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Junior Delgado


Original Guerilla Music - the Great JA Recordings


Sound Boy


Junior Delgado CD coverOriginal Guerilla Music is the first release on the Sound Boy label, a division of On-U Sound. This compilation contains essential recordings that spans the 70's and 80's of Junior Delgado's career. For those who are unfamiliar with this man's work, he is an alumnus of Lee "Scratch" Perry's Black Ark Studios. Thus, Delgado's sound is not much different from another Perry students - Peter Tosh and Bob Marley. He is also similar to Tosh lyrically by the way his songs are politically motivated. Other producers that have contributed include Sly & Robbie, Dennis Brown, Niney the Observer, Prince Jammy, and his close friend, Augustus Pablo. The song that best exemplifies his style is Tichon, which is ghetto for politician. His heavy, robust voice combined with the deep bass line provided him with the breakout anthem that made a name for him in Jamaica. The first track, Sons of Slaves, subject matter does not need any elaboration but this song is even more emotional because his agonizing voice borders on tears. Equally powerful are tracks Storm is Coming and, my favorite, Black Man Heart Cries Out. In Black Man Heart he is personifying the song and sounds as if the he himself is crying. Other songs of note but less impressive to show another side of Junior Delgado are Big Shot, Merry Go Round and Love Tickles Like Magic. Here, Junior displays his range by crooning like his influences such as Teddy Pendergrass and The Four Tops. Love Tickles Like Magic reminds me of a tenor Smokey Robinson set to a reggae after beat. Delgado may not be the showman that Marley was. He may not be militant as Tosh in his later years. What really separates him is that he takes a bit of each of his contemporaries and combines it with his expressive voice. Original Guerilla Music beautifully displays Junior Delgado's abilities and styles into one compilation.

---Edward Jose, June 17, 2003