I Roy - Knotty Knots

A: I Roy – Knotty Knots

B: Mighty Two – Knots version


Three years after the impressive range of songs from the courtroom that Derrick Morgan laid down for various producers, I Roy revisits the format on the most superb recording he ever made for Joe Gibbs. Just like the Derrick Morgan tunes, Knotty Knots starts off with a bickering between a barrister and a rastaman, the latter detained for the possesion of ganja. But that’s where the similarities end. Where Morgan’s suspects are trembling with fear for the honorable men in court, I Roy’s accused puts up a fight. He’s a proud man with a different view on life. He’s a righteous rastaman. A natty.

Just like Jacob Miller, who’s impeccable “I’m a Natty” (Stop Point, 1975), provides the backingtrack and the canvas for I Roy’s heartfelt and conscious lyrics. Where Morgan’s tunes were campy and somewhat playful – although still a protestsong in every way – Knotty Knots is anything but whimsical. Riding Bob Marley’s Soul Rebel riddim to full effect, I Roy lays down a seriously deep tune in which he tackles topics such as way of life, religion and death. The result is simply smashing.

The flip is also interesting. The intro is different from the vocal side, although the message is the same, and the dub has I Roy proclaiming his message acapella at one point. For all its greatness, it’s a shame Knotty Knots isn’t featured on any good compilation albums. Maybe, with the resurgance of Blood & Fire, that issue will finally be dealt with, because this killer tune deserves a wider audience.



Label: Town n Country (Ja)
Release date: 1975
Riddim: Soul Rebel
Matrix: DSR JG 2780 / 2781

(originally posted on 14-03-14)


1 Comment on I ROY – KNOTTY KNOTS

  • pressurebeat says:
    12 December 2014 at 18:40


    J J said…

    The I Roy side was included on the compilation Joe Gibbs Revive 45’s Vol 1 on the Rocky One label, although this has been unavailable for a number of years.

    Pressure Beat said…

    You’re right,JJ. That’s actually where I heard it the first time. Unfortunately this compilation is out of print and getting scarce..

    Anonymous said…

    Knotty Knots was also released ina combination discomix fashion with ‘I Am A Natty’ on “Jacob Miller Lives On” [VP 17 North Parade 2008].
    Don Julian

    Anonymous said…

    is there a jacob miller/joe gibbs version minus that “awful” synthesizer ?

    Pressure Beat said…

    hehe, no unfortunately there isn’t 🙂
    I’m with you on this one..


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