Thursday, 8 March 2012

Dread, but not dreadful.

Every once in a while you come across an unexpected gem tucked away on the b-side of an extremely unpromising single. This is one such gem. The a-side is Big Seven by 'hilariously rude', cod-reggae singing, pretend skinhead Judge Dread (yes, pretend - he had long hair for God's sake!) You may have gathered that I'm not exactly a fan of Alexander Minto Hughes. Whilst I applaud him keeping reggae just about on the radar of the British record-buying public for quite some time, it's just a shame he did so with such atrocious tunes. 

Of course the God-like genius that is Prince Buster is partly to blame, having started the whole thing with his Big-5 album. Big-5, however, was just continuing a long and fine tradition of rude reggae; Alexander's Big-every-other-number were just Carry On films & seaside postcards transmitted to vinyl, except without the charm or wit. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way about Mr Dread, a quick poll of Twitter users when asked for 3 words to describe Judge Dread resulted in the descriptions "boring, sexist claptrap" and "pile of shite". OK so I only polled two people but I'm sure they are representative; after all the Daily Mail prints polls based purely on their fevered, frothing, 'you couldn't make it up' imagination. Quick note to Mail sub-editors: you could make it up, in fact your paper frequently does.

So here it is: The Judge Dread Sound with Dread. A cracking little slice of hammond-driven skinhead reggae which, after the slightly too jaunty opening bars, pops along nicely with some choice reggae guitar & drumming helping it on the way. And no vocals: the perfect Judge Dread tune!

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