JA Original 1971
Distributed by Randys
Born Dennis Smith on August 6 in Clarendon, JA. Inspired by the great U-Roy, Dennis formed the El Paso Hi-Fi Soundsystem in 1969, with help of his friends Lizzy and Samuel the First. Together with U-Roy and Big Youth, Dennis Alcapone became one of the three most popular DJs at the beginning of the seventies and worked with every big producer in Jamaica: Rupie Edwards, Niney Holness, Coxsone Dodd, Lee Perry, Sir JJ, Keith Hudson, Bunny Lee, Winston Riley, Joe Gibbs, Prince Buster, Byron Lee, Phil Pratt and Randy's, to name a few. His early tunes, around 1970, were for producer Keith Hudson: Shades of Hudson, Spanish Omega (Ken Boothe's Old Fashioned Way), Revelation Version, Maca Version and The Sky's the Limit. And also for Coxsone Dodd (who lost U-Roy to Duke Reid's Treasure Isle): Carlton and the Shoes' Love Me Forever was turned into Forever Version by Dennis and with the help of Studio one riddims, Alcapone propelled into the charts, challinging the almighty U-Roy with a string of huge hits. Checkout the Heartbeat reissue of Forever Version. Between 1970 and 1972, he scored big hits for Duke Reid, updating old Treasure Isle riddims with his witty toasting and working together with djs like U-Roy, Little Youth and his old friend Lizzy: Number One Station, Mosquito One, Rock To The Beat, Love is Not a Gamble, Wake Up Jamaica, The Great Woggle (Techniques' You Don't Care), Teach The Children (Jean Knight's Mister Big Stuff) and Musical Alphabet. For Bunny Lee, he did Ripe Cherry and Guns Don't Argue (Eric Donaldson's Love of the Common People) in 1971. Stars version, also recorded in 1971 at Randy's, was also released as b-side to the Lloyd Parks' Impact reissue of Stars. Dennis Alcapone also produced tunes by himself, Dennis Brown, Augustus Pablo and Delroy Wilson. In 1974, he left for the UK, taking things a little bit more slow, but still recording albums for Sidney Crooks (Belch it off, 1974, on the UK label Attack), Bunny Lee and Count Shelly (King of the Track, 1974, on the UK label Magnet). He then moved to the Third World label and released Dread Capone, Six Million Dollar Man, and Investigator Rock (produced by Bunny Lee). However, he chart succes was absent and by the end of the seventies he took abreak from the music business. Untill Dennis Alcapone returned to stage in 1988, still performinging untill this very day, keeping the oldstyle dancehall djing alive.