Mikey Dread – Friend & Money (1978)


“Although he did record quite a few tracks in the Joe Gibbs studio, Michael Campbell, (1952 – 2008) better known as Mikey Dread, did not release much of his tracks through any of Joe’s imprints. ‘Friend and money’ is the only one I’m aware of, actually. The song was released on 7″ in 1978 on the Errol T label, riding an update of the ‘Money in my pocket’ riddim which is, well to me personally anyway, more interesting than the toast itself. Although not half bad – it is actually pretty good in its own right – ‘Friend and Money’ suffers a bit from the stiff competition put up by other epic Mikey Dread tracks out there. It’s a great catch as a supplement to your existing collection, but it won’t stand out as the best track in there. That said, this Mikey Dread track is still highly enjoyable for its lyrics, the familiar nasal sound of Mikeys voice and the great riddim update that The Professionals laid down for this take. This track was also released on the ‘Original DJ Classics Vol 2 sampler (lp), that was released on the Rocky One imprint in the 1990’s. Being an avid funk fan as much as I am a reggae fan, I can not deny the influence one scene has on another, and on this 7″ right here, things merge beautifuly and splendidly. A sound commonly heard in the late 70’s funk/disco era was the tweaked and flanged-out sound of the Fender Rhodes and that sound, or a hint towards it at least, can also be heard on the flip of this Mikey Dread single. ‘Bubbler in Money’ is nothing short of a pure funk anthem. One that should easily be able to satisfy fans of, for instance, Larry Youngs’ ‘Turn off the lights or the Ohio Players’ ‘Funky Worm.’ This keyboard heavy sound was recorded and utilized more often at the Gibbs studios in the late 70’s and early 80’s, many of which can be found on the ‘Majestic Dub album, which is, sadly, not as majestic as the title suggests. It’s an album worthwhile checking out for some impressive versions that add some to the more common and familiar styles and versions out there. Why they didn’t include ‘Bubbler in Money’ on there shall forever remain a mystery though. It’s the best version in that particular style they got…”
Pressure Beat (Video)
YouTube: Mikey Dread & Dennis Brown – Friend & Money

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