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Junior Delgado

In a crowded field, Junior Delgado stands out amongst Jamaica's consummate roots performers, one whose distinctively expressive, and slightly husky, vocals have seen his popularity remain undiminished, even after styles changed and his original forte was pushed away by dancehall. Born August 25, 1958, in Kingston, Jamaica, Delgado began singing in his teens as Junior Hibbert, with the vocal group Time Unlimited. In 1973, the quartet came under the wing of the seminal producer Lee Perry, who both groomed the group and recorded them. Unfortunately, little of this material was released, but eventually Time Unlimited did score a hit with "Reaction."

A higher profile brought more opportunities, and the group recorded singles for producers Rupie Edwards and Tommy Cowan, although none of these enjoyed the success of "Reaction." The group moved on to work with Bunny Lee, but these sessions went nowhere, and in frustration Hibbert quit the quartet in 1975 to pursue a solo career, changing his moniker to Junior Delgado at the same time. Delgado was his longtime nickname, taken from the Spanish word for skinny.

Initially, Delgado remained in the shadows. Sessions with producer Niney Holness proved equally futile, as did a momentary name change to Jooks. Success only came after the singer moved to Dennis Brown's DEB label and set to work with producer Earl "Chinna" Smith. Their first collaboration, "Tition," bore fruit and set the stage for a string of further hits, including "Famine" and "Devil's Throne," which culminated in Delgado's 1978 debut album, Taste of the Young Heart. The following year, the singer started his own label, Incredible Jux, on which he released his follow-up full-length, Effort.

At the same time, Delgado continued recording singles with other noted producers, including Prince Jammy and Joe Gibbs, and with Augustus Pablo, for whom he cut the crucial "Blackman's Heart Cries Out" and "Away With You Fussing and Fighting" singles. The artist spent the early '80s splitting his time between recording and touring Britain, where he proved as popular as in Jamaica. The More She Love It and Disco Style Showcase albums both appeared in 1981 and found the singer experimenting with the new dancehall style. However, Delgado had not entirely deserted his roots stylings. Reuniting with Perry, Delgado recorded the magnificent "Sons of Slaves" single, Sly & Robbie oversaw the production and laid down the rhythms for the classic "Fort Augustus," while the singer self-produced the equally seminal "Rich Man Poor Man." The latter track was a highlight, alongside "Bush Master M16," of 1982's Bushmaster Revolution album. After a forced hiatus, during which time Delgado spent 18 months in prison, in 1985 he recorded "Broadwater Farm" in London, a fiery single inspired by the crime-ridden and poverty stricken north London housing estate of the same name. Coincidentally enough, soon after the record's release, the estate itself made national headlines, upon suffering the most violent and vicious rioting England had ever experienced in then recent times. Sisters & Brothers was released later that year. More singles quickly followed, most notably "Raggamuffin Year," which reunited Delgado and Augustus Pablo for a celebration of the new raggamuffin style which had emerged from the digital revolution. The song would also title the singer's next album, which was released in 1986.

Delgado and Pablo continued recording together throughout the rest of the '80s, across a string of hit singles and the One More Step album. Delgado self-produced his next full-length, It Takes Two to Tango, as well as several more chart-stomping singles, including "Bus I Skull" and "We a Blood." During this period, the singer also played mentor to White Mice and Yami Bolo, co-producing hits by both artists alongside Pablo. As a new decade dawned, Delgado finally slowed down, releasing only two albums during the '90s. An excellent dub companion to Ragamuffin Year done in collaboration with Pablo appeared early in the decade, while 1998's Fearless proved the singer was precisely that. Featuring a diverse clutch of guest stars, running the musical gamut from the Specials' Jerry Dammers to Faithless rapper Maxi Jazz, trip-hop practitioners Smith & Mighty to top-notch remixers the Jungle Brothers, it was apparent that Delgado's interest in new sounds had not flagged over the years. 1999 brought Reasons, recorded in London under the aegis of seminal On-U producer Adrian Sherwood.

Following the death of longtime friend Dennis Brown, Delgado recorded his own personal tribute to this great singer, simply titled Junior Delgado Sings Dennis Brown. During this time, the singer continued performing live to appreciative crowds on both sides of the Atlantic. Delgado has spent over 25 years in the business, yet his music still resonates with today's youth; in 1999 he appeared at the Glasonbury and Roskilde festivals to widespread adulation. Junior Delgado passed away on April 11, 2005. ~ Jo-Ann Greene
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Niney The Observer: Roots With Quality

Disc 1

1. Blood & Fire

2. Whole Lot Of Fire

5. Rascal Man (False Rasta)

6. Rasta No Born Yah

7. Guess Who's Coming To Dinner/Clap The Barber

8. Way To Reason

9. Bring The Couchie Come

10. I Need Your Loving

11. Rock On

12. Silver Words

13. My Baby Is Gone

14. Here I Come

15. Jah Come Here

16. Warrior

18. Every Natty

19. Weeping

20. Sufferation

Disc 2

1. Wolf & Leopards/Nosey Joe

2. Slave Master/Captives

3. Chant It Down

4. Jah Is My Light

5. No More Will I Roam [Extended]

6. Materialist

8. Prophecy Call

10. I Jah I

11. Slave Call

12. Temptation, Botheration & Tribulation

14. Tease My Love

15. Lover's Race

16. Mr. Sun

17. Thank You Mama

18. Lover's Rock J.A. Style

19. Sweets For My Sweet

20. Money Friend

x

Track List: I Am The Upsetter (Box)

Disc 1

7. Return Of Django

8. Check Him Out

9. Prisoner Of Love

10. Return Of The Ugly

11. Rightful Ruler

13. Medical Operation

17. Duppy Conqueror

18. Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying

20. Place Called Africa

21. Give Me Power

23. Beat Down Babylon

25. Small Axe Version 2 (Aka Shocks '71)

Disc 2

1. Public Enemy Number One

2. Professor Ironside

3. Hot & Cold

5. Preacher Man

10. Black Ipa

11. Jungle Lion

12. Bathroom Skank

13. Words

14. Dub Organiser

15. Better Days

16. Station Underground News

17. Rebels Train

18. To Be A Lover

19. Herb Vendor

21. Curly Locks

23. Woman & Money

Disc 3

1. Bury The Razor

2. Woman Gotta Have Love

4. Fire Fe The Vatican

5. Roots Train Number One

6. Ital Corner

7. Thanks & Praise

9. I Was Appointed

10. Groovy Situation

12. Know Love

13. Sons Of Slaves

Disc 4

4. Black Panta

9. Fungea

12. Kingdom Of Dub

13. Dubism

14. Lizard Stick

15. Dub Fu Ye Rights

16. Foundation Solid

18. Vampire

x

Track List: King Jammy's Selectors Choice Vol. 1

Disc 1

1. Ain't No Meaning

2. Draw Mi Mark

3. People Are You Ready

4. It A Ring

5. In Deh

6. Hog Inna Minty

7. The Exit

8. What A La La

9. Come Along

10. False Alarm

11. Good Morning Teacher

12. Stalag Excursion

13. Mr. Landlord

14. It's Magic

15. Nah Look No Work

16. Denise

17. Let Off Supum

Disc 2

1. Pumpkin Belly

2. Call The Police

3. Under Mi Sleng Teng

4. Buddy Bye

6. Eagles Feather

7. Agony

8. Big Belly Man

9. Synthesizer Voice

10. Must Love Reggae

11. Don't Pirate It

12. Me Nuh Response

13. Police Inna England

14. Girlie Girlie

15. Clarks Booty

16. No Warrior

17. Warrior

19. Material Girl

x

Track List: King Jammy: A Man And His Music (Volume 3) Hits Style

3. Jah Fire

5. Higgler Move

7. Africa We Want To Go

9. Water Pumping

10. Come Again

11. Won't You Come Home

13. If I Were A Carpenter

14. Sarah

15. Here I Am

x

Track List: Reggae Anthology: King Jammy's Roots, Reality And Sleng Teng Disc 2

Disc 1

8. Love Tickles Like Magic

11. Water Pumping

12. Boom-Shack-A-Lack

14. Money Man Skank

15. Children Of The Ghetto

16. Clarks Booty

17. Under Me Sleng Teng

18. It A Ring

19. Trouble Again

20. Sweet Reggae Music

Disc 2

1. Wear Yu Size

2. Original Kuff

3. Rock Them One By One

4. Nah Lef Ya

5. Run Around Girl

6. I Know The Score

8. Punanny

9. Duck Dance

10. Get Up Stand Up And Rock

11. Tumbling Down

12. If I Were A Carpenter

15. Here I Am

16. Bandelero

17. Roots, Reality And Culture

18. Lord Watch Over Our Shoulders

19. Fire Bun A Weak Heart

20. One Love

x

Track List: Sly & Robbie Presents: Tune Into Merry-Go-Round ‘Pull Up Selector’ (Remastered)

1. The Good Life

2. Back In Love

3. Talk, Talk

4. Under My Skin

5. Wild Fire

6. Merry-Go-Round

7. On Fire

9. Take Time To Know Her

10. Lonely Won't Leave

11. Pull Up Selector

12. Ready To Go

13. Tune In

14. Hype

15. Talk If You Talking

16. Worker Man

19. Out A Line

x

Track List: Total Reggae: Roots

1. Fisherman

2. True Rastaman

3. Warrior

4. Hard Time Pressure

5. Black Liberation

6. Burn Babylon

7. Two Sevens Clash

8. None A Jah Jah Children

9. Border

10. Vinyard

12. Bits Of Paper

13. Fade Away

14. Never Stop Fighting

15. Ballistic Affair

16. Things And Time

17. Gates Of Zion

20. Fire Burning

22. Ina Jah Children

24. Devil's Throne

25. Carpenter Rebuild

26. Tribal War

27. Call Of The Rastaman

28. Far East

29. Praise Him

30. Jack Slick

31. Trials And Crosses

32. Fools Fighting

33. Torch Of Freedom

34. I Spy

37. Hypocrite

38. Here Comes The Judge

39. It's A Good Day

40. Stepping Out Of Babylon

x

Track List: United Dreadlocks Vol. 1

1. Set The Captives Free

2. Children Of Israel

3. Wicked Have To Dressback

4. Devil's Throne

5. Tribulation

6. Whip Them Jah Jah

9. Lovelight Aka Love Light Burning

10. Marcia

Comments

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#FIRE
Report as inappropriate
Lee scratch Perry's works never fall.
Report as inappropriate
Massive tune ras
Report as inappropriate
'Sons of Slaves' is scorchin'!

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