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Rootsy Reggae/Visions of John Clarke

WACK 2333%2F78CD WACK 2333/78CD

Visions Of John Clarke was a little thrown together for its original release in 1979. Still, its sleeve carried a ringing endorsement from Bullwackies himself "President of the John Clarke Fan Club" -- and the album attracted the interest of Studio 1 boss Coxsone Dodd, whose bid for distribution-rights was thwarted when the Brooklyn label Makossa quickly put in for a full license. Released soon afterwards, the new version -- entitled Rootsy Reggae -- duplicated five tracks from the previous version, but with markedly different mixes, fresh edits, and some additional new instrumentation. This CD presents both albums complete with the original track order. The singer -- not to be confused with Johnny Clark -- had been running with the Wackies operation for the past six years, ever since moving from Jamaica to New York. He'd cut memorable sevens with co-founder Munchie Jackson for the Tafari label -- like "In Search of The Human Race and Recession" -- and also worked with Lloyd Barnes for such Bullwackies imprints as Versatile and Wackies. Several are included within these two albums, with another layer of modification: for example, on "Wasn't It You" Lloyd Barnes and Prince Douglas lend new treatment to the old track with drier dub. They also added guitar to the "Jumbo Caribbean Disco" 12", while on "Pollution" they removed the horns from the Wackies 7" (though generally Baba Leslie is in full effect here). The tracklisting rounds out with a Johnny Osbourne cover; several New Breed jams, featuring the likes of Jah Scotty, Clive Hunt, Harold Sylvester, Jah Hitler, Jerry Johnson, the Love Joys, even Mickey Mouse makes an appearance. On a handful of remapped rhythms, Clarke takes the mic from brethren like Joe Auxumite, K.C. White and Wayne Jarrett.