Various – The Magnificent Seven

by Aug 2, 2023Reviews, Various

The Magnificent Seven

Release Info

Burning Sounds/Secret Records
Street date
July 28, 2023
Website Record Label


Side 1

1. Jah Walton – The Seed You Sow
2. Big Youth – Love Jah Jah Children
3. I-Roy – Ital Dish
4. I-Roy – Musical Air Raid
5. King Sighta – Master Off All

Side 2

1. King Sighta – Shining Star
2. Little Wicked – Sister Sheron
3. Big Joe – Natty Love
4. Jah Stitch – Evilest Thing

Phil Pratt

Phill Pratt, born George Phillips in Kingston in 1942, was a ‘box carrier’ in his youth with Coxsone Dodd’s Downbeat organization. Phill had the ambition to become a singer quite early on, an ambition that, together with school friends Ken Boothe and Headly Foulding, became concrete through performances at charity institutions and school concerts. Eventually, he ended up with Ken Lack, the owner of Caltone Records, who also gave him the stage name Phill Pratt. His ambition to become a celebrated singer ultimately came to nothing, but he increasingly committed himself as a producer, together as a business partner with Ken Lack.

The initial recordings he released on his Sunshot label featured a youthful Horace Andy. Over time, he expanded the roster of artists he collaborated with. Inevitably, he achieved success with several hits, including noteworthy songs like Ken Boothe’s I’m Not for Sale, Pat Kelly’s They Talk About Love, and Al Campbell’s Gee Baby. It is worth mentioning his collaboration with Dennis Brown on the track Let Loving, also known as Let Love In. The song’s impactful and sophisticated instrumentation, led by captivating guitar riffs, continues to impress even today.

Phill Pratt swiftly realized that there was a growing demand for more authentic, rootsy sounds. As a result, he began collaborating with popular deejays of the time like U Roy, I Roy, Big Youth, Dillinger, Jah Woosh, and Dennis Alcapone. Pratt frequently utilized his well-known riddims from his Sun Shot label for these recordings. Additionally, he employed these riddims for songs performed by notable singers such as Trevor Hartley, Al Campbell, and Jimmy London. Pratt also reconnected with his longtime friend Lee “Scratch” Perry and together they recorded tracks in Perry’s renowned Black Ark Studio. In the early 1980s, Pratt relocated to London, where he opened a restaurant and continued his musical endeavors, albeit on a smaller scale, including albums by John Holt, Horace Andy, Alton Ellis, and Dobby Dobson.

The Magnificent Seven

This album was first released in 1978 and features a collection of deejays, including some who are widely recognized, while King Sighta and Little Wicked may not be as familiar. The themes explored in this album are largely influenced by Rastafari principles. This is understandable considering the unstable and violent political climate in Jamaica during that time, which resulted in numerous casualties.

Jah Walton & Big Youth

The album opens with Jah Walton, who later became known as Joseph Cotton, performing The Seed You Sow, a reference to biblical scripture. He puts his unique spin to this solid tune across an original Phil Pratt riddim, which is also featured in songs like Can’t Sleep At Night by Trevor Hartley, and Ride On by Jimmy London. The formidable Big Youth, who remains active to this day, drew significant inspiration from Al Campbell’s impeccable roots song, Going The Wrong Way, and used the same riddim to voice his piece. Moreover, you can still catch snippets of Al’s vocals in Big Youth’s toast.

I Roy & Jah Stitch

I Roy, known as Jamaica’s most literate and articulate deejay, left behind a remarkable musical legacy. Despite his numerous successes, he tragically died a penniless and homeless man in 1999. One of his notable releases includes Ital Dish, followed by Musical Air Raid. The latter, featuring the Stars riddim, is an impressive and impactful song. Another artist, Jimmy London, also utilized the same backdrop in his song Thank The Lord, which can be found on his album Welcome To My World. Although relatively unknown to us, Little Wicked manages to captivate with his tune Sister Sheron, leaving us intrigued why he talks about Sister Sandra. Another famous deejay, Jah Stitch, who sadly passed away in 2019, impresses with his version of Horace Andy’s Money Money (Is The Root Of All Evil) in the song Evilest Thing.

King Sighta

Then we have two tunes from King Sighta, the deejay who, according to lore, lost an eye in an accident at work. He collaborated with Phil Pratt on an album called Master Of All, which was released by Trojan under the name The One Eyed Giant by King Sighter. It’s interesting how a name can hold so much significance. Check the two powerful tracks by King Sighta, Shining Star and Master Of All. Another riddimwise rendition of Master Of All can be found on a track from Trevor Hartley’s album Innocent Lover, titled Free Sons Of The Almighty. Sighta’s Shining Star shares its riddim with yet another song by Trevor Hartley, the mellow Two Of A Kind.

King Sighta – Shining Star

I Roy – Musical Air Raid

Jah Walton – The Sow You Seed

Jah Stitch – Evilest Thing


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