Enos McLeod

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About Enos McLeod

Enos McLeod has yet to make it to the top league of the international reggae scene, and by Jamaican standards his canon is fairly thin. Nevertheless, the singing producer has left his mark on both sides of the console. Born in the Trenchtown area of Kingston, Jamaica, in 1946, McLeod began his career at Studio One, where he was trained as an engineer by Syd Bucknor. In 1968, he undertook his first productions, which were eagerly snapped up by the legendary British Blue Cat label. The first was his own "You Can Never Get Away"/"La Bamba," the latter in duet with Sheila. It was his second release, however, Lloyd Clarke's "Young Love," that gave the young hopeful his first hit. It was an auspicious start, but little more emerged until the mid-'70s. At that point, although McLeod occasionally cut singles for other producers, mostly he oversaw his own music. A steady trickle of strong cultural singles emerged over the rest of the decade and into the early '80s. A clutch were released under the moniker Preacher, including "Black Moses," "Temptation Woman," "Psalms of David," and "Rhythm Bible." Under his own name came "Tel Aviv," "Cash & Carry," "Sufferer's Prayer," "Wicked Babylon," "By the Look," "Hello Carol," and "Jericho," the latter with the Mighty Diamonds providing backing.

Although McLeod did not release a full-length of his own during the roots age, many of his best singles were later rounded up for the Genius of Enos McLeod compilation, with others appearing on the Goodies Best set. The Tel Aviv collection, too, features McLeod's own songs alongside his productions of Bobby Melody, Gregory Isaacs, Lloyd Clarke, and Dennis Walks. Reggae Mix-Tures, in contrast, is given over mostly to his DJs, including Jah Stitch, Trinity, and Clint Eastwood. Notable for his absence on that latter set is Prince Far I. The fiery toaster only cut a couple of numbers for McLeod, but that's irrelevant. Back in the early '70s, when McLeod was still working at Studio One, it was he who recommended that the then Prince Cry Cry change his name to Far I. McLeod's other notable production was Augustus Pablo's 1975 Thriller album; Joseph Hill, however, was adamant that McLeod had no part in his Culture in Culture set, for which he is also credited. In truth, although much of McLeod's own music is readily available, the man himself has been very poorly documented, even though he's worked with an array of stars, Pat Kelly, Al Campbell, and Shorty the President among them. The singing producer, however, has never slipped under the radar, maintaining his profile in more recent years with 1995's Ram Jam Party and 1997's Dance Hall Style, with Love of My Life arriving in 2005. ~ Jo-Ann Greene

Trench Town, Jamaica