Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Depending on your age, you might have had the same experience. Punk rock comes along and you're excited by all the possibilities. The whole music dynamic changes. After digging your heels in, you begin to realize that the bulk of your records are by big budget bloated rock stars who's job it is to put as much distance between the performer and audience as possible. Because the bigger that space is, the more elite they are, and that leads to adulation, wealth, and a lot of hooey that has little to do with music. Fuck that. You're done being a sucker. You begin to purge your record collection, Half the shit you owned is suspect. As you get close to bare bones and then start to rebuild it, you find yourself looking for music with different criteria.

That was basically how I ended up listening to reggae. I had just a handful of reggae records at the time, and was still sort of guessing. My first picks were records that were mentioned in magazines and interviews, but without direction from a peer, I got to the point where I was just going to have to take the plunge and gamble. That was the situation when I saw an LP with a guy squatting, mid-bowl load, half enveloped in a cloud of smoke. This looks authentic, I thought. I had never heard of the artist, and had no idea there were different types of reggae, let alone what sound systems were, what toasting was, or what the role of Jamaican DJs was.  All I knew is that the dude looked like the real deal, so I bought it. The LP was Dread In A Babylon by U Roy. To say that the gamble paid dividends is a massive understatement. It's an all timer in this house, loved as much when I heard it today as it was when one of the songs, "Runaway Girl", appeared on my top ten in the second issue of my fanzine [mumble mumble] decades ago. That's just a long winded way of saying that U Roy has been with me for a long time, and ain't going anywhere soon.

Here's a smattering of U Roy. Just a few. Because, as you'll note, I got carried away with all that self sbsorbed shit. I didn't even get to anything about U Roy himself. That just gives me an excuse to post more of his stuff later. In the meantime, here's a few. The first is the one that started my obsession with reggae DJs, and as it happened, the first U Roy song I ever heard. "Runaway Girl". So good.

Holy shit! Live DJ sets!:
The King Attorney Hi-Fi sets
at Who Corked the Dance King Attorney hosts U Roy, Dillinger, Ranking Trevor and others. Click on "Reup"," and it'll take you to MediaFire, which is a bit of a pain, but they're fast downloads, and really, you may never again have the opportunity to hear U Roy on the fly in the seventies.

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