clash like lightnin\’, crash like t\’under

Predating the Gussie Clarke produced debut for Trojan, \”Screaming Target\”, this infectious slice of roots (aka \”S.90 Skank\”) was originally released as a 45 on the Mafia, Down Town imprint; produced by Keith Hudson, a dentist by profession and an impresario by choice.

The single proved so popular in Jamaican dance halls that it promptly went gold. As gold as the crowns on Big Youth\’s teeth.

Kicking in with a motorcycle engine rumble which thrills and vibrates like a horse driven sex aid, Big Youth is soon toasting like Sinatra on a sinsemilla jag.

Manley Augustus Buchanan proved something of a disappointment to his evangelist mother and policeman dad, presumably, by dropping out of school at age fourteen to run errands at the car pools in Kingston\’s Sheraton and Skyline hotels. Soon he graduated to chasing fares as a jobbing cab driver, and began collecting a respectable wage as an apprentice mechanic. His real passion – like any Kingston youth – was music, toasting and girls. He was good enough that he progressed quickly through the ranks to become the top draw for the Lord Tippertone Hi-Fi Sound System.

Big Youth was the nickname given him while busking as a mechanic.

On the desks he was Jah Youth, young god of the Kingston sound, and not wholly without a social conscience. 1973\’s \”Screaming Target\” helped cement the political tone which in part replaced the escapist hedonism of rocksteady and ska in the dance halls.

A confrontational rumbling the authorities in Kingston would find hard to contain. And his father harder to forgive, maybe.

BIG YOUTH: ACE 90 SKANK from \”Ace 90 Skank\” 45 (Mafia, Down Town) 1972 (Jamaica)


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