Black Roots / Deadly Dragon

It always makes me feel a bit odd to write about a record that we reissued as the ‘Track of the Week’, but Nitty Gritty’s Every Man a Seller is just so good that to avoid it would be to operate under willful ignorance.

Every Man a Seller was the first tune that Nitty Gritty ever cut, and unlike many first recordings, this one showcases an artist with a fully developed style that melded the ‘canary’ vocals of Barrington Levy with a darker, almost minor key take on the Waterhouse style made famous by Michael Roze and Black Uhuru.

I first came across the track years and years ago in a collection of serious 80s digital: Mighty Rulers – Chat Yu Mouth, Natural Vibes – Life Inna Prison, Fire Fox – Hypocrite, and a few more killers, but the Every Man A Seller stood alone by bringing Nitty Gritty’s wailing vocals to bear on one of our all-time favorite riddims, which we named Jah Black, after the Barrington Levy tune of the same name.

Not only did the melody haunt us, but Nitty Gritty’s lyrics painted such a vivid picture of sufferation and inequality that it quickly became one of our favorite tunes. But – and there is always a but! – the pressing of the tune was of such atrocious quality that we sold it thinking that we would surely find another copy in better condition. Over the years we learned that not only was Every Man A Seller incredibly rare, but when found, the sound quality was just as terrible as that first copy we had found.

As we became more and more desperate to find another copy and more and more people started begging us to find them a copy of the tune, we started trying to figure out how to do a quality reissue of the tune.

We began by making overtures to the late, great, Sugar Minott to see if he had tapes or even a stamper for the tune. Later we checked Sugar’s brother, and finally, after his untimely passing, we spoke to his son. Unfortunately, no tapes ever surfaced.

We did however, find another copy of the tune that was a little cleaner than others we had heard, and after getting permission from Sugar’s son Daniel Minott, who continues to run Youthman Promotions, we brought the tune to some very serious, serious people, who truly know what they are doing when it comes to vinyl restoration.

The result is the finest quality pressing of Nitty Gritty – Every Man A Seller to ever be made available. The vocal side is clean and vibrant without the haze of static that made the original pressing so problematic, and the version side, while still retaining some evidence of the original stamper defect, plays cleaner than any version previously available.

We have manufactured an edition of 500 numbered pieces of 7” virgin vinyl, hand stamped and numbered by us here at Deadly Dragon Sound.

So Enjoy!

More info:
Nitty Gritty – Every Man A Seller on Deadly Dragon

Scratch Famous, Deadly Dragon Sound,  New York City