Johnny Clarke

Johnny Clarke



Love Up

Johnny Clarke + Sly & Robbie

Every Knee - Red Edition

red edition


$ 15

10,000 copies

2 new songs

3 Bonus Tracks
(“Live” Compilation)

Limited Edition
7" vinyl with 2 tracks

Play Fool - Green Edition

green edition


$ 60

100 copies

2 new songs + dub versions

5 Bonus Tracks (“Live” / “Roots” compilations)

Limited Edition
7" vinyl with 2 tracks

Love Up - Gold Edition

gold edition


$ 120

50 copies

9 new songs + 3 dub versions

12 Bonus Tracks (“Live” / “Roots” compilations)

Limited Edition
12" vinyl with 4 tracks

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Johnny Clarke

Born on 12 January 1955, Johnny Clarke rose to prominence in Kingston`s highly competitive Reggae scene in 1973 when he started working with producer Bunny Lee and Robbie Shakespeare, Bunny Lee`s studio band leader, the Aggrovators.

In an interview given to Jah Rebel, he declared: “I kind of grew up in a very musical family, you know. Like so many in Jamaica I started out as a choirboy, singing in church,
but my first steps in the commercial circuit I really took when I started hanging out
with a local sound system called VJ the Dub Master.

That man motivated me a lot in those early days. At that time, I was still attending school, but I already knew what I wanted to do with my life, so what you did in those days was go to downtown Kingston and visit all the different producers there, hoping that one of them might take a shine to you and let you voice a tune. It was all about
persistence and determination in those days.

Johnny Clarke

I got my first break when Clancy Eccles let me voice a tune called “God Made The Sea And The Sun”. It didn`t do too much to be honest, but I kept on going and moved on
to work with Rupie Edwards. For his Success label I recorded a tune called “Everyday Wondering” (1974, red.). On the B -side of that 7” was another tune called “Julie” and
it was that track that became my first real hit in the dancehall. I voiced that tune at King Tubby`s studio and that was really the beginning of my career as a hit maker. Of course, the ball really got rolling when I voiced “Shall Escape The Judgement”. The instrumental part of that tune was recorded at Treasure Isle and I did the voicing at King Tubby`s.

I always voiced my songs at night, because my throat tended to clearer then
and my voice would sound smoother. That song also launched a new revolution
in reggae music, the sound we now know as the flying cymbal.”

He became more popular than international stars Bob Marley or Peter Tosh in Jamaica, scoring dozens of hits like “African Roots”, “Play Fool To Get Wise”, and “Every Knee Shall Bow” in which he expressed his Rastafarian faith and encouraged his fellow Jamaicans
to live a righteous, non-violent existence.

While he recorded a majority of his hits for producer Bunny Lee, he did a number
of superb tunes for Robbie Shakespeare`s Bar Bells label, which he had founded
in the mid-70s before teaming up with Sly Dunbar later that decade. Robbie had taken over the bass and musical director duties for the Aggrovators after Aston Barrett concentrated on his work with Bob Marley`s Wailers band.

Johnny Clarke
Johnny Clarke

Clarke was named Artist of the Year in Jamaica in both 1975 and 1976, and became one of the most popular singers on the island, mixing original songs with covers of popular reggae songs by other artists, and mixing roots and lovers-themed material.

Over the last 40 years, he has continued to add new music to his plethoric discography while touring relentlessly.

In early 2022, he entered Gaylard Bravo’s SmallWorld Studio to voice instrumentals produced by Sly & Robbie for TABOU1. In addition to the versions on Sly & Robbie’s riddims, TABOU1 commissioned Clevie (of Steelie & Clevie) and Robbie Lyn to build brand new digital reggae beats. As a result, for the first time ever, each of the album’s songs will be released with two entirely different arrangements: the so called “live” riddim and the “digital” riddim.

Johnny Clarke Studio Session

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