For context, Eglington is an area of Toronto with a large Jamaican community. Brixton is an area of London with a large Jamaican community. And Kingston, of course, is the capital of Jamaica.
So this song name checks the Jamaican diaspora at the time. It’s essentially an exhortation not to fight, to stay away from the gun crime which affected places like Brixton at the time, and to this day.
For a reggae song of the time, it’s oddly fast, particularly the drum – but that makes it even more of an anthem. The vocals are strident and righteous, the bass slow and purposeful. The guitar work is brilliant too!
The song was released in 1981 on Red, with Sly & Robbie on production.
I’ve written on Weezer’s eponymous debut album before. But I’m not done with it yet – there’s a lot of great songs on there!
And of course. It wouldn’t be the fantastic album it is without the solid roster of classics to pad it out.
Here’s a song with a bit of character. It’s got that bonafide Weezer mix of wry grungy grit and catchy, airy melodies. A grizzled wolf with a pretty red bow…
The rhythm is slightly off kilter, reinforcing the spontaneous feeling of the song. It’s about escape, that wish many of us have to buy some plane tickets to somewhere new armed with just a towel and a toothbrush. Especially in today’s lockdown…
Sometimes I find that songs from the 80s and 90s have quite embarrassing lyrics. Especially so for genres such as Italo-Disco or Trance.
This is the former – prime Italo-Disco from 1983. Frankly, I can’t take the vocal version seriously, spirited though it is. But why deny the brilliance of the beat?
This is a masterpiece of its kind. The chugging bass, dripping with cyberpunk flavour, plays host to the soaring synth and mellow synth-strings. All the while the beat punches on. There’s even a solid performance from some sort of keyboard solo.
There are elements of the vocals which add a certain something. Perhaps it would have been better to make a dub version, rather than a pure instrumental. This song is more than engaging enough to power through 6 minutes by itself, however!
Bobby Womack was a legend. No question. His musical career topped six decades of soul and R’n’B flavours.
Take it as a sign that true talent is timeless, that a man born in 1944 can sing over an edgy electronic neo-soul beat like this after a decade out the game, suffering ill health, and absolutely smash it.
He brings thick layers of emotion, wavering harmoniously and completely transfixing the listener. Transfixed this listener anyway…
The instrumental gives him space to breath – he is the star of the show. But it’s undeniably a subtle stunner, something which does Womack justice as he does justice to it.
The track, and the entire 2012 The Bravest Man In The Universe album, was produced by Blue/Gorillaz icon Damon Albarn and XL Recordings label boss Richard Russell.
Some of the Kaiser Chiefs’ music hasn’t aged particularly well. It’s heavily invested in the noughties, in the same way as Nike astro trainers and Myspace.
They were talented guys, even if they aren’t as popular as their biggest rivals at the time, the Arctic Monkeys.
When you strip away some of the brasher, electronically tinged tracks, you get a roster of songs which are solidly English, vaguely cynical, and laced with melodies which stick in your head like chewing gum on a commuter’s shoe.
Instead of the usual barrage of instruments, you get Nick Hodgson, who was actually their drummer, on vocals. And, in the background, a piano.
Simple often works best – and to be honest, at one minute thirty seconds, it can get away with just a couple of verses. More of a ditty than a masterwork, but it’s good.
The piano rolls up and down in a simple, repeating pattern, hitting notes emphatically and ringing out.
The song features on Yours Truly, Angry Mob, the band’s second album, released 2007.
I first heard this song at a reggae soundclash, played by Aba Shanti.
When people say “that song took my breath away”, they mean that is emotional and they were overcome mentally.
In the case of a song like this played on a reggae soundsystem, it means you were standing too close to the speaker stack, as I was. The bass is so strong, the air pressure sucks the air out your lungs and you struggle for breath!
Aside from the seismic qualities of the track, this is great steppas tune. This is what modern reggae looks like, and I love it!
The album came out on a Dutch compilation, Roots Tribe Showcase: Love Jah More, in 2009.