Throughout his 33 years in the music business Junior Delgado certainly proved to be no baby lion ; Born Oscar Hibbert, in 1958 in Whitfield Town, Kingston, Jamaica, he grew up in Luke Lane and Rockfort, before settling in Duhaney Park. He comes from a musical family, being a nephew of the late vibrophone maestro and bandleader Lennie Hibbert. From his humble beginnings as a vocalist with the little recorded Time Unlimited harmony outfit up until his recently completed masterpiece 'Invisible Music', Jux, as he is familiarly known - has remained a defiant expressionist of the concerns of his environment, the ghetto or the 'Pit' as he refers to it. He was the voice of the oppressed, a lyrical revolutionary and had one of the most impassioned vocal deliveries in the whole canon of Jamaican music.
When part of the aforementioned Time Unlimited, he first came under the wing of Jamaica's most innovative producer Lee 'Scratch' Perry. With group and solo efforts, Junior recalls voicing at least an album's worth of material during his time with the Upsetter, most of which has never seen the light of day. 'Reaction' represents Delgado's first performance in front of the studio microphone, and he cites this period with Perry as being highly influential on his developing vocal style. Time Unlimited also recorded for Tommy Cowan, Total Sounds and under the alias name the Heaven Singers, for Rupie Edwards.
By 1975, the group had disbanded and Junior embarked on a solo career. Initally, he pursued the time-honoured tradition in Jamaic of singing for a variety of producers. He recorded titles for Winston 'Niney' Holness, Larry Lawrence, Lee Perry (again) Joe Gibbs - and his two closest brethren - Augustus Pablo and Dennis Brown.
Gathering together many of the essential tracks released at this time 'Taste Of The Young Heart' remains one of Jamaican music's all time classic sets. The follow up 'Effort' consolidated Jux's position in the upper echelons of Jamaican vocalists. Further hits followed for Prince Jammy and Sly and Robbie, and he soon released his third album 'Bushmaster Connection'. This time, however it was self-produced and issued on his own label 'Incredible Jux'.
After a break of enforced inactivity, Junior early eighties output was far from prolific. However, having re-located to Jamaica in 1985, Junior's career experienced a second wave of success. Albums quickly followed from Island, Jammy's, Skengdon and the UK's Fashion label. The success of 'Ragamuffin Year' re-forged the link between Jux and Pablo, and they would continue to work closely from here-on. By now, as well as confidently producing himself, he was instrumental in grooming the up and coming talents of Yami Bolo and White Mice.
Since the nineties, Junior resided in London, choosing to record less frequently as he toured Europe, Africa and the USA extensively. A deal with Big Cat/V2 led to a further resurgence of his career with the release of the experimental bass and drum textures of 'Fearless' and 'Reasons', a co-production between Jux, Adrian Sherwood/Skip McDonald.
Junior then took the brave step of opening his studio in Tooting. It was fitting that the first fruits of this facility was an impeccable selection of Dennis Brown finest recordings, delivered as a heartfelt tribute to his late friend. Due to Jux's energy, enthusiasm and charisma, Incredible Studio was soon buzzing, both with in-house projects and outside bookings. Unfortunately, halfway through recording his next solo album, the entire premises were flooded.
Despite this setback - and protracted negotiations with insurance companies - he was determined both to rebuild his studio and complete his album. It is sadly ironic that as both projects were about to reach conclusion, Junior should leave us at such a sudden moment on the morning of 11th April 2005.
'Invisible Music' will stand strong as the closing muscial testament of Junior 'Incredible Jux' Delgado - a true lion of Jamaican music who never stopped roaring. Junior's concern for the poor and downtrodden never wavered. He was always their champion, and understood fully that the sufferers struggle is an international struggle.
Colin 'The Fencebeater' Moore.
Junior Delgado - World War 3 - Incredible Music 7"
Always ready with a strong comment on world affairs, Jux tells its as it is, was and will be. The truth is out there, it just needs people like this man to keep telling it.
Junior Delgado sings Dennis Brown - Incredible Music
Some artists sound a lot like Dennis Brown, but only Jux could make this tribute album. Jux was one of the first people to record for Dennis when he went into producing, and he had some of his biggest hits on the DEB label way back in the 70's. Now it's up to Jux to carry on the struggle. Recutting some 16 of Dennis Brown's biggest hits is a good way to start. All of them are classics, loved by reggae fans from time, and will continue to be so for many years to come.
Junior Delgado 'Treasure Found - Part 3 - No Baby Lion'
Win a copy of 'No Baby Lion' what was Jux's second big hit in the UK?
After months of delay the third volume of this mighty series is now available. Featuring 15 tracks drawn from the early seventies to around the mid eighties. Included on the set is the first cut of 'Reaction' produced by Lee Perry . Two more classics 'Blackman's Heart' and 'Away With Fussing And Fighting' both produced by Augustus Pablo. Also featured is the next cut to 'Tiction' , 'Jah Jah Say' which goes into a trumpet version by Bobby Ellis, produced by Jux himself. Another long in demand Jux production is 'Hippo' is also present.
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Junior Delgado - Reasons - Big Cat - CD. Jux's 'Fearless' album for Big Cat wasn't going to do anything for him or reggae music. The's man's voice is unique in that the rougher the production the better he sounds, re-cutting old hits over jungle rhythms is not the answer. Neither is the jazz and blues approach found on this album. Earl Sixteen would sound great on these tracks, but Junior requires something a lot tougher. This is not a bad album, it would just be better with a simpler mix. Jux is bound to get it right on his next set recorded and mixed at his own studio in London.
Junior Delgado – Treasure Found – Incredible Music - CD. With so many great albums out there to choose from – and if they’re not – they should be. On the surface there doesn’t seem to be a need for an album like, but then you realise the amount of great single that Juxs has released that do not appear on any of his albums – and you quickly come to the conclusion that this work is truly essential. A 15 track set that includes ‘Really For A Reason’ , ‘Sons Of Slaves’ ‘Love Tickles Like Magic’ plus many many more – is far beyond essential!
Junior Delgado - Taste Of The Young Heart - DEB - 1978. 'Tiction' and 'Sons Of Slaves' with those has a foundation, Junior has built a reputation for first class songs, but what has pushed him to the front along with Dennis and Gregory has been his voice,
a strange mixture of Ken Boothe and Dennis Brown, when first heard it's quite startling. What is also to been found here is the work of a great songwriter. Those forementioned first two hits was just the start. Neither of them are on this album, but this
set stills comes across like a greatest hits album.
Junior Delgado - Effort - DEB - 1979.
His first album although produced by Dennis Brown, also included productions from Augustus Pablo. This set was all DEB. The sound here is mainly late rockers, and this is the reason why over the years this album as been forgotten, and to my knowledge as never been reissued. Despite the same mixture of songs including the magnificent 'Warning' (perhaps better known as 'Warrior' or 'Raiders') and some great singing by Junior, by the time of it's release it was rhythically out of date.
Junior Delgado - Classics - Maccabees - 1985
'Taste Of The Young Heart' was Junior Delgado's debut album. At the time of it's release the only criticism of it concerned the amount of music on the album that had come out previously on single. But what is an artist or producer supposed to do with a number of hit singles leave them on the shelf? Thankfully Junior thinks not. As this latest collection shows. Everyone of the tunes on this album is great. Showing Junior Delgado to be in possesion of one of the music's most distinctive voices, as well as
a fine songwriter.
Junior Delgado - Raggamuffin Year - Mango/Island - 1986. Co/produced with Augustus Pablo - 'Raggamuffin Year' it's a song and a album that takes up the challenge thrown down by the West's move to the right, with the retort of just how much blood and destruction do you want? Except the failure, it's impossible to stand in the way of change and progress. Junior follows such a powerful song with others about love, life, history and his faith. It's a truly moving LP, and it was one that Junior back to the top in both the UK and the U.S. where the album sold very well.
Junior Delgado - Moving Down The Road - Live & Love - 1987 The threat/treat of a Junior Delgado musical explosion as been there for many years. Then in the early eighties Jux went to Jail in the UK on some minor offence. After recording some tunes released on disco in the UK, he then returns to Ja to work with Pablo. That LP 'Raggamuffin Year' as now been followed by 4 more! This set is from King Jammys. And over well worked computerized rhythms, Jux gives us manys moods. Mellow and loving on 'Sweet Lady', angry on 'If You A Worrier' and iry and upful on 'Rasta People'.
Junior Delgado - Stranger - Skeng Don - 1987
Next comes 'Stranger' for the Miami based Skeng Don company, who have recorded it seems LP's with nearly every reggae artist who visits the studios in the city. Jux's LP suggests that the company clearly will be a force to contend with. 'Stranger' the opening title track sets the pattern for the whole of the album. A human based, tight bass and drum is lead by some wonderfully played keyboard lines (Jackie Mittoo?). This is all Jux needs to inspire and create some interesting lyrics.
Junior Delgado - It Takes Two To Tango - Fashion - 1987 London's Fashion label gives us Jux's third release of '87, and provides us with more good works. 'Hot Stuff' was a very popular tune for Jux last year, and is really the starting point for this LP.
With Augustus Pablo and Jux working in the A.Class studio last Autumn more tracks were produced, and thus we end up with this wonderful creation. Throughout the LP a varied production approach is taken. Some tracks are fully computerised others are mixed
while some feature real bass and drum.
Junior Delgado - Roadblock - Blue Trac - 1987
This is another set for producer King Jammy. Although this one is for the Blue Trac company which usually means a more co-operative approach is used. That co-operation seems to be the use of Channel One for the recording of the LP and Dynamics for the mix. Musically it sounds like the High Times Players who provided Jammy with rhythms, before he become fully computerized. It's even possible that 'Roadblock' was recorded before 'Moving Down The Road' Either way the LP finds all concerned in good form.
Junior Delgado – Prophecy – Big Cat 7"
For example this tune comes out of a studio in Port Antonio called Gee St, and is taken from his forthcoming Big Cat album called ‘Reasons’ which is co-produced by Adrian Sherwood. If the rest of the album is as good as this track it should be Jux's best set for a long time. The subject matter is perfect for the man as well.