Desmond Dekker – This Is Desmond Dekkar

I now have a re-issue of This is Desmond Dekkar by Desmond Dekker, well who else would it be by? I’ve no idea why the surnames are different though. Another Trojan Records release, and one I mentioned I was going to get, partially because I already know a few of the tracks but also because it is considered a classic.


Desmond Adolphus Dacres was born in Saint Andrew Parish (Greater Kingston), Jamaica, on 16 July 1941 and spent his formative years in Kingston. Following his mother’s death, he moved to the parish of St. Mary and later to St. Thomas. While at St. Thomas, he embarked on an apprenticeship as a tailor before returning to Kingston, where he became a welder. His workplace singing drew the attention of his co-workers, who encouraged him to pursue a career in music. In 1961 he auditioned unsuccessfully for Coxsone Dodd (Studio One) and Duke Reid (Treasure Isle), he then auditioned for Leslie Kong’s Beverley’s record label and was awarded his first recording contract.

It was two years before he actually released a single and in 1963 “Honour Your Mother and Father” (which was written by Dekker) became a Jamaican hit and kick started Dekker’s musical career. Two more hit single releases followed and it was around this time that Desmond Dacres adopted the stage-name of Desmond Dekker. His fourth hit, “King of Ska” resulted in his becoming  one of the Jamaica’s biggest stars.

In 1968 what is probably Dekker’s most well known song, Israelites ,was released. and in April 1969 it reached number 1 in the UK charts. In 1969 Dekkar took permanent residency in the UK.

Much of the music Jamaican music scene was centred around 45’s and the album This is Desmond Dekkar is a collection of much of his work record between 1967 and 1969, so it is effectively a compilation but omits his first and biggest UK hit. The debut album, titled Isralites contained the track for which Dekker was to become synonymous and that makes this album seem more an individual release rather than a compilation.


A1 007
A2 Sabotage
A3 Shing A Ling
A4 Hey Grandma
A5 Beautiful And Dangerous
A6 Wise Man
B1 Music Like Dirt
B2 Rudy Got Soul
B3 Unity
B4 Mother Pepper
B5 It Pays
B6 Mother´s Young Girl

The album presents a wealth of what are considered his finest compositions, all set to the soothing midtempo style prominent in later-’60s Kingston. They are relaxing but never mellow, and often address the island’s “Rude Boy” gang violence and poverty. Perfect for a replaying by Coventry’s The Specials who grew out of a city seemingly suffering a similar fate and who covered opening track 007. I’m not posting that though, instead here are The Bodysnatchers from 1980 covering 007, loads of energy!

The importance of Dekker in reggae music should not be undervalued, while internationally many believe it all started with Bob Marley, it was Dekker who had the first international reggae hits outside of Jamaica and it was Dekker who gave the world Bob Marley by introducing his nobody co-worker, Robert, to his producer in 1961.

Desmond Dekker (1941-2006) succumbed to a sudden heart attack in England on May 25, 2006. Here he is live, playing the big hits, no idea when this is from but later in his career for sure.

Rating: 9.0

John Peel Radio Show – 06/12/79

And another John Peel show. Variable audio quality but listenable.

Featuring sessions from Misty and Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft


The Clash – Clampdown (CBS)
The Clash – Guns Of Brixton (CBS)
The Yachts – Now I’m Spoken For (Radar)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Was Ist Ein Welle? (Session)
Misty – Judgement Coming On The Land (Session)
Adam and the Ants – Day I Met God (Do It)
The Beat – Tears Of A Clown (Two-Tone)
Public Image Ltd – Bad Baby (Virgin)
Preachers – Who Do You Love (BFD)
Secret Affair – New Dance (I-Spy)
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Dance Stance (Oddball)
Mikey Dread – Comic Strip (Cruise)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – I And I Reality (Session)
Speedballs – Is Somebody There (No Pap)
Suicide – Dream Baby Dream (Island)
The Undertones – Billy’s Third (Sire)
The Fall – Before The Moon Falls (Step Forward)
Buzzards – British Justice (Chrysalis)
Misty – True Rasta Man (Session)
The Specials – Concrete Jungle (2Tone)
Bob Marley And The Wailers (Concrete Jungle)
Simple Minds – Carnival [Shelter In A Suitcase] (Arista)
The Raincoats – Adventures Close To Home (Rough Trade)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Violence (Session)
The Passions – Oh No It’s You (Fiction)
The Skids – Working For The Yankee Dollar (Virgin)
The Pop Group – We Are All Prostitutes (Rough Trade)
Misty – Sodom And Gomorrah (Session)
Snakefinger – Here Comes The Bums (Virgin)
The Clash – Hateful (CBS)
Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Kebab Dreams (Session)
Mekons – Dan Dare (Virgin)
Boys – See Ya Later (Safari)

The Listening List

Max Richter – Songs From Before
Future Sound Of London – Environments 6.5
Bjork – Bastards
Mike Oldfield – Platimnum
Vangelis – Spiral
Bob Marley – Exodus
Isaac Hayes – Joy
Isaac Hayes – Shaft
Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul
Gary Numan – The Pleasure Principle
Can – Tago Mago
Vangelis – Invisible Connections
Vangelis – Albedo 0.39
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – Stranger Things Vol. 1

Your F***ing Sunny Day (Episode 21)

I missed one out, counting is hard. Listening to some reggae recently, so that’s what this is.

“The Harder They Come” Jimmy Cliff
Bob Marley – Stir it up
Toots & the Maytals – Pressure Drop – 11/15/1975 – Winterland (Official)
Gregory Isaacs ~ Night Nurse (Official Reggae Video)
Buju Banton Live On Jools Holland – Murderer
Althea & Donna–Upton Top Ranking
Damian Marley – Welcome To Jamrock
Dennis Brown – Here I Come [Live]
Burning Spear – Marcus garvey
Junior Murvin – Police and Thieves
Bob Marley & The Wailers Concrete Jungle The Grey Old Whistle Test 1973
Bob Marley – Natural Mystic Live In Dortmund, Germany;


On to some used vinyl that was in the crates under the new vinyl. I always check it and more often than not find something worth getting. The first one I saw that was an immediate pick up was Bob Marley & The Wailers Live at the Lyceum.


Label: Island Records ‎– ILPS 9376
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: UK
Released: Nov 1975
Genre: Reggae
Style: Reggae
A1 Trenchtown Rock 4:00
A2 Burnin’ And Lootin’ 4:55
A3 Them Belly Full (But We Hungry) 4:24
A4 Lively Up Yourself 4:24
B1 No Woman, No Cry 6:55
B2 I Shot The Sheriff 5:07
B3 Get Up, Stand Up 6:19

Whenever I see a used Bob Marley album I pick it up, if I don’t have it of course, although I only have two others, these being ‘Exodus’ & ‘Natty Dread’, but I don’t see them that often. This was recorded at the Lyceum, London 18th July 1975 and I think, though can’t be sure, that this is where the ‘No Woman, No cry’ single was taken from, which was a chart hit here in the UK, although I could be wrong about that.

It’s a great set, not a single track on it that isn’t a classic. I’ve listened to side one and it’s wonderful. It was £5.00, and well worth it.


Running Total: £17

What’s in the bag (93)

After recent very sparse pickings in the used vinyl crates locally I had much better luck at the weekend after finding 6 albums that were worth buying, IMG_0363all of which will appear here at some point, but the first is the one I’m listening to now, Bob Marley – Natty Dread. There it is playing in the picture.

This copy is a bit crackly between tracks but no skips, jumps or major flaws and for £4 I won’t be complaining. I can’t say when this copy was released, (well, I probably could but that feels like too much effort today) but the original was 1974, when I was 7 years old, so it could actually be 40 years old and it’s in fine condition for that age (unlike myself!)

Side one

1. “Lively Up Yourself”
2. “No Woman, No Cry”
3. “Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)”
4. “Rebel Music (3 O’clock Roadblock)”

Side two

5. “So Jah Seh”
6. “Natty Dread”
7. “Bend Down Low”
8. “Talkin’ Blues”
9. “Revolution”

I would think that most people would have heard ‘No woman, No Cry” but probably not this original version, which has a different tempo to the live version that most people will have heard. I like this one, but it does feel a little odd as I’m much more used to the live one.

This album marked the transition from ‘The Wailers’ to ‘Bob Marley & The Wailers’ and was the first to feature the “I-Threes”, a female vocal trio that included Bob’s wife, Rita Marley, along with Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt. It also marked the departure of Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.

Having mostly known only two Marley albums, those being ‘Exodus’ and the compilation ‘Legend’ this, to me, is like listening to a new release, which makes me a very lucky chap! There were so many albums that I wanted to own and listen to from the late 60’s all the way up to the 90’s that I just couldn’t afford at the time and being able to not only re-discover these albums but actually discover them now, so many years later, is just wonderful. I definitely have to get a copy of Exodus though, as ‘Natural Mystic’ is probably one of my favourite tracks of all time.

open directly in Spotify