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Dillinger

A DJ as famous as his gangster namesake, Dillinger was one of the second wave of Jamaican toasters who sprung up in the wake of the success of U-Roy, Big Youth, and Dennis Alcapone. By the mid-'70s, the young Dillinger had rapped his way to the top of the pack and won international acclaim. Renowned for his quick wit, irreverent raps, and whacked sense of humor, the DJ remains one of the most innovative and humorous toasters of any era. Born Lester Bullocks on June 25, 1953, in Kingston, Jamaica, as a youth, the DJ-to-be hung around the sound systems, lending an occasional hand loading equipment for the El Paso setup, home to Dennis Alcapone. This led to the bigger DJ passing him the mic, but it was Prince Jackie's sound system that gave the teen his first regular gig. With the departure of Alcapone from El Paso, Bullocks took his place...and his name, initially DJing under the moniker Dennis Alcapone, Jr. It was producer Lee Perry who convinced the DJ to change his name, with his legendary comment: "You're different from Alcapone. You're Dillinger."

The year was 1973 and the newly christened DJ already had a considerable following amongst the sound system crowd. Perry took the young man into his Black Ark studio and proceeded to record a considerable wealth of material, releasing them as singles, debuting the DJ with "Dub Organizer." None of these releases made any great impact and the following year, Dillinger tried his luck anew with producer "Yabby You." The DJ was handed the rhythm from "Jah Vengeance," and turned out a winning lyrical performance revolving around Rastafarian dietary strictures. Released as the "Freshly" single, the song became an instant hit. Dillinger was now the man in demand, and he began cutting singles for a host of producers, working with the likes of Niney Holness, Augustus Pablo, and Count Ossie across a clutch of excellent recordings. Clement "Coxsonne" Dodd having already produced the DJ's "Killer Man Jaro" single, now set Dillinger to work on his debut album. Ready Natty Dreadie appeared in 1976, and as to be expected, featured Dillinger's raps over Studio One classics.

However, only the quickest of the buying public would actually hear the title-track, a sublime version of Burning Spear's "Creation Rebel." Dodd, always the businessman, decided to cash in on the current kung fu craze, replacing that song with "Natty Kung Fu" on later pressings. While the album certainly cemented Dillinger's standing in Jamaica, it was its follow-up, CB 200, that brought him international renown. Again, the Channel One archives supplied the backing, with the Mighty Diamonds in particular tapped for their classic rhythms, while producer Jo Jo Hookim oversaw the recording. The title-track, a version of Gregory Isaacs' "Sun Shines for Me," was a smash in its own right, and a fitting tribute to Dillinger's beloved motorcycle. CB 200 was filled with hits: "Plantation Heights"; "Crankface," where Dillinger is joined by close friend and fellow DJ Trinity; but none more so than "Cocaine in My Brain," which swept the world like a drug epidemic itself.

Britain, now in the wave of a punk revolution, made Dillinger one of their own and when the DJ came to London, he performed to rapturous crowds (including a rather intimidated Joe Strummer). It was here, too, that he recorded his next album, the Clement Bushay-produced Clash, which pitted Dillinger against Trinity. These dueling DJ discs were popular in Jamaica and several of its tracks, including "Rizla Skank," were island hits, but crashed and burned in a larger community desperate for more "Cocaine." And the public's addiction would be Dillinger's own international downfall. Bionic Dread, also released in 1976, was produced by Hookim and featured a slew of heavy rhythms and a mouthful of excellent toasts, yet it sank without trace abroad. Talkin' Blues followed suit in 1978. Top Ranking, also released that year, was true to its title, with a clutch of fiery tracks equal to anything on CB 200. Corn Bread, Dillinger's third full-length for the year, pitted the DJ against producers Shrowder and Sevitt; all three walked away winners.

In 1979, Answer My Questions appeared, yet none of these albums made the slightest impact outside Jamaica. On the island, however, the DJ continued releasing exceptional singles and his domestic career, at least, continued on course. Between 1977 and 1979, Dillinger released a slew of domestic hits, many recorded with producer Bunny Lee, including duets with Johnny Clarke, Hortense Ellis, and Delroy Wilson. The DJ can also be heard on the superb "Lamb's Bread" with Sugar Minott. But Dillinger still itched for the international spotlight and he regained it later in 1979 with the long awaited follow-up to "Cocaine," "Marijuana in My Brain," which also titled his new album.

Once again, the DJ's international profile skyrocketed, while the single hit the top of the chart in Holland. Even the U.S. took notice, and Dillinger clinched a deal with A&M, which released 1980's Badder Than Them. In a deliberate attempt to solidify his success, the DJ jumped on the electronic/new wave bandwagon that was crashing across Europe and the States. Badder was an intriguing effort, however new wave fans seemed immune to toasters, while the island was unprepared for an electro-revolution. The album fared poorly, and A&M immediately lost interest.

Still, Dillinger's British fan base remained loyal, at least judging by the crowd's response on the Live at the Music Machine, recorded that year in London and released in 1981. It was evident that the DJ's stage show was as powerful as ever, a fact confined by a second live set, Live in London, that appeared the same year. This latter was recorded with the equally notorious Clint Eastwood, the elder brother of Dillinger's old dueling partner Trinity. By now, Dillinger was looking to expand his own production work and in 1982, he produced a series of 12" singles via the British Oak Sound label, both of his own material of other artists. His next album, the self-produced Join the Queue, hit the streets in 1983. However, for Funky Punk, released the same year, he brought in the Sevitt and Shrowder production team, who laid on lashes of disco-funk. The highpoint, of course, was "LSD in My Brain." The pair also produced 1984's Blackboard Jungle, which was a better effort, but not quite as good as King Pharaoh, also released that year, which returned the DJ to form.

Tribal War appeared two years later and by then, it was clear that Dillinger had had his day in the sun, and he gracefully retired from music. That is for at least for a few years, until Bunny Lee and Superblack enticed him back into the studio for 1993's Say No to Drugs (an ironic title if ever there was one). The 3 Piece Suit compilation also enlivened interest in Dillinger that year and bundled up a batch of Bunny Lee-produced cuts, along with a number of King Tubby dub versions. Dillinger now returned to the stage and has continued touring ever since. At the end of the decade, the two-CD Rebel With a Cause compilation bound up a career-spanning collection of material, while Cocaine in My Brain concentrated on the '70s hits and also included almost a dozen Lee Perry cuts. The DJ has also consistently released new singles. ~ Jo-Ann Greene
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: 3 Piece Suit

1. Answer My Question

2. Natty Dread a the Ruler

3. Fernando Sancho

4. Leggo Violence

5. Liar Linda

6. Everybody Girl

7. Three Piece Suit & Thing

8. Tickle Me Girl

9. The Fool and His Money

10. Babylon Leggo Jah Children

11. African Worldwide (Dub)

12. Into the African Dub

13. Truth & Rights

14. The Right Dub Wise

15. Don't Take Another Man's Life

16. Man Size Dub

17. Jah Show Them the Way

18. 12 Tribe Dub

19. Trial and Crosses

20. Into Bradforth Dub

21. See and Blind

22. Striker See da Dub Ya

x

Track List: Answer Me Questions

1. Answer My Question

2. Natty Dread a the Ruler

3. Fernando Sancho

4. Leggo Violence

6. Everybody Girl

7. Three Piece Suit & Thing

8. Tickle Me Girl

9. The Fool and His Money

10. Babylon Leggo Jah Children

x

Track List: Join The Queue

1. Jennifer Naurd

2. Just Be Nice

3. Mr Mickie

4. Rub A Dub Anthem

5. Please Officer

6. Duddle Oley

7. Join The Queue

8. Know Me So Good

9. Papa Can't Help You

10. Johnny Raker

x

Track List: Five Man Army

2. Five Man Dubb

x

Track List: The Fool And His Money

1. The Fool & His Money

x

Track List: Truth And Light

1. Truth and Light

x

Track List: Best Of Dillinger

1. Natty Dread A Ruler

2. Roots Natty Congo

3. See and Blind

4. African Worldwide

5. African Worldwide (Dub)

6. Daylight Saving Time

7. Fernando Sancho

8. Leggo Violence

9. Regular Girl

10. Tickle Me

11. Trial and Crosses

12. Jah Show Them the Way

13. Jah Show Them the Way (Dub)

14. Don't Take Another Man's Life

15. Don't Take Another Man's Life (Dub)

16. Clock

17. Babylon Leggo Jah Children

18. Answer My Question

19. Addis Ababba Ethiopia- Original

20. Truth and Light

21. Truth And Light (Dub)

x

Track List: Natty Dread A The Ruler

1. Natty Dread A The Ruler

x

Track List: Hard Times

1. Love Is All I Bring

2. Cocain In My Brain (Re-Recording)

3. Time So Hard

4. Don't Want To Wait In Vain

5. Money Alone Is Not Enough

6. Some More Love

7. Hear And Deaf

8. Marijuana In My Brain

9. Bathe In A Washpan

10. King Pharaoh Was A Bald Head

11. Dub It In A Three Mile

12. I Want To Squeeze You

13. Rastafari Rule

14. Concubine

15. Mickey Mouse Crab Louse (Bonus Track)

16. The Tuffest Of The Past (Bonus Track)

x

Track List: See And Blind / Striker See Da Dub Ya

1. See & Blind

2. Striker See Da Dub Ya

x

Track List: At King Tubby's

1. Regular Girl

2. Jah Show Them The Way

3. Jah Show Them The Way (Dub)

4. African Worldwide

5. African Worldwide (Dub)

6. Don't Take Another Man's Life

7. Don't Take Another Man's Life (Dub)

8. Trial And Crosses

9. See And Blind

10. Leggo Violence

11. Natty Dread A Ruer

12. Daylight Saving Time

13. Fernando Sancho

14. Babylon Leggo Jah Children

15. Truth And Light

x

Track List: Pure Gold - Dillinger

1. Don't Take Another Man's Life

2. Regular Girl

3. Daylight Saving Time

4. African Worldwide Love

5. Three Piece Suit And Thing

6. Truth And Right

7. Answer Me Question

8. Trial And Crosses

9. Tickle Me Girl

10. Jah Show Them The Way

11. Natty Dread A The Ruler

12. Leggo Violence

13. See And Blind

14. Liar Linda

15. Fernando Sancho

16. The Fool And His Money

17. Babylon Leggo Jah Children

18. Everybody Girl

x

Track List: Kingston Ruler CD2

1. Love Of A Woman - Original

2. That's Life - Original

3. Conqueror - Original

4. Left With A Broken Heart - Original

5. Africa We Want To Go - Original

6. Lightning & Thunder - Original

7. Tribulation - Original

8. Some Like It Hot - Original

9. Westbound Train - Original

10. Smiling Face - Original

11. So Long - Original

12. You're No Good - Original

13. Half Way Up - Original

14. Cassandra - Original

x

Track List: Some Like It Hot

2. Cassandra

5. Left With A Broken Heart

6. Lightning & Thunder

7. Love Of A Woman

8. Smiling Face

9. So Long Rastafari

10. Some Like It Hot

11. That's Life

12. Tribulation

14. You're No Good

x

Track List: Cocaine In My Brain

1. Headquarters

2. Tighten Up Skank

3. Cane River Rock

4. Uncle Charlie

5. John Devour

6. Skanking

7. Connection

8. Mid East Rock

9. Ensome City Skank

10. Dub Organiser

11. Festival Rock

12. Cocky Bully

13. Fat Free Skank

14. Stick The Beef

15. God Is Standing By

16. Dangerous Sound Boy

17. Donkey Bine

18. Babylon Yard

19. Leggo Violence

20. Liar Linda

21. See And Blind

x

Track List: CB 200 + Bionic Dread

1. CB 200

2. No Chuck It

3. Cokane In My Brain (Single Version)

4. The General

5. Power Bank

6. Plantation Heights

7. Race Day (Extended Version)

8. Natty Kick Like Lightning

9. Buckingham Palace

10. Crankface (feat. Trinity)

11. Bionic Dread (Single Version)

12. King Of The Road

13. Invisible Dread

14. Forward 10 Commandments

15. Ragnampiza (Single Version)

16. Eastman Skank

17. Ital Fighting

18. Combination Two

19. Selassie I

20. Natty B.Sc.

x

Track List: Cocaine In My Brain The Anthology

Disc 1

1. Headquarters

2. Tighten Up Skank

3. Cane River Rock

4. Uncle Charlie

5. John Devour

6. Skanking

7. Connection

8. Mid East Rock

9. Ensome City Skank

10. Dub Organiser

12. Cocky Bully

14. Stick The Beef

15. God Is Standing By

16. Dangerous Sound Boy

17. Donkey Bine

18. Babylon Yard

19. Leggo Violence

20. Liar Linda

21. See And Blind

Disc 2

2. Natty Dread A The Ruler

4. The Fool And His Money

5. Flat Foot Hustling

7. Answer My Question

9. Don't Take Another Man's Life

10. Blackboard Jungle

13. Mickey Mouse Crab Louse

14. Cocaine In My Brain

19. Trial And Crosses

21. Marijuana In My Brain

22. African Roots Rock Reggae

x

Track List: Ultimate Collection

1. Ragnampiza

2. Jah Show Them The Way

3. CB 200

4. Cokane In My Brain

5. Dread Called Fred

6. Flat Foot Hustling

7. The General

8. Daylight Saving Time

9. Ital Fighting

10. So Long Rastafari

11. Crashie First Socialist

12. Bionic Dread

13. Repatriation Time

14. Cornbread

15. Marijuana In My Brain

16. Cup Of Tea

17. I Thirst, Pt. 2

18. I Saw E Saw

19. Plantation Heights

20. Melting Pot

21. War Is Over

22. Natty B.SC.

x

Track List: Youthman Veteran

1. Hungry

3. No Racial War

5. A Psalm A Day

7. Drunken Junkies

9. Rejoice

11. Youthman Veteran

13. The Works

15. Poverty

x

Track List: Under Heavy Manners: The Best Of Dillinger

1. Cocaine In My Brain

2. Cup Of Tea

3. African Roots, Rock Reggae

4. Blackboard Jungle

5. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

6. Cayamanas Park

7. LSD

8. Three Piece Suit and Thing

9. Tickle Me Girl

10. Answer Me Question

11. Marijuana In My Brain

12. Africa, We Want To Go

13. Smiling Faces

14. Don't Take Another Man's Life

15. Natty Kung Fu

16. CB 2000

x

Track List: Natty BSc

Disc 1

1. Cup Of Tea

2. Addis Ababa Ethiopia

3. Conqueror

4. Left With A Broken Heart

5. African Roots Rock Reggae

6. Blackboard Jungle

8. Marijuana In My Brain

9. Leggo Violence

10. Africa, We Want To Go

11. Natty Kung Fu

12. Crabs In My Pants

14. Smiling Face

15. Natty Dread A The Ruler

17. Cayamanas Park

18. No Rapping On The Bus

Disc 2

1. That's Life

2. The Fool And His Money

3. Cocaine In My Brain

4. Trial And Crosses

5. LSD

6. Answer Me Question

7. Three Piece Suit And Thing

8. Jah Show Them The Way

9. Tribulation

11. See And Blind

12. Lightning And Thunder

13. Loving Pauper

14. Don't Take Another Man's Life

15. Westbound Train

16. Tickle Me Girl

17. Natty BSc

x

Track List: Say No To Drugs

1. No Sound Contest

2. Money It A Lick

3. Gun Hawk

4. Say No To Drugs

5. Freedom Fighter

6. Short And Stout

7. You I Love

8. Wey You Wann Me Do

9. Rub It Down

10. Child Abuse

11. Jealousy

12. Ball Of Fire

x

Track List: Cocaine

1. Cocaine In My Brain - Re-Recording

2. Jah Love - Original

3. Funky Punk - Original

4. Mickey Mouse Crab Louse - Original

5. I Thirst - Original

6. Loving Pauper - Original

7. Flat Foot Hustlin' - Original

8. Crabs In My Pants - Original

9. Marijuana In My Brain - Original

x

Track List: Reparation Now

1. The Family

2. Love Is Lovely

3. Goodfriend

4. Teck Gal

5. Tell Me The Truth

6. Should All Aquaintance

7. Another Sound Bite The Dust

8. Ceaser

9. Reparation Now

10. The Mark Of The Beast

11. Cup Of Tea

12. African Caribbean

13. Tallawah Sound

14. Plait Scank

15. Sound Boy Dead

Comments

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michaelrocks 6 8
Democrats and Islamists cannot answer the question.

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