Prince Buster – Judge Dread [1967]
August 12, 2011

One from my father today. A classic from the legendary Prince Buster. Actually, its rumoured that the DJ of the same name (Aka Alex Hughes) took his name from this track, having previously been a bouncer at clubs where he met Prince Buster (and Derrick Morgan).

From Wikipedia
When Prince Buster had a big underground hit in 1969 with “Big 5”, Hughes capitalized on it with the recording of his own “Big Six”, based on Verne & Son’s “Little Boy Blue”, which was picked up by Trojan boss Lee Gopthal, and released on Trojan’s ‘Big Shot’ record label under the stage name Judge Dread, the name taken from another of Prince Buster’s songs.[2][3][4] “Big Six” reached #11 in the UK Singles Chart in 1972, selling over 300,000 copies and spending six months on the chart, despite getting no radio airplay due to its lyrics.[2][3] Further hit singles followed with “Big Seven” (co-written by Rupie Edwards) and “Big Eight” — both following the pattern of rude versions of nursery rhymes over a reggae backing — as well as “Y Viva Suspenders” and “Up With The Cock”.

He was the first white recording artist to have a reggae hit in Jamaica, leading him to travel to Jamaica to perform live, where many were surprised that he was white. Dread had 11 UK chart hits in the 1970s, which was more than any other reggae artist (including Bob Marley). The Guinness Book of World Records credits Judge Dread for having the highest number of banned songs of all time, 11. In the 1970s, tabloid newspapers expressed concerns that young fans of the comic book character Judge Dredd might buy Judge Dread’s records by mistake, and hear things that may corrupt their minds.[citation needed] Several of his songs mentioned Snodland, the small town in Kent where Judge Dread lived. There is a road in the town of Snodland named after him, the Alex Hughes Close.

Desmond Dekker – You Can Get It If You Really Want [1970]
July 27, 2011

Once the sole domain of Bank adverts, job center commercials and all manner of advertising for any kind of product you can imagine. But take that out of the picture and what you have is a classic from Dekker. Now the original was Jimmy Cliff’s, released in ’69 wheras Dekker released his in 1970. But for me its all about the delivery, the band is funkier on Dekker’s version, his voice is a bit more buttery smooth than Jimmy’s. Thats not to say I dont like Cliff’s version, I just prefer Dekker! Plus, its the title track of the fantastic Desmond Dekker album, containing many other gems including That’s The Way Life Goes, Peace On The Land and I Believe. Well worth picking up.

Sly and The Revolutionaries – Cocaine [1980]
December 11, 2010

Deep as they come, The Revolutionaries nail the warm dub sounds with yet another seminal track from “Black Ash Dub”. Its an album, so damn good, once you have it, you’ll never stop listening too it. Its got a slight hint of melancholy, a pinch of frivolity and truckloads of some of the deepest dub your likely to hear.

From Wikipedia
Set up in 1975 as the house band of the Channel One Studios owned by Joseph Hoo Kim, The Revolutionaries with Sly Dunbar on drums and Robbie Shakespeare on bass, created the new “rockers” style that would change the whole Jamaican sound (from roots reggae to rockers, and be imitated in all other productions. Beside Sly and Robbie, many musicians played in the band: Bertram McLean, Radcliffe “Dougie” Bryan on guitar, Ossie Hibbert, Errol “Tarzan” Nelson, Robert Lyn or Ansel Collins on keyboards, Uziah “Sticky” Thompson, Noel “Scully” Simms on percussion, Tommy McCook, Herman Marquis on saxophone, Bobby Ellis on trumpet and Vin Gordon on trombone.

The band played on numerous dub albums and recorded as a backing band for artists like B. B. Seaton, Black Uhuru, Culture, Prince Alla, Leroy Smart, Gregory Isaacs, John Holt, The Heptones, I-Roy, Tapper Zukie, Trinity, U Brown, Errol Scorcher, Serge Gainsbourg among others.

Dandy – Reggae In Your Jeggae [1969]
November 12, 2010

Classic reggae cut from Dandy. I originally clocked this being mixed into an Easygroove NYE Fantazia mix. However, on its own, its a stellar track. Whimsically dancehall oriented, made for shakin’ your ass and thats all!

Toots & The Maytals – 54-36 (Was My Number) [1974]
January 24, 2010

Probably my favourites Maytals release by a mile, how much more developed does it sound just 1 year later on from Funky Kingston?! In The Dark is a great great Ska/Reggae LP in its own right but for me this is the stand out monster on the B-Side. Sounds like a different band, which might have been a bad thing had it not been for the fact that the sound has improved leaps and bounds!

Toots & The Maytals – Pressure drop (1972)
January 24, 2010

Taken from 1972 Trojan 7 inch.

I cant stop playing this tune!