Admittedly I Roy ran him close, very very close in fact, but to me the greatest Jamaican deejay has always been Big Youth. And the finest ever deejay LP is his very first, for the great Gussie Clarke, Screaming Target.
Screaming Target should be everyones record collection and for that reason alone I was happy to see a new pressing from the new kid on the block in the world or reggae reissues; Sunspot. The business case for putting out an LP that has been rinsed by Trojan over the years with numerous issues on both vinyl and CD is debateable but a classic like this should never go out of print so here’s hoping it sells by the truckload.
This latest release reverts back to the cover that was last seen on the original Jamaican release on Jaguar back in 1973, this is slightly different from the variation used by Trojan. Sunspot use 180 gram vinyl which is certainly good quality and the whole thing is well mastered. Interestingly they’ve dropped the split stereo of the more common Trojan vinyl version, I’ve always kind of enjoyed split stereo so I’m not sure if this is a great move but it definitely helps if listening through headphones. There is also a nice insert with original label illustrations and sleeve notes by Harry Hawke.
The music? Well as I said before everyone should have this album, it’s a classic by any standard. Augustus Gussie Clark released a whole string of massive hits circa 72/73 so you’d struggle to find a stronger set of rhythms: No No No (KC White), One One Coco (Gregory Isaacs), Anywhere But Nowhere (KC White) Pride and Ambition (Leroy Smart) the list goes on and with Jah Youth at the top of his game something special is guaranteed. It may be a cliche but it’s never been more true: If you don’t know get to know.