Prince Far I And The Arabs Dub To Africa on LP
The year of 1979 was perhaps the most busy and fruitful in the tragically curtailed career of the gruff but genial reggae deejay known as Prince Far I. After some 15 years of dipping in and out of the music field and generally skirting its fringes, he had finally during the past couple of years consolidated a following and now had a total of five albums to his name, including two prestigious releases the previous year on Virgin Records' Front Line label with Message From The King and Long Life. During May, Prince Far I's third album for Virgin's Front Line label was released. Cry Tuff Dub Encounter Part 2 was the follow up to Cry Tuff Dub Encounter, which had been issued on Hitrun the previous year. Concurrent with the Front Line release, the Hitrun set-up now put out an unsleeved, white label limited pressing of eight new bass and drum workouts, this present set Dub to Africa.
Boosted by his live shows, both albums sold well in the UK and figured on the reggae chart. What distinguished Dub To Africa from Cry Tuff Dub Encounter Part 2, however, was that whereas the Front Line set employed the usual set of musicians then recording variously as The Revolutionaries, The Mercenaries, The Professionals and for Prince Far I as Cry Tuff And The Arabs, Dub To Africa drafted in Lincoln Valentine 'Style' Scott (drums) and Noel 'Sowell' Bailey (guitar) alongside the Prince's regular bassist Errol 'Flaba' Holt under the aegis Cry Tuff And The Originals. This was the nucleus of the session group who were to revolutionize reggae music in the early-80s as The Roots Radics, slowing down the militant rockers sound of The Revolutionaries and ushering in the dancehall era backing newcomers such as Barrington Levy as well as established acts like Gregory Isaacs and Bunny Wailer.