I’ts always a pleasure to share with you new vinyl, mint represses of classic roots music. I just received from Pressure Sounds in the UK the Prince Far-I “Frontline Speech”/”Version” 7 inch vinyl repress (Cry Tough) and Black Skin The Prophet’s “Blood Red”/”Version” (Cry Tough). The heavyweight shit, biblical style.
Prince Far-I was probably the heaviest DJ/Producer of his time and is partially responsible for the emergence of the On-U Sound in the UK as he was a mentor to dubologist Adrian Sherwood. It is said that his label Cry Tuff was a reference to his propensity to break into tears when exceedingly angry. His backing band ‘The Arabs’ are a little outfit from the island also known as the ‘Roots Radics.’ Far-I was murdered in his home on September 15, 1983 over a money dispute.
Black Skin The Prophet (Sonny Washington) was a protegé and recording partner of Prince Far-I, with whom he recorded tunes like ‘Blood Red,’ ‘When The King Comes On Earth’ (with the deejay), ‘Zion Children’ or ‘Armaggedon’ (with the deejay). He also launched his own label BlackSkin (different from Dudley Sibley’s label). Then came the incredible scorcher ‘Jack Spratt’ for Clive Chin & Familyman (reportedly recorded over the ‘Soul Rebel’ riddim during a rehearsal at 56 Hope Road). It is rumored that he recorded the tune ‘Single Woman’ for Bunny Wailer, who claims to have lost the tape.
During an interview in 2000 Washington states:
“I was living in the country at the time and there was that policeman who was kind of harassing me. One day, I started to have an argument with a bus driver and the policeman arrived, caught me by the dreads and threw me out of the bus. He treated me in a very vicious way just because he had a gun. A few days later I went to the studio to record the tune “Blood Red Fe Babylon” and I even quote his name in the lyrics : “Blood run out of Beenie’s head.” The policeman loved the tune. Many times I saw him playing it from the jukebox!”