Prisoner Of Love - Dave Barker
"Prisoner Of Love" is a scorcher for two reasons. The first reason is the song itself: Dave Barker's soulful, high volume performance makes this record two of the most exciting minutes ever put to wax in Jamaica. The second reason is the story of how the song came to be.
Scratch and friends were at Randy's Studio one night voicing some songs. At this time, a Lee Perry session always carried an aura of excitement, and this session was no different. Besides Scratch, vocalist Busty Brown, up and coming producer Glen Brown, and a little known singer named David Crooks were among the various musicians and engineers gathered around the mixing board. Scratch had a rhythm track he had been given by Bunny Lee called "Slip Away" on the reels and he was trying to lay something down with it. Busty Brown made several attempts, but Scratch wasn't happy with them. Then Glen Brown tapped Scratch on the shoulder and motioned to his friend Dave.
"Scratch, you have an idren named Dave out there, you know. Bwai, you should hear him. Try Dave man, Dave should touch this track now."
Scratch gave the young Crooks the green light and he stepped behind the microphone. Crooks took a deep breath and then improvised the entire song in one take. The entire studio was electrified: Scratch clapped his hands and jumped around the room, overjoyed at Crooks' dynamic performance. He was not, however, overjoyed with Crooks' name. "No man, Crooks can't work, man. That no sound show biz at all. Barker! Dave Barker, man!"
After "Prisoner Of Love", Barker went on to record many dynamite songs with Scratch, including "Shocks Of Mighty", "What A Confusion" and "Hot Line". Soon after he found international fame when he teamed up with Ansel Collins for "Monkey Spanner" and "Double Barrel".
Although "Prisoner Of Love" has been included on many Trojan collections, the blank Upsetter 7" is unique since it includes some tasty reverb on Barker's vocals.