reflection of the prevailing sombre atmosphere during the period they were recorded. The killer bonus track, the 1976 single Zion Call, was issued in Jamaica on the Joe Gibbs labels Crazy Joe and Heavy Duty, and in the UK on the imprints Cry Tuff and Morpheus.


Kingston-born Joe Jackson got his start on record with producer Coxsone Dodd of Studio One, cutting Gun Court over the riddim of Larry Marshall’s Mean Girl in 1975 as Little Joe. He then recorded for a variety of producers including Bunny Lee, Watty Burnett and former African Brother Derrick Howard. By 1976 he was deejaying on the legendary sound system of Daddy U-Roy, Stur-Gav Hi-Fi, and recording for producer Prince Tony Robinson. His first album for that producer, The Best Of Ranking Joe, was released in 1977 and included hits like John Saw Them Coming and Queen Majesty Chapter 3. He continued to deejay with U-Roy’s set, building up a formidable reputation as a live deejay. Then he began recording hits for Sonia Pottinger (Shine Eye Gal, 1978) and was the first deejay to record for Sly & Robbie’s Taxi label when he versioned Gregory Isaacs’ hit Soon Forward (Stop Your Coming & Come) in 1978. In that same year Greensleeves released the Weakheart Fadeaway album. Ranking Joe also recorded for Dennis Brown (the excellent Around The World album) and the single Leave Fi Mi Girl Arleen for Joe Gibbs.

Leave Fi Mi Girl Arleen across a relick of Studio One’s Hi Fashion/Bobby Babylon riddim then became the closing track of the Joe Gibbs-produced Natty Superstar album, which is included in this dbl CD. This album contains various deejay pieces over reworked versions of classic Studio One riddims. The strong opener, Pork In The Corner, is underpinned by the Jah Shakey aka Far East riddim, while for the next track, Sister Pam, Ranking Joe effortless rides the College Rock riddim. Other notable tracks include Jump The Fence on the Frozen Soul riddim, originally performed by the Soul Vendors, and Something On My Mind which comes on the riddim of Horace Andy’s Studio One song of the same name. Additionally, the album revisits Treasure Isle with Rock It On, which is set to an updated version of Red Ash by Tommy McCook & The Supersonics. The excellent Natty Superstar comes across a killer version of the Tribal War riddim and is followed by Physical Fitness on the (Natty) A General riddim. Remains See A Girls Face over a remake of the riddim known from John Holt’s ballad Left With A Broken Heart.


In 1974, George Nooks began his professional recording career and gained initial fame as a deejay under the stage name Prince Mohammed. Renowned producer Joe Gibbs featured him on discomix tracks, most notably on Dennis Brown’s popular songs Money In My Pocket and How Could I Leave. He was joint by General Echo on His first album, People Are You Ready, was a joint effort with General Echo. It was released in 1978 under the United Artists subsidiary, Ballistic. He achieved a hit in Jamaica with Forty Legs Dread, the deejay version of Culture’s Zion Gate. Prince Mohammed then shifted his focus to singing, releasing the album Today in 1981. However, he briefly returned to his Prince Mohammed persona in 1982 to join June Lodge on their big international hit em>Someone Loves You Honey.

After recording tracks for People Are You Ready with Buster Riley, Prince Mohammed continued to record albums for producers such as Everton Da Silva, Tony Tam, and Linval Thompson. Eventually, he joined forces with The Mighty Two, Joe Gibbs and Errol “ET” Thompson, to create the Inna Him Head LP. Finally, this highly sought-after deejay album has been reissued on CD, including three bonus tracks. The album’s title is inspired by the lyrics of Prince Mohammed’s hit song Forty Legs (Dread), which calls for an end to spreading false rumours about dreadlocked people, stating that dreadlocks do not have insects in them. At the time of recording the song, there were rumours circulating about hygiene issues with dreadlocks and the alleged presence of insects known as “forty legs” in someone’s hair, causing panic and speculation. Similar to the other three albums in this collection, Prince Mohammed showcases his skills on well-known classic riddims such as those that have been used for Dennis Brown tunes such as Hooligan, How Could I Live, and Money In My Pocket. In addition, he also puts his own spin on relicked versions of The Abyssinians’ Satta Massa Gana, Don Drummond’s Heavenless, Culture’s Zion Gate, and The Jamaicans’ Ba Ba Boom. From start to finish, this deejay set is highly entertaining, with consistent efforts and a few standout tracks like Forty Legs (Dread), Step Out Of Babylon, and Holligan Stop A While.

Trinity – Song Of The Midnight Hour

Prince Far I – Show Me Mine Enemy

Ranking Joe – Leave Fe Mi Gal Arlene

Prince Mohammed – Bubbling Love


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