Joyella Blade – Cairo

With its exotic ‘Arabic’ motif, synthesised strings and syn-drums, Cairo was the only song ever recorded by Joyella Blade for the new Front Line reggae label in 1978.

This little-known tune was one of the fruits of that nice Richard Branson’s reggae label Front Line, which brought a lot of top-class Jamaican music to UK ears for the first time.

In 1978 the Virgin boss financed a trip to JA by the newly unemployed Johnny Rotten, film-maker and DJ Don Letts, photographer Dennis Morris and Sounds journalist Vivien Goldman (who kindly allowed me to write their reggae pieces in her temporary absence, following a chance meeting in Rough Trade Records – so thanks for that Viv!).

The quartet signed up a mixture of legendary figures and new talent but I have a feeling that Joyella Blade may have been a UK artist, judging by the credits on this, her only release – “written by John Sandosa, produced by John Norwell.”

I know next to nothing about her and she doesn’t seem to have made any other tunes, let alone an album, or to have left any sort of online presence, but I remember buying this catchy single, in a similar vein (perhaps TOO similar) to the chart topping Uptown Top Ranking earlier in 1978, with a nice dub.

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