Various Artists

Strictly Rub-a-Dub [Trojan]

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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson

From the seemingly bottomless tape vaults of Trojan Records comes this generous sampler of classic dancehall DJ recordings from 1979-1985, the period during which dancehall reggae was taking over from the more refined (but less rhythmically exciting) "cultural" reggae that held sway throughout the '70s. Many of the artists featured here will be no surprise -- the album opens, inevitably, with the great Yellowman (in collaboration with his friend Fathead), and also includes fine work by such dancehall luminaries as Charlie Chaplin, Clint Eastwood, and Trinity (American westerns were, for some reason, a huge influence on Jamaican DJs; another artist on this program called himself John Wayne). But most interesting here are the unknown quantities: Simple Simon, sounding a bit like a younger Eek-A-Mouse, contributes two of the album's best tracks with "Revolution Fighters" and "War All Over," while a Yellowman imitator named Purpleman delivers a fine little piece of dancehall chest-pounding with "Sandre Dee Buy Big House for Me." Apart from the last track, a salacious duo performance by Jah Thomas and Sister Jackie, this collection generally avoids the "slack" (sexually explicit) style of DJ chatting. Highly recommended overall.

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