Tapper Zukie - Man Ah Warrior

Updated: Aug 27, 2021

1973, Count Shelly

  1. Man Ah Warrior

  2. Ire Lion

  3. I King Zukie

  4. Simpleton Badness

  5. Archie, The Red Nose Reindeer

  6. Summertime

  7. Zukie Fashionwear

  8. Black Cinderella

  9. Cally Dolly

  10. When Zukie Day Yah

  11. Soul & Inspiration

  12. You Know I Love You

First out in 1973 with the young Tapper looking a little blue in the face, few listeners from [current year] are likely to have experienced the tunes Summertime, Soul & Inspiration, and You Know I Love You, this includes me, allegedly this is less than important as I have been informed by the wonders of the World Wide Web that these are not Tapper Zukie tunes but rather two separate artists (couldn't tell you who) and one version. Every later release of this set, including the one that I have, substitutes these for Viego and A Message To Pork Eaters for a total of 11 tunes and nothing but Tapper Zukie. Mer, Trojan and Kingston Sounds all pressed that collection, some with the original cover and some with the greyscale bald head one. Prefer not to view that actually, I like the smurf stylee.

As said before and after, it’s quite remarkable how diverse the styles of the big-name deejays in the early 70’s managed to be, in such a new genre of music. Compared to his contemporaries, Tapper’s deejaying style sounds more like regular speech, but volatile, ready to burst into shouting or tremolo at any moment. Coming from a turbulent upbringing involving two political parties and being shipped to the UK and back, and recording this at about seventeen, he understandably comes across as unhinged. Musically the sound is VERY raw roots reggae, especially stripped down on “Simpleton Badness” and “Solomon A Gundie” where you can barely hear anything besides the organ and the echo of what Tapper said four bars ago. Allegedly there was no tape echo in the studio and producer Clement Bushay had Tapper shout directly into a huge piece of sheet metal, which if true (it sounds like it is) is just another lovely spot of production genius, something in no short supply in the early 70's in Jamaica.

My picks: Man Ah Warrior, Simpleton Badness, Solomon A Gundie

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