Errol Dunkley – Movie Star (1974)

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“In one of those sad twists of fate, today most reggae fans are more familiar with the DJ version of this song, than Errol Dunkley’s impassioned original, thanks to the success of Big Youth’s ‘Every Nigger Is a Star’, which hit big in both Jamaica and the UK. A pity, because Dunkley’s vocal version is absolutely sublime. Not released until 1975, the song was actually cut a few years earlier, back when the singer and Gregory Isaacs were sharing studio time to further the fortune of their newly launched label African Museum. In fact, ‘Movie Star’ was cut at the pair’s first joint session. The smokiest of brass, elegant piano, jangles of lead guitar, bubbly organ, and compulsive rhythm guitar riff, all propelled by the propulsive drums and bass line made this riddim a star, and one which continues to be versioned to this day. But as fabulous as the backing is, it’s the singer that made this song unforgettable, as Dunkley vows his love to his nobody of a girl. Lack of fame or fortune is meaningless to him, and even if her dress sense is equally bereft, he adores her regardless, a sentiment he makes clear with every word he passionately sings. That empowering emotion, the heart-felt, semi-cultural lyrics theme, and the sensational backing all combined into this phenomenal masterpiece. Dunkley released a deluge of stellar singles, this was one of the most crucial.”
allmusic

YouTube: Errol Dunkley – Movie Star

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