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Linval Thompson

With the release of Blood and Fire's Ride on Dreadlocks and the reissues of his catalog of classic roots material, Linval Thompson's reputation as one of the finest reggae singers from the roots-renaissance was rightfully assured. A prolific producer whose credits include Dennis Brown, the Wailing Souls, Eek-A-Mouse, Freddie McGregor, and the Viceroys, among others, Thompson has also released a number of his own vocal (and dub) albums through independent labels and his own imprints. Linval Thompson's musical gifts were recognized early in his life when he began writing songs as a teenager. He made his first recording while living with his mother in New York. The composition "There Is No Other Woman" was a collaboration with future Third World guitarist Bunny Ruggs. Returning to Kingston, Thompson began working at Lee "Scratch" Perry's legendary Black Ark studios under producer Phil Pratt: subsequently contributing to the Upsetter classic "Kung Fu Man." Though early connections like this, and a brief stint with Augustus Pablo's Rockers imprint, were invaluable, Thompson's greatest success came when he established himself as a producer. Following his 1975 Bunny Lee-engineered debut, Don't Cut Off Your Dreadlocks (released as Cool Down in the U.S.), Thompson and new assistant Henry "Junjo" Lawes produced the singer's I Love Marijuana in 1978. Recorded at the famous Channel 1 studio, Thompson was backed by a rhythm section of Rockers' drummer Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace and the Wailers' bassist Aston "Family Man" Barrett. The success of I Love Marijuana attracted many singers in search of Thompson's sound. While the artists he produced throughout the late '70s and early '80s failed to achieve the same degree of commercial success, albums from Mystic Eyes and DJs Big Joe and Trinity still maintained the classic late '70s roots feel.

The beginning of the '80s found reggae music in flux once again with the advent of the DJ-dominated dancehall style. Thompson (along with former employee Lawes) was at the forefront, tracking Roots Radics' rhythms at Channel 1 and sending the results to Scientist for mixing. The collaborations with the former King Tubby producer resulted in dub titles like Scientist Meets the Space Invaders (1981) and Scientist Encounters Pac Man (1982). Thompson constructed his own dub-scapes as well, on Negrea Dub, Green Bay Dub, and Outlaw Dub. In 1982, Freddie McGregor scored a hit with the Thompson-engineered "Big Ship (Sailing on the Ocean)" (after which the singer christened his own label). It would be one of Thompson's last major production successes: by the decade's mid-point, his work load began to tail off. The genre had become infatuated with digital technology following the massive success of Wayne Smith's "Under Me Sleng Teng" in 1985. Displeased with the new trend, Thompson preferred to recede from view, developing his Stony Hill property and dabbling in real estate. The singer continued to enter the studio occasionally, reuniting with longtime collaborator Robbie Shakespeare for his 1988 album Starlight. In the decade that followed, classic, out of print Thompson material began seeing the light of day once again through reissues from Majestic Reggae (Jah Jah Dreader Than Dread), Blood and Fire (Ride On Dreadlocks), and Trojan (Channel 1 Rockers), among others. The results were a clearer look at a body of work that, at its best, could rival Thompson contemporaries like Johnny Clarke, Horace Andy, and Cornel Campbell. Though well past his late-'70s prime, Thompson continued to make occasional concert appearances and recording dates into the 21st century. ~ Nathan Bush
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Baby Father

1. Love Me Forever

2. If You Want My Love

3. Shouldn't Lift Your Hand

4. Yes I'm Coming

5. Baby Father

6. All Night Long

7. Run Down Vanity

8. Poor Man

9. She Gone

10. Tell Me The Right Time

x

Track List: Negrea Love Dub

1. Rock Me In Dub

2. Channel One In Dub

3. Thompson In Dub

4. Negrea Love Dub

5. Jah Jah Children Dub

6. Lion Dub

7. Natty Dread Dub

8. Roots Dub

9. Jamaica Colley Dub

10. Africa Love Dub

x

Track List: Linval Thompson & The Revolutionaries: Boss Man's Dub

1. La La Means I Dub You

2. One More Dub

3. Gonna Be Sorry In Dub

4. Lonely Dub

5. I'm Your Dub

6. Babylonian Dub

7. Boss Man's Dub

8. Willow Tree Dub

9. Africa In Dub

10. Morning Dub

11. Roots Version

x

Track List: King Jammys Presents The Best Of

1. A Nuh Nutten

2. Can't Stop The Ghetto Youth

3. If You Lose Me

4. Let's Not Fight

5. Fuss & Fight

6. Ready Fe Dem

7. She Gone

8. Six Babylon

9. Suzie Wong

10. Train To Zion

x

Track List: Legend Platinum Edition

1. Jah Jah The Conqueror (Platinum Edition)

2. No Escape

3. Long Long Dreadlocks

4. Never Conquer (Platinum Edition)

5. Black Princess Lady

6. Money Money

7. Blood Gonna Run

8. Ride On Natty Dread

9. Big Big Girl Platinum Edition)

10. Cool Down Your Temper

11. Don't Trouble Trouble

12. Don't Cut Off Your Dread Locks

13. Wicked Babylon

14. Jah Jah Man

15. Jezebel Woman

16. Penny For Your Song

17. Trouble In Dub (Platinum Edition)

18. Conquer Jah Dub

19. Sukumaka

20. Sukumanka Version

x

Track List: EP Vol 2

1. Leave Trouble

2. Trouble In Dub

3. Jah Jah Conqueror

4. Conquering Version

x

Track List: The Early Sessions 1974-1982

1. No Other Woman

2. Another Man

3. Westbound Plane

4. Mariguana

5. Kung Fu Man

6. River Jordan

7. Natty Dread Is The Greatest

8. Zion

9. Dread Are The Controller

10. She Is Mad With Me

11. Six Babylon

12. Murder

13. Brown Skin Girl

14. Rastafari Is My Religion

15. Lump Sum

16. Don't Be Afraid

x

Track List: Ghetto Living

1. Natty Africa

2. Ghetto Living

3. Hustler

4. Government People

5. Free Marijuana

6. Marijuana Dub

7. Roots Princess

8. Roots Princess Dub

9. Natural Beauty

10. Jah Jah Is My Father

11. Bad Friend

12. All Is Vanity

13. Bad Boys

14. Love Brother, Love

15. Empress

16. Halla Dem A Bawl

x

Track List: Don't Cut Off Your Dreadlocks (Single)

1. Don't Cut Off Your Dreadlocks

x

Track List: Rocking Vibration

1. Never Push Your Brother

2. Freedom Fighters

3. Rocking Vibration

4. More Power

5. I Got To Have You

6. No Confusion

7. Black Woman

8. Rasta Children

9. Dangerous Position

10. No More Problems

11. Jah Jah A Do It

12. Super Star

13. Just Another Girl

14. Mr. Bossman

15. Don't Push Me Around

16. Give Thanks And Praises

17. Natty Pressure Them

x

Track List: Dub Story

1. Get My Dub Together

2. Ethiopian Dub

3. We Need More Dubwise

4. My Dub Princess

5. Dub Cheat

6. A Wicked Dub

7. Dub Conqueror

8. Big Big Dub

9. Suku Maka Dub

10. Runaway Dub

11. Nyah Bingi Dub Call

12. Dub Tribe

13. Cheat Me Outta Dub

14. Dub Temper

x

Track List: Phoenix Dub

1. Clock Face Dub

2. Back Against The Wall

3. Dub Somebody

4. Wrong Flight Version

5. Hungry Belly Dub

6. Holding On Dub

7. Dubbing Feet

8. Guide Me In Dub

9. Got To Hide Dub

10. Lonely Cry Dub

11. Own Eyes Version

12. Scatter Grain Dub

13. Dubbing To Africa

14. Doing Good In Dub

x

Track List: Ride On Dreadlocks 1975-1977

1. Jah Jah The Conqueror

2. Long Long Dread Locks

3. Ride On Dreadlocks

4. Don't Cut Off Your Dreadlocks/Joyful Locks

5. Twelve Tribes Of Israel

6. Everybody Needs Money

7. Don't Try To Rob I

8. Cool Down Your Temper

9. Big Big Girl

10. Jah Jah Is I Guiding Star

11. Can't Stop Natty Dread Again

x

Track List: Cool Down

1. Black Princess Lady

2. Blood Gonna Run

3. Money Money

4. Don't Trouble Trouble

5. Trouble In Dub

6. Cool Down Your Temper

7. Jah Jah The Conqueror

8. Big Big Girl

9. No Escape

10. Long Long Dreadlocks

11. Don't Cut Off Your Dreadlocks

x

Track List: Six Babylon

1. Six Babylon

2. Don't Give Up

3. School Girl

4. Jah Jah Dreader Than Dread

5. Give Thanks & Praise

6. Mr. Bossman

7. Be Careful My Brother

8. Children Must Be Feed

9. Africa We Want To Go

10. No Confusion, No Tribal War

x

Track List: Starlight

1. Mercy

2. Halla Them A Halla

3. Poor Man

4. Starlight

5. Ease Up

6. Soon Come

7. Looks Like It's Gonna Rain

8. Brag And Show Off

9. Greedy

10. Huff And Puff

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