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Artist Hall of Fame

Shabba RanksText by Harry Hawks

Possibly one of the last of the traditional Jamaican mic. men but definitely the first of the island’s international superstar deejays…
Date Added: Oct 24, 2013 Copyright (C) 2019 Dub Store Sound Inc.
Real Name: Rexton Rawlston Fernando Gordon
Jan 17, 1966 -
Place of Birth: Sturgetown
St. Ann
Jamaica
Related Artist(s):
Ninjaman
Home T
Cocoa Tea
Deborahe Glasgow
Krystal
Super Cat
Admiral Tibet
Lovindeer
Flourgon
Maxi Priest
Chevelle Franklyn
Chaka Demus
Josey Wales
Admiral Bailey
Born Rexton Rawlston Fernando Gordon on 17th January 1966 in Sturgetown in the country parish of St. Ann Rexton's family moved to Kingston when he was aged eight. A keen student of the deejay school from the age of twelve his favourites were mic. masters General Echo, Brigadier Jerry and Yellowman and he began deejaying live and direct on the Roots Melody sound system alongside Admiral Bailey. The sound's selector was known as Navigator and Rexton briefly became Co Pilot releasing his debut record under that name, 'Heat Under Sufferer's Feet', on the Kingston 11 based Razam label in 1985.

The Colonel, Josey Wales, then took Shabba to King Jammy(Lloyd James)'s headquarters on St. Lucia Avenue where he adopted the nom. de mic. Shabba Ranking or Shabba Ranks and began deejaying both live and on record for the King. Following further reinforcing of his reputation as a live mic. man Shabba then progressed to the recording studio where his gruff, 'rockstone' delivery and contentious material began to set the standards that all his subsequent work would be judged by. Never a stranger to controversy Shabba's 'slack' or sexually explicit lyrics, such as the unambiguous 'Needle Eye Pum Pum' from 1987, and his forceful delivery ensured his unbounded popularity in Kingston's dancehalls. His first long player, 'Rough & Rugged', where he shared the honours (one side each) with Chaka Demus, was released in 1988 and was a huge hit. The floodgates were now open and, by the beginning of the new decade, Shabba Ranks was being described as "a one man reggae industry". His staggering release schedule meant that half a dozen or so strong selling pre-release 7" singles from Jamaica, three or four twelve inch records and one or two LPs from both the UK and USA were all selling strongly in the UK and USA reggae charts at any given time. If a record featured Shabba then it was a seller and the man could do no wrong.

He recorded relentlessly with Kingston's top producers including Jammys protégés Bobby 'Digital' Dixon(Bobby Dixon)'s Digital B label, with spectacular smashes such as 'Wicked In Bed' over an update of the 'Love Is Not A Gamble', Wycliffe 'Steely' Johnson's and Cleveland 'Clevie' Browne's Steely & Clevie label, Gussie Clarke's Music Works and Gussie's protégés, Mikey Bennett's and Patrick 'Shadow' Lindsay(Patrick Lindsay)'s Two Friends label. His phenomenal popularity coincided with the global ubiquity of USA based rap and, when it became apparent where the USA based mic. men were coming from, it presented a brief window of opportunity and acceptance which Shabba Ranks proceeded to throw wide open. Effortlessly stepping up to global stardom Shabba's first long player for Epic, the appropriately titled 'As Raw As Ever', was released in 1991. Previously reggae crossover signings had been advised to perform rock, soul, calypso... anything in fact apart from what had gained them the contract in the first place. But this time round no concessions were made and Shabba's major label releases remained as rough and rugged and as raw as ever and he not only sold an incredible amount of records but 'As Raw As Ever' was also awarded a Grammy for that year's Best Reggae Album.

His singles for Clifton 'Specialist' Dillon(Clifton Dillon)'s Shang Muzik label 'House Call' with Maxi Priest, driven by a distinctive and much imitated drum pattern, reached Number Thirty One in the UK National Charts in summer 1991 and 'Mr Loverman' with Chevelle Franklyn reached Number Twenty Three in the UK National Charts the following summer. The 'Shabba' refrain was on everyone's lips and, in 1993, his 'X-Tra Naked' long player on Epic secured the Ranks his second Grammy award. His international career established new records for a Jamaican deejay but Shabba never lost sight of where he was coming from and 'Respect', also for Shang Muzik and released at the height of Shabba's international fame in 1993, gave thanks and praise to Jamaica's deejay elders. On this epic release he name checked a number of his illustrious predecessors including King Stitt, U Roy, Big Youth, Brigadier Jerry, Admiral Bailey and Josey Wales over a recut of Jackie Mittoo's 'Hot Milk' rhythm... or Barrington Levy's 'Murderer' if you prefer.

In 1993 Shabba's version of Sly & The Family Stone's 'Family Affair" was featured on the 'Addams Family Values' film soundtrack and gave the Ranks another crossover hit, however, his success now placed Shabba in the unenviable position of being the scapegoat for just about everything that the media felt was not to their liking about ragga music. His career suffered some serious criticism often through guilt by association rather than anything the Ranks might have done or said himself. He was the first Jamaican international superstar since Bob Marley (and there the comparisons end) to have bust this big and he was now forced into positions where whatever he said, or whatever he didn't say, was going to upset someone.

Throughout his incredible career Shabba Ranks has had to manage a very difficult balancing act by never leaving his roots, never selling out while still shocking out internationally. Shabba has never ceased to record and, although his prolific output has slowed slightly, the impeccable standards he first set in 1987 have never faltered. He returned to the Kingston studios in the mid nineties where he recorded the roots anthems 'Think You Having It All' and 'Heart Of A Lion' for Bobby Digital and in 1999 a greatest hits compilation featuring his Epic material, entitled 'Shabba Ranks & Friends', was another major worldwide hit.

And he continues to get up, stand up and rock. In 2012 'The Emperor Of Dancehall' received a heroes welcome in his first Jamaican stage show for eleven years on Reggae Sumfest's International night and, the following summer, it was reported that the Ranks was working on an eagerly anticipated new album...
Oct 24, 2013 Text by Harry Hawks
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Hit titles
Shabba Ranks - Reggae Legends (4CD)
CD Shabba Ranks - Reggae Legends (4CD) Greensleeves UK
  
¥2880 (US$26.24)
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Shabba Ranks, Chaka Demus - Rough & Rugged
LP Shabba Ranks, Chaka Demus - Rough & Rugged Jammys
  
¥1480 (US$13.48)
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Shabba Ranks - Best Baby Father
LP Shabba Ranks - Best Baby Father Digital B
  
¥1780 ¥1580 (US$14.39)
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Chaka Demus, Shabba Ranks - Ruff And Tuff
LP Chaka Demus, Shabba Ranks - Ruff And Tuff Jammys US/VP US
  
¥1580 (US$14.39)
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Shabba Ranks - Golden Touch
LP Shabba Ranks - Golden Touch VP US
  
¥1680 ¥1429 (US$13.02)
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Home T, Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks - Holding On
LP Home T, Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks - Holding On VP US
  
¥2380 (US$21.68)
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Shabba Ranks - As Raw As Ever
LP Shabba Ranks - As Raw As Ever Shang
  
¥1880 ¥1680 (US$15.30)
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Shabba Ranks - Golden Touch
LP Shabba Ranks - Golden Touch Two Friends
  
¥1780 ¥1380 (US$12.57)
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Shabba Ranks - Star Of The 90's
LP Shabba Ranks - Star Of The 90's Jammys
  
¥1680 (US$15.30)
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Shabba Ranks - Star Of The 90's
LP Shabba Ranks - Star Of The 90's Jammys UK (Org) Info: Original Press
  
¥2980 ¥2580 (US$23.50)
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Shabba Ranks - Rough & Ready Volume 2 (cutout)
LP Shabba Ranks - Rough & Ready Volume 2 (cutout) Epic US
  
¥2080 (US$18.95)
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Krystal, Shabba Ranks - Twice My Age
12" Krystal, Shabba Ranks - Twice My Age Dancehall Classics US Twice My Age
  
¥1380 ¥1173 (US$10.69)
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Deborahe Glasgow, Shabba Ranks - Don't Test Me (Combination)
12" Deborahe Glasgow, Shabba Ranks - Don't Test Me (Combination) / Deborahe Glasgow - Don't Test Me Dancehall Classics US
  
¥1780 (US$16.21)
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Home T, Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks - Pirates Anthem
12" Home T, Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks - Pirates Anthem Dancehall Classics US Pirates Anthem
  
¥1780 (US$16.21)
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Shabba Ranks - Caan Dunn
12" Shabba Ranks - Caan Dunn Dancehall Classics US
  
¥1240 (US$11.30)
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Deborahe Glasgow, Shabba Ranks - Mister Loverman
12" Deborahe Glasgow, Shabba Ranks - Mister Loverman / Shabba Ranks - Mister Version VP US Champion Lover
  
¥1080 (US$9.84)
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TOK; TOK, Shabba Ranks - Money To Burn; Gimmi Di Music
12" TOK;TOK, Shabba Ranks - Money To Burn; Gimmi Di Music VP US Buy Out
  
¥1240 (US$11.30)
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Beenie Man; Shabba Ranks - War Is Over; Halla Fi Buddy
12" Beenie Man;Shabba Ranks - War Is Over; Halla Fi Buddy / Khia;Baby Cham - My Neck; Wha Da Fah Waste P Production US/Promo Diwali/Get Busy/No Letting Go Info: Original Press
  
¥1980 (US$18.04)
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Shabba Ranks - Love Punnany Bad
7" Shabba Ranks - Love Punnany Bad Jammys Love Punanny Bad
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
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Shabba Ranks - Live Blanket
7" Shabba Ranks - Live Blanket Jammys Heavenless
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
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Shabba Ranks - Original Fresh
7" Shabba Ranks - Original Fresh Jammys Fresh/Four Seasons Lover
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
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Shabba Ranks - Trailer Load Of Girls
7" Shabba Ranks - Trailer Load Of Girls Shang Poco/Dem Bow
  
¥900 (US$8.20)
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Shabba Ranks - Peanie Peanie
7" Shabba Ranks - Peanie Peanie Digital B Fade Away/Peanie Peanie
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
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Shabba Ranks - Get Up Stand Up & Rock
7" Shabba Ranks - Get Up Stand Up & Rock Jammys China Town
  
¥600 (US$5.47)
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Home T, Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks - Pirates Anthem
7" Home T, Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks - Pirates Anthem Music Works Pirates Anthem
  
¥840 (US$7.65)
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Shabba Ranks - No Boogarism
7" Shabba Ranks - No Boogarism Music Master/Sonic Sounds Bangarang
  
¥700 (US$6.38)
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Shabba Ranks - Punnany Full We Head
7" Shabba Ranks - Punnany Full We Head Music Master/Sonic Sounds
  
¥700 (US$6.38)
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Flourgon, Shabba Ranks - Shock Out
7" Flourgon, Shabba Ranks - Shock Out Digital B Real Rock
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
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Krystal, Shabba Ranks - Twice My Age
7" Krystal, Shabba Ranks - Twice My Age VP US Twice My Age
  
¥980 (US$8.93)
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Admiral Tibet, Shabba Ranks, Ninjaman - Serious Time
7" Admiral Tibet, Shabba Ranks, Ninjaman - Serious Time Digital B Freedom Blues
  
¥600 (US$5.47)
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Shabba Ranks, Lady G - Fanciness Hip Hop Ragga Mix
7" Shabba Ranks, Lady G - Fanciness Hip Hop Ragga Mix Anchor Fanciness
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
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Shabba Ranks - Hot Like We (Hot Like Fire)
7" Shabba Ranks - Hot Like We (Hot Like Fire) Digital B
  
¥570 ¥399 (US$3.63)
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Admiral Tibet, Shabba Ranks - Tell Me Which One
7" Admiral Tibet, Shabba Ranks - Tell Me Which One Music Works Rumours
  
¥980 (US$8.93)
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Shabba Ranks - Wicked In Bed
7" Shabba Ranks - Wicked In Bed Digital B Love Is Not A Gamble
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
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Shabba Ranks - Best Baby Father
7" Shabba Ranks - Best Baby Father Digital B Duck
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
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Shabba Ranks - 90% Of Blanket
7" Shabba Ranks - 90% Of Blanket Jammys
  
¥570 ¥499 (US$4.55)
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Shabba Ranks - Dem Bow
7" Shabba Ranks - Dem Bow Digital B Poco/Dem Bow
  
¥600 (US$5.47)
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Krystal, Shabba Ranks - Steady Man
7" Krystal, Shabba Ranks - Steady Man Anchor/Music Works Steady Man
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
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Deborahe Glasgow, Shabba Ranks - Don't Test Me
7" Deborahe Glasgow, Shabba Ranks - Don't Test Me Music Works Don't Test Me
  
¥900 (US$8.20)
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JC Lodge, Shabba Ranks - Hardcore Loving
7" JC Lodge, Shabba Ranks - Hardcore Loving Music Works Hardcore Loving
  
¥980 (US$8.93)
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Lovindeer, Shabba Ranks - Manhunt (Original Stamper) (Skip)
7" Lovindeer, Shabba Ranks - Manhunt (Original Stamper) (Skip) / Krimson Hawk - Krimson Hawk TSOJ
  
¥570 ¥499 (US$4.55)
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Shabba Ranks - Shine & Criss
7" Shabba Ranks - Shine & Criss Shang Ba Ba Boom
  
¥600 (US$5.47)
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Shabba Ranks, Maxi Priest - House Call
7" Shabba Ranks, Maxi Priest - House Call Shang
  
¥900 (US$8.20)
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Shabba Ranks - Shine & Criss
7" Shabba Ranks - Shine & Criss Shang (Org) Ba Ba Boom Info: Original Press
  
¥1980 (US$18.04)
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Cocoa Tea, Home T, Shabba Ranks - Who She Love
7" Cocoa Tea, Home T, Shabba Ranks - Who She Love Jammys Who She Love
  
¥600 (US$5.47)
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Shabba Ranks - Ting A Ling
7" Shabba Ranks - Ting A Ling Shang Gigi
  
¥700 (US$6.38)
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Shabba Ranks, Chevelle Franklyn - Mr. Lover Man
7" Shabba Ranks, Chevelle Franklyn - Mr. Lover Man Shang
  
¥900 (US$8.20)
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Shabba Ranks, Michael Rose - Shine Eye Gal
7" Shabba Ranks, Michael Rose - Shine Eye Gal Shang Shine Eye Girl
  
¥700 (US$6.38)
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Shabba Ranks - Ram Dance Hall
7" Shabba Ranks - Ram Dance Hall Shang
  
¥600 (US$5.47)
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Shabba Ranks - Roots And Culture
7" Shabba Ranks - Roots And Culture Digital B Stalag
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
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Shabba Ranks - Just Reality
7" Shabba Ranks - Just Reality Digital B Far East/Jah Sharkey
  
¥700 (US$6.38)
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Shabba Ranks - Young Girls Wine
7" Shabba Ranks - Young Girls Wine Digital B Things A Gwan
  
¥600 ¥399 (US$3.63)
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Shabba Ranks, Cocoa Tea - Love Me Truly
7" Shabba Ranks, Cocoa Tea - Love Me Truly Digital B Rope In
  
¥700 (US$6.38)
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Shabba Ranks - Bow, Bow
7" Shabba Ranks - Bow, Bow Digital B Bow Bow
  
¥570 ¥499 (US$4.55)
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Shabba Ranks - Bad And Wicked
7" Shabba Ranks - Bad And Wicked / Garnett Silk - Complaint Digital B EU Promised Land/Love Fire
  
¥1380 (US$12.57)
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Shabba Ranks - Respect
7" Shabba Ranks - Respect Shang Hot Milk/Murderer
  
¥700 (US$6.38)
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Shabba Ranks - Heart Of A Lion
7" Shabba Ranks - Heart Of A Lion Digital B Heathen
  
¥600 (US$5.47)
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Shabba Ranks, Morgan Heritage - Dem A Bawl
7" Shabba Ranks, Morgan Heritage - Dem A Bawl Digital B Heavenless
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
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Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks - Flag Flown High
7" Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks - Flag Flown High Digital B Kette Drum
  
¥800 (US$7.29)
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Shabba Ranks, Cutty Ranks, Cocoa Tea, Sean Paul - X Rated Punany Megamix 2001
7" Shabba Ranks, Cutty Ranks, Cocoa Tea, Sean Paul - X Rated Punany Megamix 2001 / Shabba Ranks - Caan Dun VP US Punanny
  
¥980 (US$8.93)
BUY
Mikey Spice, Shabba Ranks - Kshung Peng
7" Mikey Spice, Shabba Ranks - Kshung Peng Eclipse US Kshung Peng
  
¥840 (US$7.65)
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Shabba Ranks - When You're Up
7" Shabba Ranks - When You're Up Digital B I'm Just A Guy
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
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Akon, Vybz Kartel, Shabba Ranks, Sizzla - Soul Survivor Remix
7" Akon, Vybz Kartel, Shabba Ranks, Sizzla - Soul Survivor Remix / Jamie Fox, Kanye West - Xtravaganza Music World Entertainment
  
¥600 (US$5.47)
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Shabba Ranks - Shot A Fire (Baddis Mix)
7" Shabba Ranks - Shot A Fire (Baddis Mix) / Left Side, Esco - Tuck In Yu Belly (Remix) Music World Entertainment Baddis Ting
  
¥399 (US$3.63)
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Shabba Ranks - One Man
7" Shabba Ranks - One Man / Mad Lion - Safe Sex Classic Cuts Bam Bam/Murder She Wrote
  
¥700 (US$6.38)
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Shabba Ranks - Shot A Fire Remix
7" Shabba Ranks - Shot A Fire Remix / Dirtsman - Gun Nah Stick Remix Budget Mix EU Stage Time
  
¥900 (US$8.20)
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Shabba Ranks, Fatta & Los - Burn Up RMX
7" Shabba Ranks, Fatta & Los - Burn Up RMX / Alborosie - Police RMX Street Wize Last War B: Shoot Out
  
¥900 (US$8.20)
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Alborosie, Queen Latifah, Shabba Ranks - Ting A Ling Refix
7" Alborosie, Queen Latifah, Shabba Ranks - Ting A Ling Refix BBK In Session
  
¥800 (US$7.29)
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Keith & Tex, Shabba Ranks - Dukku Dukku (Remix)
7" Keith & Tex, Shabba Ranks - Dukku Dukku (Remix) Fizzle EU Tonight/Jungle Drum & Bass
  
¥980 (US$8.93)
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Shabba Ranks - Tonight (Remix)
7" Shabba Ranks - Tonight (Remix) / Wayne Wonder - You Me And She (Remix) Wood Lane UK Tonight
  
¥900 (US$8.20)
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Shabba Ranks - Give Dem Di Shabba Remix
7" Shabba Ranks - Give Dem Di Shabba Remix / Dizzer Rascal - Sirens Remix Prime Time EU A Message To Rudie B: Don't Let Me Down
  
¥980 (US$8.93)
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Shabba Ranks - Dancehall Ram
7" Shabba Ranks - Dancehall Ram / Tippa Irie - All This Music Fizzle EU Marcus Garvey
  
¥980 (US$8.93)
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Recent arrival(s)
Gunmen, Shabba Ranks - Another Hit Song
12" Gunmen, Shabba Ranks - Another Hit Song Gunmen Music EU
  
¥1880 (US$17.13)
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Best selling CD(s)
Shabba Ranks - Caan Dun: The Best Of Shabba (2CD)
CD Shabba Ranks - Caan Dun: The Best Of Shabba (2CD) VP US
  
¥4300 ¥3880 (US$35.35)
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Best selling LP(s)
Shabba Ranks - As Raw As Ever
LP Shabba Ranks - As Raw As Ever Shang
  
¥1880 ¥1680 (US$15.30)
BUY
Shabba Ranks - Best Baby Father
LP Shabba Ranks - Best Baby Father Digital B
  
¥1780 ¥1580 (US$14.39)
BUY
Home T, Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks - Holding On
LP Home T, Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks - Holding On VP US
  
¥2380 (US$21.68)
BUY
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Best selling 10/12"(s)
Deborahe Glasgow, Shabba Ranks - Don't Test Me (Combination)
12" Deborahe Glasgow, Shabba Ranks - Don't Test Me (Combination) / Deborahe Glasgow - Don't Test Me Dancehall Classics US
  
¥1780 (US$16.21)
BUY
Shabba Ranks - Wicked In Bed
12" Shabba Ranks - Wicked In Bed / Singing Melody - Groovy Kind Of Love Dancehall Classics US
  
¥1240 ¥999 (US$9.10)
BUY
Gunmen, Shabba Ranks - Another Hit Song
12" Gunmen, Shabba Ranks - Another Hit Song Gunmen Music EU
  
¥1880 (US$17.13)
BUY
Shabba Ranks - Girl Look Sweet; Version
12" Shabba Ranks - Girl Look Sweet; Version Super Power US (Org) Info: Original Press
  
¥1780 ¥799 (US$7.28)
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Shabba Ranks - House Mouse; (Mix 2)
12" Shabba Ranks - House Mouse; (Mix 2) Digital B UK (Org) Info: Original Press
  
¥1980 ¥1199 (US$10.92)
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Best selling 7"(s)
Lovindeer, Shabba Ranks - Manhunt (Original Stamper) (Skip)
7" Lovindeer, Shabba Ranks - Manhunt (Original Stamper) (Skip) / Krimson Hawk - Krimson Hawk TSOJ
  
¥570 ¥499 (US$4.55)
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Lovindeer, Shabba Ranks - Manhunt
7" Lovindeer, Shabba Ranks - Manhunt / Krimson Hawk - Dub Hunt TSOJ (Org) Info: Original Press
  
¥1980 (US$18.04)
BUY
JC Lodge - Telephone Love
7" JC Lodge - Telephone Love / JC Lodge, Shabba Ranks - De Pon Mi Mine VP US Rumours
  
¥980 (US$8.93)
BUY
Krystal, Shabba Ranks - Twice My Age
7" Krystal, Shabba Ranks - Twice My Age VP US Twice My Age
  
¥980 (US$8.93)
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Shabba Ranks - Live Blanket
7" Shabba Ranks - Live Blanket Jammys Heavenless
  
¥570 (US$5.19)
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