The latest album from UK’s Hot Milk is yet another Linval Thompson produced effort. Barry Brown’s The Thompson Sound 1979-82 was originally issued on Thompson’s own imprint Thompson Sound a while ago, and now it’s available again.
The riddims on this tough set was laid down at Channel One by Roots Radics and mixed at King Tubby’s by Scientist. It collects singles and versions recorded in 1979 as well as an albums worth of material recorded in 1981 and 1982. The album was however shelved at the time because the market was already flooded with Barry Brown material.
Linval Thompson was something of a mentor to Barry Brown and they share a similar vocal style, a style also utilized by singers such as Tristan Palma and Rod Taylor. It’s a high, devotional and intense style that was very popular in the late roots and foundation dancehall eras, circa 1979 to 1982.
The first single from their fruitful relationship was the excellent Please Officer, included on the album with its dub counterpart. Other key tracks include the eerie Ketch A Fire and the sparse Free Dreadlocks.
The late Barry Brown died only 42 years old. But this grassroots singer certainly had a great feeling for singing Rasta praises as well as telling stories from the harsh life in the Kingston ghettos and managed to drop about 15 albums and countless of strong singles during his prime period.