Monday, March 28, 2016

Day 149 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Carlton Livingston - 100 Weight Of Collie Weed

I first heard today's tune "100 Weight of Collie Weed" on a Volcano "sound tape" years ago... can't remember which one exactly, but during this live recording at a dance from 1983 or '84, whenever Danny Dread dropped the needle on this disc an explosion of delighted cheers erupted from the assembled massive and resulted in at least ten "pull ups" in the course of about five minutes.  And though the sound quality was lacking, probably due to the dance being recorded for posterity on a cassette recorder intended for capturing voices during a long and drawn out sales meeting in an office conference room, it was obviously a killer tune.  I quickly found out that "100 Weight Of Collie Weed," which discusses about the day-to-day struggles of ganja smuggling, was by Carlton Livingston and when I found his 1984 album of the same name on Greensleeves, I figured I had hit pay dirt!  Unfortunately, the version contained on that set was not the same one as I had heard on the sound tape and I was a little disappointed.  For one thing, as I quickly learned, the LP wasn't produced by Junjo Lawes and backed by the Roots Radics like the original; so that should have been an immediate red flag.  Don't get me wrong, I dug the album but it wasn't the missing link I needed to add to my collection.  I got around to locating a copy of the 12" single on the Kaya label out of Jamaica... this was before the advent of online record shopping so it took some serious digging through some actual printed "new-arrival/used" lists that came through the mail and obviously without the luxury of a sound sample.  I got on the phone and called the seller to reserve the record and immediately went to the local post office to plop down my hard-earned cash to convert into a money order, and sent it off blindly, keeping my fingers crossed that this was the record I had been wanting so badly.  Thankfully after what felt like an eternity, I arrived home from work one night to find that beloved square mailing box by the front door.  You fellow record collectors know that box don't you?  That one that catapults you into a giddy, almost euphoric, state of blissful anticipation... that one that makes you toss a tax refund check on the floor or forces away the affection of your loved ones greeting you after a hard day at work... that one that you tear into with a steak knife without regard to your own personal safety or that of anyone or anything that may stray too close to the blade or the packing tape?  When I got it out of the box and threw it on the turntable I was immediately transported to Skateland, Kingston Jamaica circa 1983... and it still remains one of my favorite records.  Enjoy!  As you can see the Youtube clip is on Greensleeves but it's the same mix.

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