Big Youth

Big Youth - Musicology - Vizion Sounds

Here's another big test for Wally F. If working with superstar singers is hard, what about superstar DJ's!!! According to some a DJ should have a very short sell by date. Well if nothing else the likes of Capleton, Sizzla, Beenieman, and Buju have proved that to be nonsense. So what of Jah Youth. Well this set stands up very strongly alongside greats like 'Screaming Target' and 'Hit The Road Jack' its got all the Youth trademarks some great social comment - a little bit of singing and that razor sharp timing that all the deejays from the first era of deejaying have - Wally for his part give the Youth some great rhythms - and like all the other albums on Vizion the production is superb.

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Big Youth - Natty Universal Dread - Blood & Fire

After the first wave of deejays, U.Roy, Dennis Alcapone and I.Roy came The Youth - Big Youth. This latest box set from Blood & Fire rightly places the Youth at the forefront of deejay innovation over a seven-year period - starting from 1973, the roots era, and going up to the start of the dancehall era in1979. The packaging on this set is up to very high standards set by Blood & Fire. In fact it was withdrawn for a while because there was a packaging problem. How many reggae record companies have ever done that? The booklet that accompanies the three CD's contains some great photos, and has the story of the man in full detail. Hopefully this will now start a trend that will see all the other great reggae foundation artists given the same treatment.

Disc 1 - 'Hot Stock' 1973 is a 16 track compilation of his 1973 singles. Included here are famous tunes like 'Chucky No Lucky', 'Hell Is For Heroes', 'Sky Juice' and 'Streets Of Africa'. All the tracks were big hits and have become classics over the years.

 Disc 2 - 'Reggae Phenomenon' 1973-1975 gives us 14 tracks, and for the first time allows us to hear Big Youth singing, or what is now known as singjaying. This was a good five years ahead of the dancehall style. 'Every Nigger Is A Star' is the tune concerned, and it was also the title track of a film. Although it's not the best example of his style, another track, 'My Time', comes closer to what it was all about.

Disc 3 - Hotter Fire - 1975 - 1979 pulls all the various Jah Youth elements together in fine style. It contains the big hit, and possibly the best example of the Youth singjaying, titled 'Hit The Road Jack'. It was always a great song - but in the hands of the Youth, using the 'Love Me Forever' rhythm, it takes on a new life.