This weekend brought word of another reggae legend’s passing. Phillip “Fattis” Burrell, the man behind the crucial dancehall and reggae label Xterminator Records—and before that, Vena Records—died on Saturday after suffering a heart attack two weeks ago. The prolific producer who helped launch the careers of Luciano, Sizzla, Sanchez and Pinchers will be keenly missed.
Everybody has their Fattis favorites; he recorded decades’ worth of great music with just about every significant singer and DJ in Jamaica. And we’re not even going to try and touch on the classics he produced for Vena. But when the roll is called up yonder, these tunes have got to be there. Run that…
10. Capleton “Arms House”
More than any other this was the song that announced Capleton’s evolution into Prophet mode.
9. Flourgon “Bad Boy Tune”
Say what you want, but when this selection dropped in The Reggae Lounge ah bare worries & problem.
8. Cocoa Tea “Israel’s King”
The fisherman touches up The Firehouse Crew’s cut of Bob Marley’s “One Drop” riddim and writes a new legend.
7. Sanchez “Never Dis De Man”
“There are lots of signs in life, some that you may not like, you could be living this minute…” Wheeeeel out!
6. Sizzla “Babylon A Listen”
Has Kalonji ever burned brighter? “Don’t even go ask them what them listening for.”
5. Beres Hammond “Full Attention”
Beres sounds so smitten he’s resorting to desperate measures just to catch this lady’s eye: “Should I stand in the middle of the road let something run over me?”
4. Buju Banton “Yardie”
The young DJ licks out against negative media stereotypes of Jamaicans inna foreign.
3. Ini Kamoze “Hot Stepper” (Original)
The record that lit the fuse for Ini Kamoze. A later “Hot Stepper” version was remade and remixed into a #1 single, but Ini’s Xterminator original was interpolated by Beyoncé on “Baby Boy,” her chart-topping duet with Sean Paul.
2. Sizzla “Praise Ye Jah”
The tune that announced Kalonji’s arrival as a fiery new voice in reggae.
1. Luciano “It’s Me Again Jah”
More of a prayer than a song, Luciano’s breakout hit set the tone for Jah Messenger’s whole career.