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Song of the day – 121: Byron Lee And The Dragonaires

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I’ll be honest with you.

This is the music that, nine times out of 10, we greet the new day with (this, and also, to a lesser extent, The Specials). It’s straightforward enough. We have a five-year-old, and a one-year-old. So we don’t need music that competes with them, which takes out all my old buddies from the early 90s. And we don’t need music that can’t be sung or danced along with, because it needs to serve a secondary purpose as distraction. It mustn’t have much middle (see the line about competition). It mustn’t be too bass-heavy (although that ain’t so big a deal, because we can always turn the sub-woofer off). It needs to be music that lifts the mood, and is immediately catchy, and lovable, and spirited… but not bland. A good tune, and some good brass, and a good beat are given musts. So, there’s really only one album that seems to have fit the bill these last four or five months – Bluebeat 45s.

Now, off the top of my head, I can’t remember where I tracked down this one, but anything with Lloyd Robinson, Prince Buster, Owen Gray, Jimmy Cliff, Derrick Morgan, Alton Ellis and the following track on… is more than fine in my book. It’s super-fine! Here, treat yourself. Visit this rather incredible blog if you want to hear more of this sweet, sweet music.

P.S. I actually have a vinyl copy of the album pictured at the top. Picked it up at a record fair in Brighton 15 years back simply cos I loved its cover. My Bangs, but it was a great primer for Jamaican calypso!

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