Album 0032: Judge Dread – Reggae & Ska

Release Date: 2003
Genre: Reggae/Ska

Tracklisting:

1. Lovers Rock (04:06)
2. Jamaica Jerk Off (03:35)
3. The World Is Burning (03:22)
4. Al Capone (02:40)
5. Some Guys Have All The Luck (03:57)
6. Rudy (A Message To You) (03:55)
7. Big Six (02:45)
8. Ska Fever (02:48)
9. Molly (02:37)
10. Put A Little Sunshine (02:39)
11. Phoenix City (02:59)
12. One Eyed Lodger (02:52)
13. Reggae & Ska (02:28)
14. Big Seven (03:44)
15. Chinese Brush (03:18)
16. Swan Lake ’77 (03:32)
17. Nice Weather (03:07)
18. Al Capone ’76 (03:04)
19. Mexican Hustle (02:36)
20. The Bumper Song (02:36)
21. Tammy (02:57)
22. Stonesfied (02:23)
23. Big Seven (03:05)
24. Ska Fever (02:57)

Total Length: 01:13:44

Lovers Rock is a fairly fun song. It’s got a good rhythm, but the moaning section goes on a bit too long. Jamaica Jerk Off is just a fantastic song. This is one of two versions I’ve heard of Judge Dread singing this song, and I kind of prefer the other one. This version also sounds somewhat sped up, but it does contain one of the best saxophone solos I’ve heard. This album is a compilation album, and some of the songs on here surprised me as being brand new to me. The World Is Burning is one of those, and it’s just a great song. One of Dread’s more emotional. Al Capone is sort of fun, it’s never really appealed to me. Some Guys Have All The Luck is a cover, and once again there are two available versions, but this time I prefer this version. Once more this is one of Dread’s more emotional and it works really well.

Rudy (A Message To You) is also a cover and a classic song. Big Six was the song that got Judge Dread started, and it’s fairly fun. Ska Fever is the first of two versions of this song on here. I can only assume this is a later recording as it sounds better than the later track. The song itself is an alright instrumental. Molly is a great song, I love it. Put A Little Sunshine is upbeat and fun but not one of my favorites, oddly. Phoenix City is just an ‘alright’ song. One Eyed Lodger is somewhat fun but unnecessary. Reggae & Ska uses the same backing music as another Dread song, Bring Back The Skins. This track though is semi-fun.

Big Seven is pretty good. Chinese Brush is odd and not too great. Swan Lake ’77 is just a brilliant ska rendition of the classic. Nice Weather is a pretty cool instrumental, but the ‘effects’ are a little too present throughout. Al Capone ’76 is an earlier version of the song, without any of Dread’s vocals and for me it’s just as boring. Mexican Hustle is fairly fun. The Bumper Song is about cricket and is just funny. Tammy is more of a ballad, and it’s pretty nice. Stonesfied is a modified version of Rudy, it’s alright. I like the synths. Big Seven is an earlier version, as well as Ska Fever and both are cool and I consider them more as bonus tracks.

Overall I just love Judge Dread’s sense of style, in a way. He’s fun to listen to, and sometimes surprisingly emotional. I wish he got more credit for his work, and that I wouldn’t have to scrounge to find anything by him in good quality. As for this album, it’s a big compilation and there are a few duds, but it’s fun overall.

Final Rating: 8/10

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