Various Artists - Skinhead Revolt: 20 Skinhead Classics (Trojan Records)

This album collects classic songs from the skinhead reggae era. The Songs come from a variety of producers and artists. What I like best about this album is that it has alot of the more unknown songs from skinhead reggae and avoids songs like "Skinhead Moonstomp" and the various other Symarip songs.

The disc starts off with the albums title track done by Joe the Boss. This song was produced by Joe Mansano who got started in the Reggae Business through selling records. Other known tracks by him are "Brixton Cat".This track is a instrumental focusing on trombone and organ. Its not really a spectacular song but it gets the record off to a good start.

Continuing on with the "skinhead in the title" theme is the Hot Rod All Stars with "Skinhead Speaks His Mind". This is a pretty good organ instrumental, pretty typical of the time. It was produced by Lambert Briscoewho ran a popular soundy system in Brixton called Hot Rod. The Hot Rod All Stars also released a song called "Skinheads Don't Fear". There is also an instrumental group on here called GG AllStars. I don't know anything about this group but i do know that their song "Barbabus" is the best instrumental track on the album with a really strong organ and a tight rhythm section. Their other song on this record is a song called "Champion" which dosent really pack the same punch as the song previously mentioned.

The second song on this album is "What Will Your Mama Say" which is credited to CLancy Jones, but is in fact CLancy Eccles. This is one of the stronger tracks on the album with with an excellent late rocksteady/early reggae rhythm and nice piano work done probobly by Winston Wright or Gladdy Gladstone. Clancy is also on here singing the song "Shu Be Du". The rhythm of this song is best know probobly through King Stitts "Fire Corner". Its a really good, hard driving rhythm though and it shows Clancy singing tops as usual with his great band The Dynamites backing him.

To finish Clancy's involvement with this disc, the very last song on this album, "Last Call" by the Silver Stars is a instrumental cut produced by Clancy. Im not too sure of the musicians on this track but its probobly the Dynamites. Anyway, its a pretty rocking track.

Pat Kelly is also on this album with two songs, "If It Don't Work Out" and "Dark End of the Street". These songs have really great, thick organ filled rhythms amd they showcase really well what Pat Kelly was capable of. These two songs are probobly my personal favorites of post-Techniques era Pat Kelly and "If It Dont Work Out" is one of my favorites on this entire album.

Another true highlight of this album is the inclusion of two early reggae songs by the Paragons just before John Holt went on to become a solo performer. The songs included are the very excellent "Left With a Broken Heart" and "Got to Get Away".

The Tennors are also here with a great song called "Reggae GirlThe Maytones are here with "Loving Reggae". The liner notes in the album say that these two songs were on of the first to use the word reggae in the title of a song. I dunno about that but "Reggae Girl is one of the best on the album. Its got a really tight rhythm and the good harmonies the Tennors are known for.

Lloyd Parks' "A Little Better" and Lloyd Charmers "In The Spirit" are not exactly memorable songs (although the Lloyd Parks song is pretty good thanks to his voice), but they typify the faster reggae sound that the skinhead reggae is known for. And Duke Reids production of Soul Ofrus singing "Ease Me Up Officer" is a really great skinhead song with a really strong skinhead reggae rhythm. And last to be mentioned is a realy really good cover of the BeeGee's song "To Love Somebody". I honestly dont know why i like this one so much, its just a damn good song to listen to.

Anyway, this is a excellent album for the most part. Its got some great rhythms and some great vocals as well as some songs that arent on all the other "skinhead compilations. It also sticks pretty well with what it sets out to be. Straight skinhead reggae, not watered down by the string sections which crept into Trojans more commercial songs. I could ask for more extensive liner notes cuz im into that sore of thing, but the music on this more than makes up for that as this is one of my all time favorite early reggae compilations.

Track List

  1. Joe the Boss - Skinhead Revolt
  2. Clancy Jones - What Will Your Mama Say
  3. Pat Kelly - If It Don't Work Out
  4. GG All Stars - Champion
  5. Lloyd Parks - A Little Better
  6. The Paragons - Left With a Broken Heart
  7. Lloyd Charmers - In the Spirit
  8. The Tennors - Reggae Girl
  9. Lloyd Charmers - Death A Come
  10. Hot Rod All Stars - Skinhead Speaks His Mind
  11. Pat Kelly - Dark End of the Street
  12. Clancy Eccles - Shu Be Du
  13. Eric Donaldson - Come a Little Closer
  14. GG All Stars - Barbabus
  15. The Maytones - Loving Reggae
  16. Soul Ofrus - Ease Me Up Officer
  17. The Paragons - Got to Get Away
  18. Busty Brown - To Love Somebody
  19. Rudy Mills - Place Called Happiness
  20. Silver Stars - Last Call

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