Allan King Africa want us all

A: Allan King – Africa want us all

B: Joe Gibbs – Liberation


Honesty goes a long way, and I’m completely honest when I say: I haven’t a clue when it comes to this one. Well, none other than: it’s obscure, I like it and it was released on a Trojan subsidiary in the UK (Duke) in 1973.

The only Allan King I can find anything about, reggae related that is, is the singer of a group called Reggae Regular. Indeed, they were the band who were granted the first ever release on the now epic Greensleeves label. And they were also very British and the release was issued in 1977. Perhaps Mr. King moved from Jamaica to the UK in between 1973 and 1977, that is plausible, but I find it hard to believe he picked up a UK accent along the way. Add to that the two Allans don’t really sound alike and I think it’s safe to say that the Regulars’ Allan King is not the same as the person singing on “Africa want us all.”

So, who are we dealing with here? As said before: I have no idea. But that might just have been the purpose of the name: sometimes an artist will hide his real name. This can be for various reasons:  when singing slackness or an assault on a rival soundsystem/singer/dj. Or he’ll hide it for another producer who releases his songs. Slackness or rivalry are definitely not the issue here, so maybe Joe Gibbs was trying out an artist from a competitive camp, released a tune to see how it went down and decided after that? Or maybe he just took a chance on Allan King and it returned poor sales, leaving him with just this one release? The latter seems unlikely since studio hopping was, and still is, utterly Jamaican. If Allan tried his luck, he would have at least 2 songs to his name. As far as I can tell, that is not the case. Which draws me to the conclusion that Allan King is a disguise. But for whom? A classic case of “sounds familiar, can’t put my finger on it.”

As for the most important part: the track is superb. Early reggae. A scorcher. And a whole bunch of questions…


Label: Jogibs records (Ja) / Duke (Uk)
Matrix: 7JG-788-FRM
Release date: 1973
Riddim: original

(originally posted on 23-05-11)



  • pressurebeat says:
    7 November 2014 at 14:41



    the_voice_of_reason said…

    Another old mento tune; this is “Go Down Emmanuel Road” with a new lyric. From the sound of the singer and his vocal style he’s from the north of the island, rather than Kingston. The song appears to have firsty been recorded by the Bahamian “Blind Blake” Higgs in 1951 or so, and became famous when Harry Belafonte released it in 1956.

    Afraid I can’t help with any details of Allan King, who has failed to leave any more of a footprint in the sands of time.


    Pressure Beat said…

    Good call! Indeed it is Emmanuel Road.

    Much appreciated!



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