Friday, June 17, 2016

I'm playing Reggae - come out sun, you know you want to.

Go away clouds. I thought some reggae might help to coax the sun to come out, and stay out!

Reggae is always difficult to find “in the wild”, so I got excited when I found half a box of it at a car boot sale recently. My excitement was tempered somewhat when the seller proceeded to check them all on Discogs before naming a price! This is the first time this has happened to me. In a way I could sort of accept what he was doing- he is evidently a dealer and his stall is effectively his shop. Nevertheless it sort of takes the fun out of the digging process. In the end he quoted prices I was in most cases willing to pay so came away with a handful of 12” and this early '80s compilation of full length Mighty Diamonds releases from, mostly, the late 70s.

I have waxed lyrical about the Mighty Diamonds before I think, I saw them live only a few years ago and they have beautifully sweet voices. Add to this the fact that I noticed a track on this album was Danger In Your Eyes and it became a must buy.

Danger In Your Eyes has been a long time reggae favourite of mine ever since I heard John Peel play a version by Judah Eskender (aka Yabby You aka Vivien Jackson) on his programme back in '77 or'78. (I still have that on a John Peel mixtape). I am a little confused by the history of the song. It seems it was originally recorded by Don Evans & The Paragons but its recording date is a bit of a puzzle. The original (?) issue was on Coxsone I think. On the label it states 1966 but I think the Coxsone 45 was released in 1976, and I can't find any concrete evidence of an official 1966 release.

The Mighty Diamonds version dates to around 1978 (again, I think – dating reggae releases is notoriously difficult) when it was released on the Gussie Roots label - on this release they were to modest to refer to themselves as Mighty. It is a more laid back version than Judah Eskender's but I like both equally. (On its original 45 it was backed with a reimagined version of Fools Rush In which is also on this compilation and also gorgeous).


The Swede said...

Played this super-loud and the sun magically appeared. I'm impressed.

darcy said...

The mighty power of reggae! :)