Barry Brown


Barry Brown has passed away.... (b. 1962), a consistent hit-maker in the late '70s, died Saturday May 29, 2004, on the premises of the Soundwave Recording Studio at Ivy Green Crecent in Kingston where it was reported that he fell and hit his head. Barry Brown, is credited for such hits as "Far East", "Step It Up Youth Man", "Natty Rootsman", "Not So Lucky", "We Just Can't Live Like This", "Politician", "Cool Pon Your Corner", "Jah Jah Fire", "Mafia", "Jah Jah Say" among others.

Barry Brown - Rich Man Poor Man - 1978-1980 - Moll Selekta

Barry had about 5 albums released in a couple of years - Bunny Lee and Sugar Minott released at least one a peice - but he worked for a load of producers - sometimes this kind of thing can work for you - as it did for Sugar, Johnny Osbourne and Frankie Paul - sometimes it just gets very confusing. This set for instance must be built on one he did for producer Blackbeard.Yet it doesn't ring a bell. And its a great album. 14 tracks, great songs and great vocals. Those vocals are the key to understanding Barry Brown's style - in places they sound a lot like Linval Thompson - but for the most part they had a rambling quality that take him close to folk music - it seems he was called 'The Jamaican Bob Dylan' its a very good observation. Blackbeard production work is excellent creating great rhythm with people like Sly and Robbie, The Radics and the High Times band. Mention must also be made of the excellent packaging from Moll Selekta - A four fold Digipak!

Barry Brown - Not So Lucky - Black Roots

Although there are more than enough albums that should have given Barry Brown the breakthrough he deserves, this should have been the one. Produced by Sugar Minott for Youth Promotion - Barry at the time of it's release was more or less what Youth Promotion was all about. A talented youth, who could write songs and had a very distinctive voice. It's true to say that his vocal style did have a tendency to make all material sound the same, but that's true of Burning Spear, I Jah Man Levi and many other artists.

Barry Brown - Right Now - Time

Working with Barry Brown must be real challenge for producers. Yet he just can't breakthrough. He's made a good portion of tunes for a variety of producers, but still his most successful work until now, was made very early on in his career with Bunny Lee then Youth Promotion. The 'I'm Not So Lucky' LP in particular for that company. Still Barry as struggled on indifferent to the current reggae scene's indifference. 'Right Time' for Jah Screw should have changed all of that. Although it hasn't.