Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Guest Spots: Prince Far I

For the who-what-where-when-why on the man called Prince Far I, look no further than his tune with Singers & Players, "Autobiography". He describes his youth and education in St. Jago de la Vega (Spanish Town), his musical beginnings with the sound system called Sir Mike the Musical Dragon, and his recording debut as Sir Cry Cry. 

Prince Far I started his own label, Cry Tuff, and formed a partnership with a UK label called Hitrun, where a young Adrian Sherwood was working. Hitrun released the first Cry Tuff Dub Encounter in 1978, and 1979's Dub To Africa (both credited to Prince Far I & The Arabs).  The Arabs were The Roots Radics, and the albums were produced by Prince Far I himself (with the exception of Sherwood's production on Dub Encounter Chapter III).

"The Voice Of Thunder" can be heard on On-U Sound releases by African Head Charge, Singers & Players, Dub Syndicate, and 2 Badcard. Sadly, the musical collaborations between Prince Far I and Adrian Sherwood ended when the man born Michael Williams in Spanish Town was killed in his Kingston home in 1983 at the age of 39.  It is said that the gunmen waited to attack until after he watered his garden. Where will the wicked run to on that last day?

Pictured: Prince Far I reading the Sherwood family Bible (from a photo by Kishi Yamamoto).


  1. Today's mix is not a complete collection of Prince Far I's appearances on On-U Sound recordings. One exclusion is "Cha-Ris-Ma" (which ridicules the record label that released the Prince Far I albums Livity and Showcase In A Suitcase.) Prince Far I memorably took on Richard Branson and his label on the Singers & Players' single "Virgin". Several tracks have been edited for length, so that the whole set fits on an 80 minute CD.

    Showcase In A Suitcase has never been issued on CD. "Showcase" albums featured several reggae artists: in this case, Naggo Morris, Congo Ashanti Roy, and the Wailing Souls appear alongside Prince Far I. Here is a reconstruction at 192kps of the original album.

  2. Belated cheers Jonder. Took me a while (about 3 days)to suss how to get these. Google Drive WTF? Spotted the download button eventually-DOH!. On-U was great at the time, but much of it sounds very dated now - the Voice of BOOM! excepted. He was murdered on my 18th by the way. Gonna listen in now. See ya mate! J in the Pool

  3. PS Tremendous dig-out on the Suitcase. Thanx J