Singer turned producer Linval Thompson is primarily known for songs such as the highly popular Don’t Cut Off Your Dreadlocks and the anti-police anthem Six Babylon. Apart from voicing his own productions he has also been the mastermind behind strong dub albums like Negrea Love Dub and Outlaw Dub, issued in 1978 and 1979 respectively.
But he was also the driving force behind another strong dub effort, a white label set released around 1979/1980 only as a test pressing. This impossibly rare and highly sought after album has now been made commercially available under the title Boss Man’s Dub – The Lost 1979 Dub Album.
It collects eleven Linval Thompson productions, of which ten are dub versions and one is an instrumental. The original versions were sung by Linval Thompson himself along with Michael Black, Anthony Johnson, Sammy Dread and the vastly underrated and under recorded Freddy McKay.
The album was probably recorded at Channel One with the Revolutionaries as backing band. Who the mixing engineer was and where it was mixed remains uncertain, but he or she seems to have been inspired, because the dubs are well-crafted, spine-chilling and carries a swing. Some cuts are scraped down to their bare essentials, while others still remain decorated with horns, distant guitars and echoing vocal snippets.
David Katz – known for biographies of Lee Perry and Jimmy Cliff – is responsible for the excellent and thorough liner notes telling the story of Linval Thompson and the album itself. It’s a compelling read fitting nicely with this rough and tough dub album.