madoo joe grine

A: Madoo – Joe Grine

B : Joe Gibbs & the Professionals – Ala


Osbert Madoo is often regarded as the “original dancehall singer.” Originally, reggae singers performed their songs live on stage, backed by a band. Soundsystems would play their hits on wax and had dj’s commenting on their lyrics. I’m not sure if he was the very first to perform as a singer for a soundsystem, but he was definitely a pioneer.  Teamed with dj General Echo at the Stereophonic Soundsystem (also known for hosting Nitty Gritty, Sister Nancy & Ringo) the duo now shared the mic on the riddims, making up completely new songs on the spot and influencing generations to come (the excellent Who Cork the Dance website has some of these soundsystem sessions available for download.) The Bionic Singer quit handling the mic for Stereophonic, and stopped recording as well, after the  so called Halfway Tree Killings in 1980: though still unsolved today, rumour has it the police stopped the car General Echo, Flux (selector) and Big Johns (owner) were driving in and opened fire. Leaving all three of them dead.

Madoo, who seems to have drawn much of his influences from foundation singer Horace Andy, rocking the same high pitched voice and vibrato, cut some fine singles in his time. Among the bigger hits were the Joe Gibbs’ released tunes “Jamming so” and this one here: “Joe Grine.” Of all the great dancehall tracks coming from the 24 Retirement Crescent studio, this is one of my personal favourites. The ultra heavy, laid back riddim works wonderfully with Madoo’s lyrics about Joe Grine (come fi luv up yuh gyal) and the “shalala” part is simply contagious. The part where he explains his friday route is brilliant: “and then I drink fishtea and feel irie, and then me whoppp….” The whoppp  inviting the imagination of the listener to do the dirty work. Icing on the cake.

The B-side is a superb melodica cut and a really nice piece of music in its own right, making this a double-barreled gun. Get yours if you come across it, for it’s one of the finer recordings in dancehall.


Label: Crazy Joe (ja)
Matrix: DSR 0073 A / 0074 B (d.t  e.t)
Release date: 1980
Riddim: Far East. Original by Roland Alphonso – Jah Shakey
Riddim: updated by Barry Brown – Far east

(originally posted on 14-02-11)

3 Comments on MADOO – JOE GRINE

  • pressurebeat says:
    7 November 2014 at 12:30



    Anonymous said…

    the 12″ also has Welton Irie with Serve Me Long on the A-side. Big up for your work on the site!


    Pressure Beat said…

    Cheers for the info and thanks for reading. I don’t have that 12 inch (only post what I actually own on here) but will be on the lookout for it.
    Big up


    Anonymous said…

    love this one =D


    Klon said…

    I also have dis ya one pon orig. 7″ – beautiful vibes!!



  • J says:
    11 August 2020 at 06:12

    Had a quick question if you know the answer. I have this 45, and just wanted to confirm if it’s Augustus Pablo playing melodica on the version side.



    • pressurebeat says:
      29 August 2020 at 15:37

      Can’t confirm it, I’m afraid


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