Saturday, March 7, 2009

Reggae, proto-punk, and soul today

First I'll give you both sides of a really nice 45 by Jimmy London. He was a Jamaican singer who started off singing in groups like The Untouchables before releasing his first LP, Bridge Over Troubled Water, which was popular in England. This is perhaps one of his lesser-known songs, but it's just a beautiful little tune, nice for a slower dance mood or making out, or what have you. Kinda considered early lovers' rock, and originally released on the Impact! label in Jamaica, but my copy is on the British Ackee label from 1974. Download below:

Next up is a record that is one of the absolute gems of my collection. Pere Ubu's "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" b/w "Heart of Darkness" was their first record, and super rare to find, especially at a store in New Jersey. I remember when I bought it the dude behind the counter was so pissed because he had burried it in the bin hoping to scoop it up himself, and he admitted it to me. This is raw, weird proto-punk from one of 2 brilliant bands to emerge from the ashes of Rocket From the Tombs in 1975. 30 Seconds Over Tokyko is a long, strange trip with an intense finish, and Heart of Darkness is fast, dark, and awesome. Pere Ubu in their early days were totally unique and lightyears ahead of their time. No pic, download below:

And finally, here's one to lift the spirits a bit after the depression the Pere Ubu songs will put you in. The Emperors' "My Baby Likes to Boogaloo" b/w "You Got Me Where You Want Me" is a great 45 from a more or less unknown Pennsylvania soul group. "Boogaloo" is a well-loved classic by Philly soul master Don Gardner that the Emperors give a slightly more rockin', organ-and-percussion-driven take on. The b-side is more Northern Soul-sounding, but still not your standard stuff, again with more electric organ and percussion than a Northern Soul fan might be used to. This is another gem in my collection that I actually try to take good care of, haha. Download below image:

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