Junior Murvin

I Was Appointed

Song Review by

Junior Murvin appoints himself prophet, and like the Biblical seers of old, has come to deliver Jah's message to those in positions of power. However, Murvin in not merely addressing the political heads of the nation, but all those in respected occupations as well, including teachers, parsons, and doctors. Each has an important role to play in society, instructing the young, leading the people to salvation, caring for the physical body, but in Murvin's views and all are failing dismally, for none are setting an appropriate example for the population.

In an inspired performance, Murvin takes individual occupation to task for their irresponsibility, then branches out into even wider societal concerns. It's an exquisite piece of lyrical reasoning, arguably the singer's best, and delivered with absolute conviction.

Producer Lee Perry creates a phenomenal riddim worthy of Murvin's words, a smoldering backing that crosses dread roots with soul. The rhythm simmers, the brass blare out their own warnings, while the dense atmospheres Perry creates coalesces into a rich and warm tapestry of sound. A masterpiece of sound and vision, this magnificent number was one of the highlights of Murvin's Police and Thieves album.

In 2002, a previously unreleased alternate take of the song was released on the Perry compilation Baffling Smoke Signal, an inferior, yet intriguing exercise, where Perry and The Upsetters moved the number from soulful dread into a more fiery funk realm.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Police & Thieves 1977 Mango 3:50
I Am the Upsetter: The Story of Lee "Scratch" Perry: Golden Years 2005 Trojan / Sanctuary 4:21