There’s never been a more exciting reggae scene than eighties UK dancehall. The sheer exuberant joy of the records and yard tapes from the era can’t be beaten. I’ve already done a mix of hits from that era, combined together with a load of ragga jungle from Rebel MC and others, on my “Tribute to Congo Natty” mix which is over on Marc Dauncey’s Bassnation site.
Now I’ve gone a step further. Back in March I reviewed the fantastic “Coughing Up Fire” CD, which showcases a 1984 set from Saxon International featuring the cream of Brit MCs – and it’s fabulous, every reggae fan should have it. A million thanks to John Eden for getting me that! In that set there’s a multitude of gems to enjoy, but I selected the explosive contribution of Tippa Irie and Daddy Colonel for the Grievous Angel make-over treatment.
Rather than do the usual trick of ripping the arse out of it with jungle – delightful though that exercise is – this time I’ve gone into homage mode, sticking to reggae speed and showcasing the vocal. The original is virtually an accapella and I’ve simply added some thumping dancehall / hiphop crossover drums and a solid UK digidub bassline. The result is an explosive floor-bound sound lending the genius of Tippa and Colonel the arsenal of beats required to destroy dances today just as they did twenty years ago. Here it is.
Sadly I don’t know much about Tippa Irie or Daddy Colonel other than just being a general fan. But Tippa was one of the stars of Saxon, and helped originate “fast-talking” style chat. He scored some big hits, with Pato Banton and others, including the great “Hello Darling”, “Raggamuffin Girl” (featuring Peter Hunnigale), and “Stress” (featuring Lloyd Brown). Fans of three-sided football should note he also recorded “Shouting for the Gunners”, an Arsenal fan song which reached the Top 30.
Daddy Colonel I know even less about. He and Tippa did a record on UK Bubblers / Greensleves called Just a Speak at the same time as the “Coughing Up Fire!” recording. I suspect it’s this track that they’re doing on CD, and which I’ve turned into this tune, cos the crowd seem to know it well, but I’m not sure. There’s a label scan here.
Show respect (and do yourself a favour): buy the original album off the Greensleeves site.