Listen: Di Black Petty Booshwah / Linton Kwesi Johnson LKJBlackPetty.mp3
I recollect LKJ’s FORCES OF VICTORY and BASS CULTURE albums suddenly being of great interest amongst our whole crowd. For whatever reason, they seemed like the first full lengths after that initial introductory (to us) influx of ’76 and ’77 releases (Max Romeo & The Upsetters, Justin Hines & The Dominoes, Peter Tosh, The Mighty Diamonds, Jah Lion, Dillinger), and they were both non stop favorites for months. It never occurred to me some singles might actually be pulled from them, given they were such ‘album’ albums. I still thank the decision makers who chose to proceed otherwise.
The Sly & Robbie Taxi productions combined with acts like Steel Pulse and Inner Circle that raced toward a clean, syndrum, soul-less era of early 80′s reggae was just about to begin. FORCES OF VICTORY and it’s follow up, BASS CULTURE, bar a few others like Black Uhuru, basically ended my hardcore infatuation with most reggae music that followed, due to this new sound twist, uncomfortably merging expensive modern equipment with one of the only non flash earthiest genres left.
From BASS CULTURE, ‘Di Black Petty Booshwah’ was a nice example of LKJ’s countless A1 tracks. I still don’t get why so many songs ended up gracing 7″ singles that seemed to have no hope for airplay. I’m guessing in the case of reggae, the pockets of Jamaican communities around London might have been the target – but they weren’t exactly singles buyers like in the 60′s, where they?
My money would’ve been ‘Inglan Is a Bitch’ as the choice. If you’re going to end up being struck down at BBC playlist music meetings, you might as well make an unsettling statement.
But I’m well content to own the promo and stock of ‘Di Black Petty Booshwah’, complete with custom sleeve. It sounds just that tiny bit better than the album, given the nice wide grooves and the revved up speed of 45.
Listen: Straight To Madray’s Head / Linton Kwesi Johnson LKJBlackPetty Dub.mp3
Misleading title for the actual dub of this A side. I double checked via INDEPENDENT INTAVENSHAN – THE ISLAND ANTHOLOGY, a comprehensive double cd encompassing his work for the label, complete with dub versions of just about every song. And guess what – this isn’t included. So to the best of my knowledge, one needs to track down the 7″ if adding it to the collection is required.
While on the subject earlier of mischosen LKJ A sides, it’s worth wishing history had dictated a 7″ release of ‘Independent Intavenshan’ and it’s priceless extented dub version which can be found on the above anthology.