Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Heart of Rock and Soul # 855 Desmond Dekker

'So far ahead of its time was this first-ever American reggae hit that I actually heard the speculation that Dekker's then-unintelligible lyrics ( now easily decipherable after some years experience with dealing with Jamacan patois) concealed an anti-Semitic tract. Who in the U'S' knew then that Jamacan pop music was dominated by Rastafarians, a religion of liberal Biblical construction, in which blacks transported to the Western Hemisphere were considered Ethiopians, but only because the Ethiopians were considered one of the twelve lost tribes. That is Israelites.

So, Dekker sings about himself. Brilliantly, against one of the strongest tracks Leslie Kong constructed in his heyday. Israelites serves as a template for reggae's pop side, the part that dominated for its first decade or so.'

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