A: Johnny Lover – Echo

B: 3rd & 4th Generation – More Echo

Funny, how your mind can play tricks on you. For instance, if you play this tune on the Clocktower release, entitled ‘Headcup’, you’re bound to hear Johnny Lover introduce it as such. Yet, when you play it on Jogibs, bearing what I believe to be the correct title, ‘Echo’, you will hear Johnny utter that word. Well, almost anyway, because the Jamaican language is rich as well as dynamic and handles a unique set of grammar rules. A prime example of this is the culture of dropping the ‘H’ in words that start with that letter, so hate becomes ‘ate and harder becomes ‘arder.  The good Jamaican folk don’t just dismiss of the ‘H’, though. No, they safe it and then playfully add it to words that start with a vowel. So ackee becomes h’ackee, ignorant becomes h’ignorant and echo becomes h’echo. Or headcup, apparently..

Riding the Joe Gibbs version of the Heptones’ 1967 rocksteady hit ‘Why did you leave?‘, the song features both Johnny Lover and Charlie Ace. Although the latter deejay is uncredited on all releases of the tune, it’s without a shadow of a doubt mister Swing-a-ling taking the microphone from Johnny Lover after the second verse (‘now you know one and one that makes two and nine and one makes ten..’). The two loosely chat about the new riddim of the day, they call it ‘Echo’ and it’s here to stay. Which was indeed the case, as the riddim was (and still is) very popular. Clocktower headhoncho Brad Osbourne used the riddim for two more cuts, Bongo Cup by Bongo B and Black Cup by Glen Adams ; Joe Gibbs issued a medley in which the Heptones took on their original hit once more; Keith Hudson made his own cut and recorded I Roy on top of it, among others; and Aquarius cut a melodica version on the riddim, featuring a wild intro that features a nod towards Echo, and named it ‘Iggy Iggy’, Agustus Pablo’s first recording. The backing to the latter sounds very similar to Charlie and Johnnie’s version, so maybe Joe Gibbs sold it to the owner of the label, Herman Chin-Loy?


Label: JoGibs (JA) / Pressure Beat (JA) / Clocktower (USA)
Release date: 1970
Matrix: Dyna J.G. 3152 / Dyna J.G. 3153
Posted: 06-02-2017


Leave a reply

Fields marked with * are required