Archive for the Desmond Dekker Category

Desmond Dekker & the Aces – Action! (1968)

Posted in Desmond Dekker, Ska with tags , on July 30, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

‘Following hot on the heels of their Jamaican debut album, 1967’s 007 (Shanty Town), Desmond Dekker & the Aces were ready for Action! the following year. Like its predecessor, Action! bundled up another slew of the quintet’s recent hits, as did its successor, 1969’s The Israelites. All were released only in Jamaica, and the fact that “007” reappeared on the Action! set tells you just how seriously producers took the album market on the island. Even so, with its mix of rocksteady and early reggae hits, Action! has remained a popular album, and has been reissued internationally on several occasions. Now it’s been paired with the equally well recycled Intensified set. In any event, taken together, it’s a solid selection of songs, heavy on the hits, but that’s to be expected, as virtually everything Dekker & the Aces released pre-Leslie Kong’s death in 1971 was, and by and large the group’s albums merely rounded them all up on long-players. There are a few odd omissions — no “Pickney Gal,” for example, or “You Can Get It If You Really Want” — and even stranger, “Israelites” appears under the peculiar title “Poor Me Israelites.” However, all self-respecting fans already have “Pickney” and “Get It” in their collections. So what’s of more interest here are the less recycled numbers, like the ethereal “Fu Man Chu,” the demanding “Gimme Gimme,” and the indeed memorable “Unforgettable,” better known as “Bongo Gal.” Unlike that latter, “Gimme” and “Fu” never saw British release, and seem not to have even received proper Jamaican ones, which makes their appearance here a boon for collectors. And “My Lonely World,” which features an American R&B-styled spoken word break, and the emotive “Personal Possession” rarely turn up on the reissue shelves. That said, so often has the bulk of this set appeared that many fans will have to think hard before parting with their money, but for new aficionados, this is an excellent place to start.’

YouTube: Mother Pepper, 007, Coconut Woman, Don’t Blame Me, You’ve Got Your Troubles, Personal possession, , Young Generation, Mother Long Tongue, Keep A Cool Head, Fu Man Chu

Fu Manchu – Desmond Dekker and The Aces (1968)

Posted in Desmond Dekker on January 13, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“This extraordinary 1968 single never received a proper release, at least in Jamaica, although in the UK the Pyramid label ensconced it on the b-side of Desmond Dekker’s cover of ‘To Sir with Love’, which itself became a major club hit. Regardless, ‘Fu Manchu’ is amazing on multiple levels, not least for Dekker’s superb performance, which unusually finds him soaring into falsetto, alongside the always sublime Aces harmonies. Of equal note is the song’s conscious lyrics, which derides those who boast about their jobs and high paid salaries, with Dekker chiding, ‘it’s not what you earn that make you a man, but what you keep that make you a man.'”
YouTube: Fu Manchu- Desmond Dekker and The Aces