BIG YOUTH: Screaming Target

"Big Youth was one of the most influential DJs on the Jamaican scene in the 1970s, helping to popularize the tradition of singers "toasting" over records. The shrieks that kick off the title track command the listener's attention immediately, and belie Big Youth's jazzy, laid-back style. "Screaming Target" is a clarion call for Jamaica's youth to educate and better themselves, and typifies Big Youth's cool, mesmerizing performance with razor-sharp, socially conscious lyrics. "Screaming Target" is still on the shortlist of historically important reggae albums decades after its release."

Big Youth was one of the most influential DJs
on the Jamaican scene in the '70s

I don't know who photographed the covers of Big Youth's first full-length debut album, Screaming Target, or his later Dreadlocks Dread, but the preceding post on Bob Marley prints at Snap Galleries reminded me to go in search for them. Screaming Target has some killer cuts Big Youth made with then 20 year-old producer Gussie Clarke. Both continue to be my all time favorite reggae albums ever. At an early Big Youth concert long ago, we watched as two men had to hold him up to get on stage and prop him up throughout the entire incredibly pure stoned-out stream-of-consciousness performance. Screaming Target: Big Youth, with background vocals by Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, K.C. White.