Original Soundtrack LP

Released in 1980 by Chrysalis: CHR1294

(Also released in the USA on Takoma?)

Tracks on this LP are:

Yabby U   Deliver Me From My Enemies
Michael Prophet   Turn Me Loose
Yabby U   Free Africa
I Roy   Whap'n Bap'n
Cassandra   Thank You For The Many Things You've Done
Aswad   Hey Jah Children
Aswad   Warrior Charge
Dennis Bovell   Beefy's Tune
Dennis Bovell   Manhunter
Dennis Bovell   Jazterpice
[NB: See some comments about Yabby U's thoughts on the film in the comments section]

The press pack also credits:

Jeff Wayne Music   LBC Theme
Janet Kay   Can't Give It Up
and the Shaka tracks below

CD version released February 2005 on EMI

Tracklisting as above, with the following extras:

Dennis Bovell's Dub Band   School Skanking
Dennis Bovell   Living In Babylon
Dennis Bovell   Runnin? Away
Dennis Bovell's Dub Band   Chief Inspector
Dennis Bovell's Dub Band   B Flat Reggae Concerto
Dennis Bovell   Jazterpiece (Reggae Version)
Dennis Bovell   Beefy's Tune (Long Version)





VARIOUS ARTISTS - Babylon (Chrysalis)

HERE'S A movie soundtrack that makes you proud to be British. Apart from a couple of old Grove Music favourites - Yabby You's 'Free Africa' and 'Deliver Me From My Enemies', takin' ya back to them good ol' days of '76, and Michael Prophet's 'Turn Me Loose', plus a fairly dismal lover's rock tune by the best-forgotten Cassandra, 'Thank You For The Many Things You've Done', and I-Roy's Bovell produced 'Whap 'n Bap'n' (already available on Virgin), the whole album is sparkling spanking Best of British.

Whoops, having said that, I realise that's the whole of side one.... still, they're mostly good tunes, if you haven't got them already.

But checking out Side 2, we come to some serious new age steppers. What we're talking about here is the potential of turning your brain into a home sound system, thereby eliminating waiting for buses for hours in the cold. Invest in a pair of headphones instead, if that's possible, and whack 'em up full so you make the most out of Aswad featuring the harrowing horn of Vin Gordon, on the sound system favourite 'Warrior Charge'. Of course, it's conceivable you have it already as an Island disco mix, obviously the finest form for a disc of this ilk. On to the other tunes, all Dennis Bovell (Matumbi/Blackbeard) productions.

The Specials have moved into movie soundtrack territory, and very well too; but Dennis Bovell turns a movie soundtrack - theoretical background music - to easy skanking dance music that features some Aswad-ettes, notably drummie Angus Gaye, going at it like a fireworks display on the kit. 'Jazterpiece' is a truly modern version of that currently hip James Bond vibration. In the interesting flick, directed by 'Dread Beat & Blood' man Franco Rosso, the music hits you hard, not subliminally. A moody instrumental, like 'Manhunter' with its steady stepping bass and eloquent horn solo pleading on top, demolishing itself in a dub explosion half way through, then creeping stealthily back, is a narrative in itself.

The movie is a must, and if you haven't already got the album tracks on other releases, so's the album. Wouldn't it be nice if Chrysalis succeeded where Island have notably failed, and got the brilliant Aswad the remuneration to match the reputation?

Vivien Goldman, NME 8 November 1980



12" single released on the Jah Shaka label - SHAKA 842-A

Tracks on this 12" are:

Johnny Clarke   Babylon
Johnny Clarke   Got To Be Strong

[NB: See some comments from Jah Shaka about the film in the comments section]


12" single released on the Chrysalis label - 122849-A

7" single released on the Chrysalis label - 2489-A

Tracks on this are:

Johnny Clarke   Babylon
Cassandra   Thank You For The Many Things You've Done


Further information on music from the film

Richard J writes:

"It took me a few years to track down a second-hand vinyl copy of the soundtrack, yet my elation was tinged with dissappointment at how little of the music I'd heard on the film actually made it on to the album. The recent cd re-issue has re-dressed the balance though, [...].

It's a bit of a shame that the dub versions of "Beefy's Tune" still didn't make it on to the album (they're out there somewhere, gathering dust!). Anyway, since seeing the film, I attempted (in vain) to track down other Dennis Bovell recordings, and it was only after moving to London a few years ago that I achieved success, and it seems that more of his music was used in the film than was credited.

The first track Fat Larry plays in his office is a dub called "Jazzz", and when Beefy and Spark obtain the tannoy from the school, a dub called "Electrocharge" can be heard in the background. Both these tracks are on Dennis Bovell's "I-Wah Dub" album. The re-issue of the soundtrack contains extra music, said to be inthe film, though I've yet to locate some of it. But the tracks "Living In Babylon", "Runnin' Away", and "Chief inspector" can all be found, slightly re-mixed, on Bovell's "Brain Damage" album."

Thanks again, Richard.



Samples from the film have been used in the following tracks:

Satin Storm - Can't Take No More
off "Sweat" 12" single ST01 (1991?)
Sample: "Can't take no more o' dat"

Monkey Mafia - Lion In The Hall
off "15 Steps" 12" EP Heavenly HVN 67-12 (1997 - also on "Shoot The Boss" LP)
Sample: "Lion... Lion in the hall!"

Rebel MC - Black Meaning Good
off "Black Meaning Good" LP Desire LUVLP 12 (1991)
Sample: "We gotcha... you done a runner..."