Click pic to buy!

Don't Trouble Trouble (Attack, 1994 [orig. released 1989])

One of the more popular reggae singers of the mid-'70s, Johnny Clarke epitomized producer Bunny Lee's then-trendy "flying cymbal" sound (another showcase of the Lee-Clarke combo being the compilation Creation Rebel).  I'm not the biggest fan of this up-tempo, percussion-heavy sound -- it seems to me like a bit of a step backward into ska/rock steady -- but Don't Trouble Trouble collects some of Clarke's best and biggest hits of the time period.  I prefer the slower, more traditional roots of the 3 classic tunes on this album -- "Poor Marcus", "Too Much War", and the ultra-funky "Cold I Up" -- although other tracks like "Rock With Me Baby" were also quite popular.  Clarke's vocals are strong and versatile, as he seems just as comfortable singing love songs like Little Anthony's "Tears on My Pillow" and the dreamy "Since I Fell For You" as he does religious and social statements like "Stop the Tribal War" and "Don't Trouble Trouble".  Thus, he is likeable enough, but Bunny Lee's kinetic style doesn't always draw me in completely.

tiny_mark_rasta__head.GIF (2174 bytes)

Track Listing
1. Rock With Me Baby
2. Cold I Up
3. Rebel Soldering
4. Too Much War
5. Do You Love Me
6. Since I Fell for You
7. Tears on My Pillow
8. Bring It on Home to Me
9. You Keep Me Running
10. Poor Marcus
11. Stop the Tribal War
12. Don't Call I Daddy
13. Don't Trouble Trouble
14. Don't Stay Out Late

Don't Trouble Trouble
Rate this album

Current Results


Click pic to buy!

Authorized Version (Virgin 2001 [orig. released 1976])

Riding the then-trendy reggae train, Virgin released an impressive array of albums in the '70s -- from Culture's Cumbolo to the Mighty Diamonds' Right Time to Delroy Washington's Rasta to Gregory Isaacs's Soon Forward to the Gladiators' Trenchtown Mix Up.  That said, Johnny Clarke's Authorized Version is not the cream of the crop.  It's a downright dull and uninspired effort from the talented artist who brought us gems like "Cold I Up", "Too Much War", and "Enter Into His Gates With Praise".  There are no such classics here, unless you count the songs he covers, which include Peter Tosh's "Legalize It", Alton Ellis's "Cry Tough", Culture's "See Them Come", and Bob Marley's "Crazy Baldheads" and "Simmer Down".  Such a reliance on covers gives this album a worn, overly familiar vibe -- particularly since many of these songs aren't exactly obscure.  His (appropriately) cooled-down remake of "Simmer Down", however, is a nice, fresh take. Produced by Bunny Lee, Authorized Version has the simmering, militant "flying cymbal" sound, but the material is way too pedestrian.  Notable exceptions are the racial pride anthem "Roots, Natty Roots, Natty Congo", the pounding dub "Give Up the Badness", and "Wrath of Jah".  Still, I wouldn't consider these must-listens unless you're a big Clarke fan.

tiny_mark_rasta__head.GIF (2174 bytes)tiny_mark_rasta__head.GIF (2174 bytes)

Track Listing
1. Roots, Natty Roots, Natty Congo 
2. Wrath of Jah 
3. Legalize It 
4. I Am Still Waiting 
5. Let Go Violence 
6. Academy Award Version 
7. Cry Tough 
8. Crazy Baldhead 
9. Simmer Down 
10. Jah Jah See Them Come 
11. Give Up the Badness 
12. Freedom Blues
Authorized Version
Rate this album