Today some well-deserved attention to the dub reggae classic Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires, an album I stumbled upon by chance and bought on the spot.
On April 18, 1960 Hopeton Overton Brown was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Hopeton had a predisposition to technique and at age 16, thanks to his father, he already repaired television sets and was testing amplifiers that were used for the local ‘sound systems’.
Through some mutual connections Hopeton came into contact with the influential dub pioneer King Tubby, who quickly recognized Hopeton’s potential. He worked at King Tubby’s studio, where he watched engineers like Prince Jammy and Pat Kelly at work. He learned a lot just by observing. It didn’t take long for King Tubby to call Hopeton Scientist, as he was very proficient: “Damn, this little boy must be a scientist.”.
By the end of the 1970s Scientist got the opportunity to work on music mixes by himself. He scored a hit with Barrington Levy and Scientist’s career was underway. He started working with producer Henry “Junjo” Lawes. Late 1970s/early 1980s Scientist started working for Studio One as well, sometime later followed by his employment at Tuff Gong, which was founded by Bob Marley.
Due to problems with violence, drugs and crime Scientist fled Jamaica and left for the US. He worked with Shaggy in New York and worked in Washington. In the 1990s he moved to California. He still makes music and performs quite frequently.
In 1980 Scientist released the album Heavyweight Dub Champion: “This ya a youthful sound fe come mash y’down”, one of the first magnificent tastes of his abilities.
Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires
In 1981 Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires was released. A collection of covers played by the Roots Radics, which received dub mixes by Scientist. The songs were heavily worked on and hardly resembled the originals, adding extra echo, horns, keyboards and sound effects.
The album’s theme is Halloween: according to the information on the album it was mixed at midnight on Friday the 13th. Presuming that’s accurate, it would have been February, March or November of 1981. In conjunction with all the other releases in 1981, I suspect mixing took place on Friday 13th of February or March 1981.
I stumbled upon this album by accident and actually bought it because of its cover. Dub reggae is a style of music I’m no expert in (at all), even though I own quite a lot of Lee “Scratch” Perry music. But, this album agrees with me very well. As it turned out, it was deemed a classic within the genre of dub. Whether it is or not, I gladly leave that to the real connoisseurs. To me Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires is a great reggae album I really enjoy listening to .
- Voodoo Curse
(original: Wailing Souls – Oh What A Feeling)
- Dance Of The Vampires
(original: Michael Prophet – You Are A No Good)
- Blood On His Lips
(original: Wayne Jarrett – Love In My Heart)
- Cry Of The Werewolf
(original: Michael Prophet – Hold On To What You Got)
- The Mummy’s Shroud
(original: Wailing Souls – Fire House Rock)
- The Corpse Rises
(original: Wailing Souls – Bandits Taking Over)
- Night Of The Living Dead
(original: Michael Prophet – Youthman)
- Your Teeth In My Neck
(original: Michael Prophet – Love And Unity)
- Plague Of Zombies
(original: Johnny Osbourne – He Can Surely Turn The Tide)
- Ghost Of Frankenstein
(original: Michael Prophet – Sweet Loving)
- Errol “Flabba” Holt – bass
- Lincoln “Style” Scott, Carlton “Santa” Davis – drums
- Noel “Sowell” Bailey, Eric “Bingy Bunny” Lamont – rhythm guitar
- Gladstone “Gladdy” Anderson – piano
- Ansel Collins – keyboards
- Winston Wright – organ
- Winston “Bo Peep” Bowen, Alan Bassford – lead guitar
- Noel “Scully” Simms, Uziah “Sticky” Thompson, Christopher “Sky Juice” Blake – percussion
- “Deadly” Headley Bennett, Dean Fraser – saxophone
- Ronald “Nambo” Robinson – trombone
After Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires
Scientist released many, many more albums, often with distinctive titles: Scientist Encounters Pac-Man, Scientist & Jammy Strike Back, Scientist Meets The Crazy Mad Professor At Channel One Studio, Scientist Dubs Culture Into A Parallel Universe, Scientist Launches Dubstep Into Outer Space and The Dub Album They Didn’t Want You To Hear. In 2021 Scientist Meets Ral Ston was released.
As Scientist was very young around the time of his start in the music business he agreed to being paid for his mixes, thus receiving nothing from album sales. Scientist ended up suing but lost, prompting record company Greensleeves to rename and release the album as Junjo Presents: The Evil Curse Of The Vampires. Apparently all’s fair to deny payments to the one person who’s ultimately responsible for the magnificent dub.
What’s your opinion about Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires? Let me know!
This story contains an accompanying video. Click on the following link to see it: Video: Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires. The A Pop Life playlist on Spotify has been updated as well.
Scientist image: globalgroovers.com
Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires image: resolutionrecords.co.uk
Scientist (2) image: twitter.com
Junjo Presents The Evil Curse Of The Vampires image: discogs.com