welcome back to the Skaject folks! today we’re taking a look at Desmond Dekker’s 1980 record, Black and Dekker!

first up, i gotta mention, three of the tracks here are versions of Dekker’s other hits, ones i’d previously discussed on Intensified – the opening track, Israelites, is a dramatically faster version of the track. both are very good, both are definitely excellent tracks, but i really really like this version a lot. the third track here, It Mek, is another higher tempo version of an older Aces hit, and again, both are good but this one’s got a fantastic energy to it. Rude Boy Train is largely the same – potentially slightly sped up, but feels very similar to the prior recording. i’m a little more fond of it this time, but not majorly.

Lickin’ Stick is a very fun track – got a great jaunty energy to it, a bit of a silly topic for a track, and some fun playing with consonants and rhyming here. nice time. Please Don’t Bend is similarly silly – got instrumentally it’s great, and lyrically it’s just informing someone their dress is too short. would be a fun dancin track. Many Rivers is a little mellower, a little softer. it’s fine. Hippo’s got quite a bite lyrically, but pairs that with some fun hooks. 007 is a big track i’d missed on prior releases. it’s p good, but not really my speed. Work Out tries to bring the speed of the record back up a bit, and it’s aight, tbh. i kinda glaze over Problems each time i listen to the record, if i’m being honest. Pickney Gal’s got some nice sax moments, but sits just on the good side of “alright”. our closer here, Why Fight?, is a nice plea for peace, and a mellow note to close the record out on.

faves – Israelites, Lickin’ Stick, It Mek, Don’t Bend
dislikes –

yeah this was a very fun record. the higher tempo Israelites and It Mek kick off an extremely fun and energetic vibe that maintains through most of the record. some of the back half is a little mellower, which is a shame after the breakneck pace of the first half, but there’s some really nice moments there too. Dekker’s voice is great throughout, with some real fun performances, and the band is really going for it. definitely some fantastic instrumental moments going on here. on the whole, this is a very fun collection of tracks, one i could see myself going back to fairly often.

Black and Dekker – 7/10

next week, we’ll be checking out the next Madness record, Absolutely, from 1980.

previous: Too Much Pressure | next: Absolutely

full page on the skaject