“Two Bad DJ” by Clint Eastwood and General Saint - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1981Album Chart of the Decade: 1980s

TJR says

Producer Henry 'Junjo' Lawes was one of the figures who realised that the market was tiring of the biblical chanters and he encouraged the old Scotty-style toasters to rise up. Working with the Roots Radics band at Channel One he put more bounce into the riddims and became a producer in-demand with the up-and-coming DJs, including Clint Eastwood (Robert Brammer), younger brother of Trinity, who had released a few LPs in the late 70s. Londoner Chris Cracknell, owner of Greensleeves Records, was a frequent visitor to Kingston, and he and Lawes developed a good friendship and working relationship. Eastwood moved to London in 1980, where he met fellow Jamaican General Saint (Winston Hislop, who'd been there since '77) at Larry's Record Shop on Portobello Road. Saint had been chatting on the mic. for the Brixton based Front Line International Sound, and had release a 12" with Barrington Levy, so the two had plenty in common. A friendship was struck-up, and they'd often meet outside Greensleeves record shop in Shepherds Bush, as the owner, Chris Cracknell explained: “A posse used to hang around outside the shop, a whole posse, and I got to know Eastwood and Saint through them. It wasn't planned. It just happened. Just came about really. They were always coming up with lyrics. The shooting of General Echo cut everybody up and Saint said 'We have to do a tribute to Echo'. We reacted to situations. That's how it was with them. We all knew and loved General Echo from the sound tapes…” General Saint: “Junjo (Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes) used to stay by me and he gave me some rhythm tracks with a friend named Wayne Scarlett and we tried a little thing. When Echo died we decided to do a tribute… originally me and Wayne Scarlett were going to do it together but I did the first take on my own and Chris Cracknell loved it. Eastwood was in the studio too and I said 'Let's do it together' but we asked for a better, newer rhythm track. I wanted Michael Prophet's 'Righteous Are The Conqueror'. Chris was a big support. He was always there for us when the time was right.

Released in January, 1981, both sides of their first 45 together received a lot of attention in the clubs, “Two Bad DJ” and “Tribute To General Echo”, the former introducing the new duo, the latter rooted in tragedy, following the controversial shooting in November, 1980, of fellow DJ, General Echo, by Jamaican police: “Papa Echo never trouble no-one, Papa Echo just a sing him little song, When him used to DJ sound him used echotone, Him left a thousand people just a mourn, Jamaican shock, New York shock, Western Kingston a bawl, Eastern Kingston a bawl.” It was heartfelt tribute and rose to #1 in the UK Reggae Chart. The follow-up in May was “Another One Bites The Dust” which kept the momentum going, getting airplay on the John Peel show and, again, rising to #1 in the UK reggae charts. The good-time 'reggae-rapping-duo' were going down a storm on the UK live gig circuit, and a full-length album was now on the agenda. Naturally, as with all their early releases, it would be on Greensleeves, and Chris Cracknell would handle the production duties: “We used Junjo's rhythms on the first album. Listening to tapes in the shop and choosing the rhythms we wanted. Junjo was very close with Eastwood and Saint. Although he never produced them he was more than happy for them to use his rhythms and record on them. We then went to the studio and recorded the tracks.” Released simultaneously with the album in December, 1981, “Talk About Run” was the third and final single, informing the album's cover. A graveyard tryst is rudely interrupted: “you shoulda hear de duppy dem just a bawl”. Run! Likeable japes all in all, but my sensibilities have never quite aligned with the tags of greatness bestowed upon their work in some quarters.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:16] 6.8.png Clint Eastwood and General Saint - Can’t Take Another World War (Robert Brammer, Winston Hislop) Reggae
A2 [03:46] 6.5.png Clint Eastwood and General Saint - Another One Bites The Dust (Robert Brammer, Winston Hislop) Reggae
A3 [04:19] 6.0.png Clint Eastwood and General Saint - Talk About Run (Robert Brammer, Winston Hislop) Reggae
A4 [04:03] 5.1.png Clint Eastwood and General Saint - Sweet Sweet Matilda (Robert Brammer, Winston Hislop) Reggae
A5 [03:37] 6.2.png Clint Eastwood and General Saint - Special Request To All Prisoner (Robert Brammer, Winston Hislop) Reggae
B1 [03:27] 6.2.png Clint Eastwood and General Saint - Dance It Have Fe Nice (Robert Brammer, Winston Hislop) Reggae
B2 [03:32] 6.0.png Clint Eastwood and General Saint - Gal Pon The Front Line (Robert Brammer, Winston Hislop) Reggae
B3 [02:57] 5.9.png Clint Eastwood and General Saint - Jack Spratt (Robert Brammer, Winston Hislop) Reggae
B4 [03:39] 8.1.png Clint Eastwood and General Saint - Tributes To General Echo (Robert Brammer, Winston Hislop) Reggae
B5 [03:23] 5.4.png Clint Eastwood and General Saint - Hey Mr DJ (Robert Brammer, Winston Hislop) Reggae
© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020 All Rights Reserved