Monday, March 17, 2008

Mikey Dread 1954-2008 - A Tribute...

I heard of Michael "Mikey Dread" Campbell's passing last night while at a Gregory Isaacs concert here in Baltimore and was immediately saddened to hear the bad news. Campbell got a job as an engineer for the Jamaican Broadcasting Company in the 1970's. He wasn't particularly digging the amount of foreign music that the Jamaican network was broadcasting and after some dealings was able to start hosting his own program "Dread At The Controls" to showcase reggae exclusively. Of course the show was astoundingly popular throughout the entire island and it filled a void left by those "higher-ups" who sincerely believed that their listeners didn't want to hear homegrown music. Eventually the management at the station started to gripe, probably because the show's popularity damaged their fragile know-it-all attitudes, and by the time Mikey Dread quit he had established himself as a singer and producer and moved on to bigger and better things. Oddly enough Mikey Dread is well known outside of reggae circles for his work with the British punk group the Clash in 1980.

Needless to say, Jamaican music has lost another important and historically significant figure in its musical legacy. Rest in peace Mikey Dread you'll always be The Dread At The Controls!

I've put together a mix to pay tribute to Mikey Dread and I hope you enjoy it, the tracklist is below. He recorded and produced so many quality tunes it was hard to narrow down what I wanted to use but I think what I selected should serve as a nice tribute.

Tracklisting... all albums are on the Dread At The Control label unless noted otherwise
1. "Kasha Herb Rock" from the 1979 album At The Control Dubwise
2. "Warrior Stylee" from the 1982 album Beyond World War III
3. "Barber Saloon" from the Best Sellers Greatest Hits CD
4. "Industrial Spy" from the African Anthem LP from 1979
5. "Roots & Culture" from the Pave The Way CD on Heartbeat Records
6. "The King In The Ring" from the LP Evolutionary Rockers from 1979
7. "School Girl Dub" from the 1995 Lee Perry various artists Larks From The Ark on the Nectar label
8. "Mikey Dread In Action" also from the African Anthem album
9. "Choose Me" also from the Best Sellers LP
10. "Break Down The Walls" from the Beyond World War III album
11. "Hot Cross Bun" from the 1982 Mikey Dread produced Rockers Vibration various artists LP
12. "Rainbow Jungle" from the 1982 Jungle Signal release
13. "Armageddon Style" taken from the 1982 Swalk LP also on the Heartbeat label
14. "Forever And Ever" also from the Pave The Way CD
15. "Michael Campbell Theme" from the 1978 Revolutionaries LP Dread At The Controls Dub on the Hawkeye label

Mikey Dread Tribute

In other Mikey Dread related news... check out this game featuring an animated Mikey Dread


Ian said...

Very sad news. I knew Mikey had been ill for some time, but it's still awful. My thoughts are with his wife & young child.

Anonymous said...

One of the greatest reggae superstars of all time!! Dread at the Controls you'll be remembered forever. Got to love WWIII and SWALK two of the greatest albums of all time....not to mention the Happy Family double. Big up Mikey!


Mikey's music propelled me into the world of dub at the tender age of 13. I'll never forget his concerts, his positive energy and most of all his music. Thank you Mr. Campbell.

Essex Dave said...

Been checkin Mikey since 1979.He truly was/is top rankin'.Great tribute to the truly original DATC.
Him mek heavyweight sound forever!
Strictly roots & culture yooow!
If you like this, download Mikey's podcasts c/o -murderer!

Nicole Campbell said...

I would really appreciate it if you edited your post. This is his daughter in Houston, TX, and I dislike the fact that you have his wrong date of birth. He was born on June 4, 1954. Why say you're a fan if you don't know his biological information.? For future reference, make sure you have all of your facts. Thanks.

Reggaexx said...

Ms. Campbell, I'm sorry that by getting my facts wrong about your father's birth date I've upset you. I've removed all reference to his birth date and have only stated the facts regarding his career. Your father was a great man and I obviously didn't mean to offend and the date I listed as his birth date was obviously taken from an incorrect source when I wrote the piece... my apologies.