Listen: Tribal War / Little Roy TribalWar.mp3
Listen: War Is Over / Dillinger NoMoreWar.mp3
Listen: No More War / Prince Far i NoMoreWarFari.mp3
Little Roy hired Lee Perry to produce this 1974 single, about the peace treaty arranged between Kingston’s warring gangs, for Roy’s new Tafari label in Jamaica. The track was recorded and voiced at Perry’s new home studio, the Black Ark. Fueled by the pedal phased guitar of Roy Hamilton, with Pablove Love on keyboards, it also featured singer Dennis Brown playing bass and legendary drummer, Leroy Horsemouth Wallace, rounding out the rhythm section.
‘Tribal War’ was a hit and resulted in a number of successful cover versions, including heavily influencing Third World’s album track of the same name. But Little Roy’s understated original is the definitive one. Original pressings are scarce as hens teeth. I found a small scan of one on the web and worked it up to a viewable size as much as possible. Easier to locate is the Pressure Sounds reissue from earlier this century.
Dillinger’s Joe Gibbs released version, ‘War Is Over’, starts off with a heavy patois laden proclamation, declaring there has been a “Peace treat, so now ya haffa come out and get likkle fresh air…” “Peace treat…” what a great term. And in a nod to Kenny Rogers, he further states “Son, don’t take your guns to town”. It originally came out on the Joe Gibbs sub-label, Errol T., which featured the productions of resident engineer Errol Thompson. The label shown here is from the Joe Gibbs Gold Label reissue series.
Prince Far i’s version, ‘No More War’, directly confronts the warring parties with authority. “So you’re the one who come here to mash up this place, eh? Well, war is over… Natty dread come over.” Atop a low burning and minimalist roots-echo groove, the good Prince gives testament in his own deep voice of conviction. Self-produced & released on his Cry Tuff label in Jamaica.