Noah House Of Dread – ONU Sound Records – 1982

Children Of Misery / Stand Firm / Wicked Kingdom / Dem People

Sellassie I / Murder / Revelation Time

Requested by Devotional Hooli… ***

A fine debut LP by Noah House Of Dread on the mighty ONU Sound Record label. One of the best and most consistant record labels to have released material throughout the 1980’s.

The second and final Noah House Of Dread LP is also decent fare, released on Noah Records in 1988.

Text below ripped from the ONU Sound website –

Noah House Of Dread was a vehicle for the alternate incarnation of ex-Creation Rebel master percussionist Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah a.k.a. Bonjo I, whose talents also provided the centrepiece of the about to be created African Head Charge. So the primary purpose of Noah House of Dread was as an outlet for Bonjo to “let off” and satisfy his yearnings as a vocalist and band leader. This contrasted with AHC’s then virtual studio collective with an experimental angle – mainly percussion-based with early experiments in “captured” or sampled sound as explored by producer Adrian Sherwood.

The line-up of Noah House of Dread was: Drums – Eskimo, Bass – Ever, Guitar – Danjuma / “Crucial” Tony, Piano – Bubblers, Horns – Nicky Norris / Jah Globe / Deadly Headley / Flash / Rudy, Vocals – Bonjo I a.k.a. Noah, Percussion – Bonjo I a.k.a. Noah, Harmony – The Heart Choir.

The album release of “Heart” in October of 1982 (ON-U LP20) was prefaced by the appearance of a 10″ discoplate in June of the same year (ON-U DP6), featuring versions of both “Murder” (with dub outing) and “Stand Firm” – the latter of which was to be sampled for the remix of Prince Far I’s “Water The Garden” for 1988’s Volume 2 of “Pay It All Back” (ON-U LP42). Both tunes were featured on the album and are excellent examples of Bonjo’s roots chanting style which he developed and refined to such excellent effect within the touring form of African Head Charge.

When Bonjo’s parents sent for him to come to England he ran away into the hills. His brothers were sent to fetch the errant youth and he finally arrived in London in the late sixties. His first real encounter with the music business was as a roadie for Dandy Livingstone and his band, who were experiencing some chart success on the back of the skinhead connection with tunes like “Reggae In Your Jeggae”. No one knew of Bonjo’s percussion skills which only came to light one night when the band’s conga player failed to turn up for a gig and Bonjo stepped in.

Some jealous encounters ensued but the positive result was that Bonjo decided to invest in a drum! Later on Bonjo was invited, and accepted, an invitation from Clem Curtis to join the Foundations who were still enjoying touring success on the back of their 1968 monster hit “Build Me A Buttercup”. Bonjo really enjoyed the trappings of this exposure to an adoring public:

“In those days I was wild!”

Bonjo’s reintroduction to playing the music of his heritage came via Charlie “Eskimo Fox” who played in both UK reggae fusion outfit Freedom Fighter and the UK/JA band Creation Rebel. Adrian Sherwood remembers being introduced to Bonjo by Desmond “Fatfingers” of Creation Rebel, the band who were to provide the physical vehicle for Bonjo’s entry into the eventual and very crazy world of On-U Sound.

After Bonjo returned to Ghana in the mid 1990s and started producing his own material, including releases on his own “Bonjo (I)” label, he continued to record as Noah House Of Dread and African Head Charge. While the former name is now seemingly defunct the first new Sherwood-produced African Head Charge tracks for 10 years welcomely appeared in 2003.

*** I do not really do requests, but just fancied listening to this after D.H. mentioned it, so here it is… If browsers start listing thier favorite 10 musical moments for me to upload on any comments then prepare to be disappointed!

  1. devotionalhooligan
    December 12, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    …and what a great fuckin album, I could never track this down in the day…
    So cheers for this Mick, you’re a star.

  2. baronvonzubb
    December 12, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Great label. Great album. Lucky we were up west in the late eighties. What an incredible time for the bristol sound. Many, many great nights.
    ‘Theres something wrong with human nature’. After God Save The Queen, the best chart top five line ever ?
    cheers BVZ

  3. dani
    December 13, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Stand Firm – a rasta classic. I was talking about this track with Barry Isaac of Reggae On Top only last week. We were saying how sad it is that mainstream roots reggae or dub sounds don’t often play a broad enough selection (using songs like Stand Firm as an example of tunes you almost never hear on a sound system). It isn’t enough to just play unreleased dubs made by yourself or your mate that nobody has heard of, you have to touch base with what people know and like as a DJ/selector.

    Another great Noah House of Dread tune was Rasta Don’t Fear – pretty sure AHC used to play that live quite a bit. I always remember Bonjo I as the smiley bloke with a drum who was at pretty much every On-U live show.

    I agree with you all the way Zubb, “What is it in the nature of men that makes them lust and hate and lie and steal…” I must send a copy of the 12″ with Billy Graham’s vocal track to Puppy Towers for broadcast. If I remember right, there weren’t many pressed before the Billy Graham got quite cross. And several of them ended up in the Record & Tape Exchange in Notting Hill (our local vinyl junkie outlet at the time).

    I still find it hard to explain to anyone who never went to an On-U session just why they were so good. It was self-explanatory for anyone who actually went.

    Anyone remember Fishbone, talking about bands that really cut it live?

  4. dan i
    dan i
    December 13, 2008 at 10:08 am

    OK, just sent the Perfecto 12″ mix of Human Nature with Billy Graham and a special version of Songs of Praise by AHC to Tony Puppy (his is the contact address still). Enjoy…

  5. Nic
    December 13, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    “Special version of Songs of Praise by AHC”…
    Ooooh – sounds interesting…

  6. dan i
    dan i
    December 14, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    it came as a flexidisc (remember them?) with Sniffin Rock magazine. On-U did a few flexis, including several Barmy Army ones.

  7. Nic
    December 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Ah, nice one dan…
    For a moment, I thought it was the whole LP in some kind of special mix! Ever the optimist!

    I remember the Sniffin’ Rock magazine: I’ve still got the Loop and Spacemen 3 singles from the mag…

    I could never quite get with the Barmy Army due to my aversion to sport (particularly football)…Same happened with the ‘Goal’ 12″ by Depth Charge…

  8. dan i
    dan i
    December 15, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Maybe, just maybe I have succeeded with Media Fire. If so, these links should lead to those two tracks I sent to the Puppies.

    On-U Sound System 12″ Perfecto promo mix of ‘Human Nature’ featuring Billy Graham:

    African Head Charge ‘Songs Of Praise’ flexi from Sniffin Rock magazine (special mix):



  9. Annica Headley
    Annica Headley
    December 19, 2020 at 10:50 am

    My mum told me about me and my big sis being on a record cover of an album she sings in with bongo over the year’s now
    I searched and was so happy to find it
    Me and my sister don’t actually remember this day as we are so young but we are so happy to have these…give thanks

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