Thursday, April 13, 2006

Five From The Original Little John... And No I'm Not Talking About Robin Hood's Sidekick

Little John (born John McMorris, 1970) first recorded “51 Storm” at the age of nine with Captain Sinbad for the Youth In Progress label and from that point on he was seldom off the charts. Many claimed that he was the first true dancehall singer because like the best DJs he could ride any rhythm. By the time he turned 17 he had become a superstar.

Originally Little John started singing with the Romantic Hi Fi, and then went on to Killamanjaro, Gemini and the mighty Volcano Hi Power where he honed his skills by performing constantly. During this period he was also recording for any producer in Jamaica who was willing to put his voice to tape; In other words, I pity anyone who wants to undertake putting together Little John’s complete discography.

I have compiled 5 Little John singles for your listening pleasure… all but one comes directly from vinyl. As you’ve probably learned to expect from me the majority included were Junjo Lawes productions and they are top notch… at least I think so. The first track is “United We Stand, Divide We Fall” circa 1983 produced by Junjo on the Jah Guidance label and also includes a smooth Roots Radics version towards the end. The second track is “Little Girl” which was produced by Toyan, recorded at Channel One, backed again by the Roots Radics, mixed at King Tubby’s and released internationally on the Greensleeves label (wow that was a hell of a lot of info off one 12” label!) The third single is an absolutely killer song with Little John teaming up with Al Campbell. The song is called “Mash It Already” released on Junjo’s Volcano label and I absolutely love the Radics’ dub mix toward the end of the disk, it’s so good I think you’ll be able to ignore the record hiss. Fourth we have a track called “Spin You Roll” recorded at Channel One and released on a pretty decent CD called “Grapevine/Dynamite Records Vault Classics Vol. 2”. The last track I’m sharing today is probably one of my all-time favorite DJ/Singer combination records, it’s called “Dance And Studio” and pares Little John with DJ Josey Wales and was released on George Phang’s Powerhouse label. The two just work so well together on this record and the Little John lyrical variation on “The First Cut Is The Deepest” just flows beautifully. I love this song!! To be honest… I love all these songs! Maybe I need to find and buy some more Little John! Enjoy!











Little John

10 comments:

rwscissors said...

I just can't thank you enough for posting some Little John tunes. I have been searching for but unable to find anything by him for literally years. He is one of the best in my opinion. Again, THANKS!

HEARWAX said...

Many thanks for these killer tunes, 'Mash it Already' is fantastic as you rightly say - on repeat as we speak!

droid said...

I think you might have a grounding problem on one of your turntables - every second or third tune you put up has a weird high pitched whine - you can usually hear it in the quiet bit before the track starts or in the run in...

No Biggie - just thought you might like to know for archiving purposes...

Reggaexx said...

Thanks for all the comments! Droid I am aware of the grounding problem with my turntables - I've got these cheap ass Sony turntables and neither one has a grounding cable - I've got another decent turntable but unfortunately I've got it all wired up to the stereo and it would involve moving some gigantic bookcases in order to hook it up to the PC. Hopefully those who have been enjoying the music I've shared can overlook the hum... think of it this way, it's just adding another dimension of noise to already noisy vinyl. :)

droid said...

No problem at all - its a very minor quibble - though it might be worth doing a bit of testing, as its not on all of your rips - so obviously its intermittent, and you might be able to get rid of it.

Either way, keep up the good work as always!

reggae and mustangs said...

I am a big Little John fan myself. As for finding his total discography, you could not have been more right. Hey, is there any way we can exchange e-mails to discuss more reggae in depth? I am looking for some songs, but don't know the titles. You see pretty knowledgeable about this particular era. I am just starting my own reggae blog too. Let hope it turns out as nicely as yours. Thanks!

Reggaexx said...

reggae and mustangs - sure, I'd love to talk in depth about reggae... you can e-mail me at reggaexx@yahoo.com!

hitmewithit said...

Wow. I have to thank you for bringing little john to my attention. I am pretty new to the depth of artists to be found in the genre of Dub/reggae. Been an avid listener for years but never ventured further than my king tubby, Augustus Pablo, Dub Syndicate, Iroy, U-roy and Linton Kwesi Johnson, a few more albums from my heavy-stoner days.
More recently I discovered Hugh Mundell and Yabby You which has spun me off into a Reggae-Dub quest...Long may it continue!

Anonymous said...

please can someone re upload that ???

KASIERSOSAI said...

I love your site i would like to download the billy boyo from earlier this year i missed it.also the yellowman and toyan.im a 15 year rasta music lover and i colle ct.some of my favorites are winstont jarretts chip in and little harry and billy boyos album hav it cassete tape though.Also milton henrys who do you think i am.Ok thts it 4 now.i hope we can speak some time.emails or something