Various Artists – Greensleeves Records – 1977/1978

Reggae Regular – Where Is Jah

Reggae Regular – Jah Is Here

Doctor Alimantado – Born For A Purpose

The Rebels – Reason For Living

Roots – Mash Down

Roots – Solja Man Skank

Doctor Alimantado – Best Dressed Chicken In The Town

Doctor Alimantado – Can’t Conquer Natty Dreadlocks

Wailing Souls & Ranking Trevor – War

Wailing Souls – Jah Gives Us Life / Don’t Feel No Way

Reggae Regular – The Black Star Liner

Reggae Regular – Where Is Jah

It should not be underestimated the importance of Greensleeves Records releasing affordable 7″ and 12″ records right at the start of the punk explosion.

Some tracks uploaded here were featured on Capital Radio’s broadcast of the  Johnny Rotten interview in the summer of 1977 which spread the reggae word further to the young punkers who may well have been listening at the time. This selection chosen by Rotten on Capital Radio did Doctor Alimantado no harm at all with some free promotion.

Uploaded is the first Greensleeves 7″ record release by Reggae Regular, the second 7″ release by Alimantado. Then the seventh release by Roots which is a monster track. The thirteenth release is dedicated to the Baron and Stewart.

Following these 7″ singles uploaded, the first release on 12″ format on the Greensleeves label, the mighty Wailing Souls, in the original record sleeve design before the ‘Carnival’ sleeve was designed (see text from Greensleeves website below).

As a special treat I have uploaded the original Reggae Regular 12″ on High School Records from Kingston JA, with the proper hard ‘Black Star Liner’ track on. Ten minutes plus of the best reggae of the era.  The first Greensleeves Records release ‘Where is Jah’ is actually the B side of this 12″ release from Jamaica. 

Greensleeves began in modest circumstances as a record shop in West Ealing, London, in November 1975. The company was founded by Chris Cracknell and Chris Sedgwick and a move to Shepherds Bush in 1977 saw the foundation of the thriving record label that is now based just west of London in Isleworth, Middlesex, with a sales and promotion office in New York.

The ‘Carnival Of Reggae History’ 12″ sleeve, created by the designer who still works for Greensleeves today, Tony McDermott, became something of a guarantee of quality for the reggae aficionado. By 1980 the record shop had become largely a sideline to the record label.
Greensleeves quickly established an identity with acts that provide a continuity between those fledgling days and today: the first few albums included work by Augustus Pablo (the acclaimed Original Rockers album) and Barrington Levy, both of whom still appear on the label.

  1. dan i
    dan i
    November 1, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    pure and deadly bredda penguin!
    yes I

  2. Sam
    November 1, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    All my favorites here! ‘Jah give us life’ always reminds me of the first time I heard it. On mushrooms in Amsterdam dancing on bare scaffolding five floors up at Louise’s squat. Lucky I didn’t do myself a mischief. Genuinely spiritual record. Funny that we adopted a fundamentalist religion to relate to.

  3. Ian
    November 1, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Excellent, thanks for these. I was just playing Born for a Purpose the other day, cant wait to play the rest.

  4. johng
    November 1, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Great post – Reggae Regular is a big favourite that I lost years ago ….never took all my clothes off up 5 floors of scaffold to it tho 😉

  5. dan i
    dan i
    November 2, 2008 at 11:18 am

    ‘Where Is Jah’ got played at a Revival Reggae Clash I staged in Oxford a couple of years ago. Pure vibes. This group of tunes is from the absolute foundation and a great place for anyone to start with reggae. ‘Born For A Purpose’ is such a piece of powerful music…
    ‘If you feel like you have no reason for living, don’t determine my life’

  6. baron von zubb
    baron von zubb
    November 3, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Absolutely tops.
    As you said greensleeves in the bush was a regular haunt for us all. Definately has alot to do with that Tommy Vance(?) interview.
    The b side to your ‘best dressed chicken’ is ‘cant conquer natty dreadlocks’, proving how difficult it is to find the ‘dub’ version of ‘chicken’ which i think was what we had all those years ago.
    Still brilliant to hear them again.
    Odd indeed that we chose a fundimentalist religion. But I guess there was something in it that appealed. Still does. The message of peace but from a street perspective?
    Reggae still and always will do it for me.
    (BTW.Sam did you pass on Wankenstains fone no. onto Robbo? Did he do it?)
    Great selection Penguin.

  7. Sam
    November 3, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Brilliantly packaged all that stuff back in the day. The sleeves and graphics were so otherworldly. Sometimes, on the obscurer releases you’d find the sleeves were made from recycled Jamaican cereal boxes and the like. ‘Scientist meets the Space Invaders’ has to be one of the best sleeves of all time. That one was played to death by us around 1980. Very futuristic at the time but I’m sure it sounds dated now.

    Still need to get that on to Robbo Jake. I’ll do it today.

  8. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    November 4, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Yes I remember the inside out cereal box record covers! Sometimes you also used to get reggae singles where the information had been put onto the label with a rubber stamp.

    I used to have ‘Row Fisherman, Row’ by The Congos I think, what I do clearly remember however is that both sides of the record had the word ‘BUM’ inexplicably stamped across the label…

  9. baron von zubb
    baron von zubb
    November 4, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    The Congos. That track is serious.
    Where opera meets ganja.
    Can’t remember the cereal boxes.
    Sounds supafine.
    Scientist still sounds great, some a bit dated, some, not all.
    A lot of that era dub still sounds so otherwordly.
    It was weird at Carnival this year. The first thing that happened was this middle aged dread tried to sell me a Dr Alimantado ’30 years of’ compilation.

  10. Sam
    November 4, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Jake…I remember a lovers rock 12″ you had called ‘Late Night Blues’ or something similar. Who was that by?

  11. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    November 4, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Sam, that track is here:
    there is a different version by Don Carlos ex Black Uhuru with the same title, so dunno which one you mean, but will be either that or this.

  12. Sam
    November 5, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Probably the same tune but I don’t remember too much toasting on it. I’ll see if I can find the other one.

  13. Sam
    November 5, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Three minutes later, I’ve found it on itunes. Yes it’s Don Carlos. Music’s too fucking easy these days. Where’s the obsessive hunts around obscure record shops in dodgy areas?

  14. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    November 5, 2008 at 1:00 am

    Glad you found it Sam, both tunes are on the same rhythm created for the Fatman sound system.

  15. Sam
    November 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    I suppose this is as good a thread to write about this as any but….fucking hell! America will have a black president in January! I live in the US and since 9/11 it seems as though the mood has been one of xenophobia and conservatism, sometimes bordering on fascism. As someone who still thinks of all politicians as a bunch of lying crooks, I surprised myself by being moved by Obama’s speech last night and he actually seems to believe in something. I feel as though I’ve woken up to a far better world today. Anything is possible!

  16. Ian S
    Ian S
    November 5, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Can’t be worse than Bush and his bunch of scummers (touch wood). Not sure what to make of Obama at all but at least it’s funny to think of the kind of arseholes who’ll be spitting feathers at him getting elected.

  17. baron von zubb
    baron von zubb
    November 5, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Anyone think he or his family wont get shot?

  18. Nic
    November 5, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    I’ve already been down Ladbrokes and William Hill to put my money on…

  19. andus
    November 6, 2008 at 11:08 am

    In his speach Obamo said he was going to do a lot of things you won’t like.

    Perhaps getting shot is one of them

  20. baron von zubb
    baron von zubb
    November 6, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Mr S,How can you remember that tune ?

    I never know Don Carlos was from Black Uhuru.
    Theres a good version of that rhythm by Rankin Dread too.
    (edit; in fact i cant find my copy of it.
    Any idea whats its called Mr P?)
    About the ease of music consumption.
    Its devalued the whole thing.
    Or is that old fartism?
    Sam u said the yanks are a bigoted, small minded lot.
    More so that here?

  21. baron von zubb
    baron von zubb
    November 6, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    So’k i just found the Cornell Campbell version.

  22. Super Stoops
    Super Stoops
    January 27, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Your blog is awesome!

    Thanks for all the informative writings, such a great resource for us all!

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

  23. Stewart
    January 28, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Hey Pengy! Just noticed you dedicated a song to me, lol! Awwwww… (*hugs Pengy*). Only thing is, your grammar is so appalling I can’t work out which song you’re dedicating to me and the Baron…
    Also, in return, I know I mentioned this ages ago but you’re welcome to my spare copy of that 12 Cubic Feet vinyl I have. I haven’t actually checked the condition, but I’m sure it’s playable. I know you love and appreciate music, and you’re welcome to it. I loved it in the day, too… 🙂

  24. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    January 28, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Humm, must have been in a good mood…Can’t remember writing that, but obviously I did…the thirtenth release GRE13 is ‘Best Dressed Chicken’ on yellow vinyl. My grammar is ok, comprehensive stock you know!
    Yeah will love that LP if you can send it. Will email you seperately.
    Sure I have a load of LP doubles to swapsie with you on stuff you may like.

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