Professionals - Black september

A : Joe Gibbs & the Professionals – Black september

B: Mighty Two – version


I’m not sure if it was done on purpose, but almost all Professionals 7inches I’ve come across seem to have been released with re-used labels. Overdubs, if you will (pun intended). I’m also not sure how big the market in Jamaica was for instrumentals like these back in the 70’s, but if I should hazard a guess, i’d say the market was minimal and therefore it’d make sense to use left over labels. Then again, the almighty Channel One issued not one, but two lp’s worth of horn laden instrumentals by The Revolutionaries (with the infamous Che Guevara sleeves), who were basically the same band as the Professionals, so there must have been some sort of interest. And why shouldn’t there be, because this is sublime reggae music.

As much as I love a dub version of a track, these kind of instrumentals take things a step further, in a different way. Instead of altering a track with echo, delay and channel mixes, you can also let loose your players of instruments on a track they just provided. An that is what’s happening on ‘Black September.’ Originally the backing track for Dennis Brown’s ‘Equal Right’s’ (who based his tune on the Heptones’ Studio One cut), ‘Black September’ adds a symphony of horns that makes it not only different, but a song in its own right.

If anything, ‘Black September’ isn’t a happy tune. With Jamaica leading up to a new election, 1976 was a heavy year for Kingston citizens. Violence was increasing in the capitol and a State of Emergency was declared by prime minister Michael Manley in june 1976. Joe Gibbs released a complete album of instrumentals in the same year, also called State of Emergency. ‘Black September’, however, wasn’t included on that album (although it was included on later represses.)

The dub version is all about Sly (drums), Lloyd Parks (bass), Bingy Bunny (guitar) and Sticky (percussion), as they seems to be the main focus in the mix. The horns and their delays are gone, and when they do come in, they come in fairly clean. Making this an even more worthwhile 7inch to check out, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard this version before on cd, lp, mp3 or whatever format


Label: Joe Gibbs Record Globe (Ja)
Release date: 1976
Matrix: DSR 1872
Riddim: Equal rights (Heptones)

(originally posted on 28-01-12)


Leave a reply

Fields marked with * are required