Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Monkey Business: The Definitive Skinhead Reggae Collection


  

The skinhead fascination with reggae in the 1968-1972 period (particularly the sixties years) was an odd thing. It was completely authentic, however, along with cherry red boots with however many lace holes were required and grandad shirts with braces went a musical taste for the stomping, regular beat of Jamaica rock steady that was morphing into "reggae". The phrase was coined in 1968 and the Trojan label in particular released some absolutely classic singles. They were the Motown of Jamaica - a veritable conveyor belt of two-three minute hit singles. Lots of them are contained on this estimable compilation, as well as a lot of the lesser-known numbers that now have a "cult" appeal. Stuff that was played in the skinhead pubs in the late sixties before they went off for a "ruck" before the "'Ammers" match. Of course, there were endless negative aspects to the skinhead culture that don't even need emphasising, but there was something strangely fascinating about this bizarre fusion of a delinquescent youth culture and the youth music from an island whose inhabitants they supposedly hated and didn't want in the UK. All pretty incomprehensible. One of music's more perplexing genres. Highly recommended though.

Anyway here is is in all its foot-stomping, boot-lacing, braces-extending glory. Some of my highlights are listed below:-

"Fatty Fatty" - Clancy Eccles
"54-46 Was My Number" - Toots & The Maytals
"The Liquidator" - Harry J. All Stars
"007 (Shanty Town)" - Desmond Dekker & The Aces
"Double Barrel" - Dave & Ansil Collins
"Monkey Spanner" - Dave & Ansil Collins
"Young Gifted & Black" - Bob & Marcia
"Long Shot (Kick De Bucket)" - The Pioneers
"Monkey Man" - Toots & The Maytals
"Cherry Oh Baby" - Eric Donaldson
"Fat Man" - Derrick Morgan
"Wet Dream" - Max Romeo
"Israelites" - Desmond Dekker & The Aces
"Singer Man" - The Kingstonians
"Hang 'Em High" - Richard Ace
"Clint Eastwood" - The Upsetters
"Moonlight Lover" - Joya Landis
"The Law" - Andy Capp
"Pressure Drop " - Toots & The Maytals
"Cuss Cuss" - Lloyd Robinson
"A Live Injection" - The Upsetters
"Reggae In Your Jeggae" - Dandy Livingstone
"Red Red Wine" - Tony Tribe
"Skinhead Moonstop" - Symarip

B+

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