Prince For I - Tribute to Michael Holding

A: Prince For I – Tribute to Michael Holding

B: Mighty Two – Heavy bowling


Although he had been recording for quite some years before that, Prince Far I’s career really skyrocketed when he joined the Gibbs camp in 1976. Perhaps this was due to the hitmaking riddims the succesful producer threw at him to voice over, but I believe there’s a little bit more to it than that.

Joe Gibbs showed tremendous trust in the dj by signing him for an album worth of material. In 1976 there were more appealing choices out there, commercially speaking, but maybe Gibbs cut his old gatekeeper some slack? Or maybe, and that’s more plausible, Gibbs was intrigued by the uniqueness of Far I’s voice? He’s possessed with a ‘love-it-or-hate-it’ deliverance, but there is no way you can deny his singularity. The gamble, if it ever was one, turned out great for both men: the “Under heavy manners‘ album sold by the cardload. The gruff toned chanter matched perfectly with the riddims, reggae’s newest star Joseph Hill and the roots reggae era.

The third, or fourth I’m not sure, song Prince Far I recorded for Gibbs wasn’t included on the album. ‘Tribute to Michael Holding’ is exactly what it says it is: a tribute to the Jamaican cricket player Michael Holding. Without wanting to bash the greatness of cricket, I think it’s fair to say the international appeal of the game is somewhat restricted to England and its former colonies. Therefore it’s wise it wasn’t included on the album, but that does not mean ‘Tribute’ isn’t in the same league.

Although lyrically a lot funnier than other Far I material, ‘Tribute’ is not one to be missed if you’re a fan of the dj or ‘Under heavy manners’ material. Riding Stonewall Jackson to great acclaim, the Prince managed to produce a well hidden bonus track, learn me a thing or two about one of the best cricketers from the West Indies and inspire Errol T to strip down his riddim even further for the ‘Heavy Bowling’ version.

How’s that umpire? A clean bowl…


Label: Errol T (Ja)
Release date: 1976
Matrix: DSR 2145 A / 2146 B
Riddim: Professionals – Stonewall Jackson

(originally posted on 22-03-12)



  • pressurebeat says:
    26 November 2014 at 14:08



    the_voice_of_reason said…

    A couple of observations:

    On listening to the stripped down riddim here, shorn of the horn part, surely it’s John Holt’s “Fancy Make Up”?

    Secondly, Prince Far I clearly knows nothing about cricket; Michael Holding didn’t take fourteen wickets in the series, his achievement was to take fourteen wickets in a single match at the Oval – a West Indian record that hasn’t been equalled in the 36 years since. Also, when a batsman is clean bowled you do not ask the umpire “How is that?”


    Pressure Beat said…

    haha, thanks for clearing that up! I have to admit, I know next to nothing about cricket, so I didn’t see that one coming.

    The bassline in ‘Fancy Make Up’ seems different to these ears, but thanks for the suggestion. Always nice to read your thoughts.

    Big up.


    Mark said…

    Far I did get that detail wrong, though doesn’t he mention in the song that he’d never really “checked” the cricket much before? In any case, I always assumed that Far I’s “how is that umpire – clean bowl” was a deliberate piss take. He’s basically rubbing it in that the umpire didn’t need to be consulted…



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