CULTURE – ZION GATE / PRINCE MOHAMMED – FORTY LEG DREAD

A: Culture – Zion gate / Prince Mohammid – Forty Leg Dread

B: Joe Gibbs & The Professionals – Zion Rock

 

Culture updates the Paragons’ classic Studio One rocksteady anthem ‘My satisfaction‘ and turn it into a real roots reggae ‘n rockers tune. The superb ‘Zion Gate’ owes a lot to its blueprint, but both Joseph Hill and Lloyd’s Parks’ Professionals add enough of their own to mold it into something truly unique. So much so, in fact, that the tune inspired a whole series of next cuts, still going on well into the 2000’s, all bearing ‘Zion Gate’ as name for the riddim, rather than ‘My satisfaction.’

Imagine if Zion Gate would have been included on the first album – Two sevens clash – by the former African Disciples! It would be even a greater album than it already is. The tune first saw the light of day as a twelve inch, after which Joe Gibbs included it on the second album he released by the group, called Baldhead Bridge, on which it is one of the standout tracks. Culture had already left the Gibbs stable by then and signed with Sonia Pottinger’s High Note label.

Meanwhile, The Paragons’ lead singer John Holt rushed to the Channel One studio to record his update of My Satisfaction. It’s really good – how could it not be? – but it’s nowhere near the Culture cut. In fact, I don’t think anyone came near ever since. This is Joe Gibbs and Culture at their very best. That said, ‘Zion Gate’ was only released in Jamaica, despite the band’s succes abroad and the links Joe Gibbs had with Lightning Records. Perhaps they were still negotiating a deal?

Prince Mohammed’s superb ‘Forty Leg Dread’ is arguably one his finest moments and was later included on his ‘Inna him head‘ album, which came out almost three years later. The dub on the flip isn’t that spectacular, but it is one that can only be found on this plate. And what a plate it is…

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Label: Errol T (Ja)
Release date: 1977
Riddim: Paragons – My satisfaction
Matrix: DSR  4588A / DSR 4589B

Posted: 30-12-2015

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