The Lone Ranger - M16

Label : J&L LP 1980
Produced by Alvin Ranglin

Tracklisting :
01. Natty Burial
02. M-16
03. Up Town Style
04. Sky Juice
05. Skank Steady B, Rise + meet Jah
06. Fist to Fist
07. Wicked a Go Tn
08. Sat Upon The Rock

Credits :
Engineer : Barnabas, Ernest Hoo Kim, Scientist
Vocals : Lone Ranger
Drums : Sly Dunbar, Santa Davis
Bass : Robbie Shakespeare
Rhythm Guitar : Rad Bryan
Lead Guitar : Rad Bryan
Keyboards : Ansel Collins, Robert Lynn
Piano : Gladdy Anderson
Tenor Saxophone : Dean Fraser
Trumpet : David Madden
Alto Saxophone : Dean Fraser
Percussions : Sticky
Recording studio : Channel One (Kingston, JA)
Mixing studio : Channel One (Kingston, JA)

The Story
As told in dec 2004 by Lone Ranger (LR) and Chester Synmoie (CS), Lone Ranger's longtime friend, producer & manager.

CS - The label is J&L not J&J. Joseph Hookim produced it at Channel One (Channel One was: Well Charged, Hitbound, Cord and J&L). After "Barnabas" bacame a hit, everything went rolling. At that time, Lone Ranger was the number one deejay in Jamaica.

LR - M16, as an album, is the strongest I've made. Sogie did the "M16" riddim and mixied it, too. The first he ever mixed was Lone Ranger's! I had three big hit albums: "M16", "Rosemarie" and Barnabas In Collins Wood". "On the Other side Of Dub" is different: it's an all-time classic. "Hi-Ho Silver Away" should have been big but it was only issued on a limited pressing, left in the hands of Clive Jarrett. In the 80's, Channel One Studio was the ruler. Everything that came out on Channel One at the time was diamond. Anyway... Joseph Hookim called me in Jamaica, said he heard a cassette (tape) with Lone Ranger deejaying on his tracks. He named me the tracks and asked me how long I would take to record an album on these tracks. I answered "30 minutes". So he said: "Go to the studio!". "M16" Became n°1 in Canada, America, UK, but never came out in Jamaica... Two tracks only were released in Jamaica, as singles: "M16" and "Fist To fist Days Done". I was champion DJ in 1979 and 1980 in Jamaica. In 1981 I wasn't champion DJ anymore because I had left to the US for a long tour as The Lone Ranger & The Silver Bullet Band, including a show at the Madison Square Garden...

lone ranger m16
Reviews :

[Reggae - The Rough Guide]
Essential to any decent reggae collection
This is Lone Ranger at the height of his powers, and "ribbiting" and "bimming" all over the Niney-produced rhtyhms that heralded Channel One's renaissance in the early 1980s. The title track was responsible for reviving the popular "Scandal"/"Secretly" rhythm, and cuts of classics like "Shak I Shek", "I Hold The Handle" and "Cuss Cuss" explain why deejays in general - and this one in particular - were carrying the swing (as they said then). Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton

Lone Ranger stands out from other pioneer DJs due to his voice, style, and rhythm.  I'm not a big fan of early DJs toasting styles - the prototype being U-Roy's rambling, disjointed, incomprehensible near-talking - and that's partly why I do appreciate Lone Ranger so much.  He is the prototype for the modern DJ, chatting more rhythmically (on the beat!), clearly and imaginatively.  Many of the rhythms on "M-16" are classic ones that you've heard before, but they're not so familiar as to sound tired.   The beats here are like old school rap - simple (using little more than a bass, piano, and drums, as exemplified on "Natty Burial"), heavy, and funky.  The key word that keeps popping up when you try to describe this album is "rhythm"; both the music and Lone Ranger's vocal flow is all about rhythm (again, at the heart of great hip-hop also).  The best track on "M-16", "Rise & Meet Jah", finds both man and music at their peak, at their most rhythmic.  The driving bass and piano riff of "Wicked a Go Run" are also top-notch.  Also nice - and more popular - are "Fist to Fist", "Natty Burial", and the title track.

I have to admit to a certain prejudice here, because I think that Lone Ranger is the most entertaining DJ who ever lived. Not only that, but Ranger is one of a very tiny group of DJs who made albums that were as good as his singles and/or stage presence. He may not have been as innovative as, say, U Roy or Big Youth, but his presentation was electrifying, his lyrics carefully crafted or stolen to match the music just perfectly and he had the good sense to work with producers who recorded him over state of the art riddims. "M-16" only has nine songs but every one is a dynamite Channel One/Niney riddim with Ranger's endlessly inventive lyrics riding the top. The title track is a stone classic, but so are "Fist to Fist," "Burial," "Skank Steady" and most of the other tracks as well.

lone ranger m16