Ranking Joe with Cosmic Vibe Sound and I&I Vibration.
Born Joe Jackson in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Ranking Joe cut his musical teeth toasting on a sound system known as "Smith The Weapon". Working his way up through the ranks he became resident DJ on the El Paso sound, performing as "Little Joe".
As with so many of his Jamaican counterparts he began recording with Coxsone Dodd at Studio One. His first session resulted in "Gun Court", which saw him toasting over the Heptones' "Love Me Girl", but this did not make an impression on the charts. He subsequently studied electronics before pursuing his recording career.
Encouraged by his father, he enjoyed a major breakthrough when he returned to the studio to record the highly infectious "750". The hit resulted in many recordings for a number of producers, notably "Don't Give Up", "Psalm 54", "Natty Don't Make War", "Tradition", and a tribute to the bionic man, "Steve Austin". He also returned to the sound system circuit as resident DJ for U-Roy's King Sturgav, alongside Jah Screw, before it was destroyed in the violent election campaign of 1980.
Later in the same year, the Jamaican sound system Ray Symbolic Hi Fi toured the UK, giving British audiences their first taste of a real "yard" sound. As he had become the resident DJ with the system, Ranking Joe featured on the tour and a new wave of enthusiasm for his recordings followed. By 1982 he had become an international figure with the release of Weakheart Fadeaway and Saturday Night Jamdown Style. Tracks included the popular "Natty The Collie Smoker", "Nine Month Belly" and "Step It Down A Shepherds Bush".
In 1982/3 he enjoyed renewed success with Disco Skate and the reissued Armageddon. Rankin Joe currently resides in New York, and has recently released hit singles "How You Bad So", "Mexican Bean", and "Step It Out" with UK based Producers Mungo's Hi-Fi, and continues to successfully record and tour with UK & Jamaican based producers and artists.
Rankin Joe at Paradise Lounge in SF Friday April 30 1501 Folsom @ 11th St. $10 10PM-3AM 21+