Tuesday, July 25, 2017
(Johnny) Ringo - Eye Witness (1982)
Johnny Ringo was a dancehall reggae performer and DJ who started releasing albums in the late 1970s. He also went by the lone name "Ringo," which was the case on this album, his fifth, but I've included his first name in the title of this post so Beatle fans won't get misdirected. This ain't the drummer of the Fab Four, people.
Unlike, say, Mikey Dread, who I followed starting in high school, I know very little about Ringo. The main thing that stands out in his catalog is that he didn't shy away from controversial subjects in his songs, as exemplified by his tunes "Herpes" and "Two Lesbians." This album has a song about "Cocaine," which is sadly ironic, because Ringo was said to have died as a result of overusing the drug.
The music here will sound familiar to anyone who has heard the more popular dancehall performers who came in the wake of Ringo. The most obvious example of this is Shaggy, and some of the tunes here, like "Bounty Hunter" and "Gypsy Girl" sound like proto versions of what he'd do over a decade later.
I picked this CD up in the mid-1990s, back when you could find a lot of this stuff in discount bins. It's not rare, but it is out of print. Since I recently posted some reggae this week, I thought I'd put this out as a followup and keep things thematic.
Mikey Dread - S.W.A.L.K. (1982)
Bob Marley - Natural Mystic (1992)
1. Eye Witness
2. Bendown Plaza
5. Come Back Ringo
6. Bounty Hunter
8. Gypsy Girl