Big Youth – The Killer

• “The Killer” set to a picture of the housing album cover. Thanks to francus83.

7.9 “Great Reggae from Jamaica”

From his debut album “Screaming Target” (Gussie GLP-001) released in 1972.

My album review:

The debut album from the 23-year-old was the crowning glory in his breakthrough wonder-year. Last year, the toaster rose from the relative obscurity of occasional sound system appearances, becoming, in March 1971, the lead DJ for one of Kingston’s top sound systems, Tippertone Hi Fi, taking over from Jah Stitch. Tippertone was, by now, the only serious rival to King Tubby’s Home Town Hi Fi, with I Roy as the regular deejay. Following this new high-profile status, a bewildering string of singles were produced bearing his name in 1972, including his first No.1 in the Jamaican charts, “S90 Skank”. The mechanic / cabbie / labourer could now concentrate on a music career, and this he did with great aplomb for producers many and varied. His big breakthrough hit came courtesy of the up and coming 19-year-old producer, Augustus “Gussie” Clarke. Gussie came from the same rough downtown district as Big Youth and was far more in tune with the vibe on the street. Gussie tuned in to Horace Andy’s “Skylarking” which was doing great business for Studio One, and re-made the rhythm with his own touches, giving Big Youth a fresh base to work with. The formula of fresh but familiar worked a treat and the single was a big success for the pair. Spurred on, somehow Gussie managed to procure the use of the very finest roots rhythms of the day and the voices of Gregory Isaacs, Leroy Smart and Dennis Brown graced Big Youth 45s as well as this debut long play set. The full track and source list reads: “Screaming Target” (working KC White’s “No No No [version]”); “Pride and Joy Rock” (working Leroy Smart’s “Pride & Ambition [version]”); “Be Careful” (working Dennis Brown’s “In Their Own Way”); “Tipper Tone Rock” (working The Simplicity People’s “Rhythm Style”); “These Fine Days” (working Gregory Isaacs’ “One One Cocoa”); “The Killer” (working The Society Squad’s “Skylarking [version]”); “Solomon a Gunday” (working The Simplicity People’s “Anywhere But Nowhere”); “Honesty” (working Lloyd Parks’ “Slaving [version]”); “I am Alright” (working Gregory Isaacs’ “I Am Alright (aka Loving Pauper)”) and “Lee a Low” (once again working The Simplicity People’s “Anywhere But Nowhere”).

You can check out the rest of album reviews for 1972 here.

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