Cherry Red 1984. MRED60
This post is a request for information as much as anything else. I heard it on Peel and bought it – the usual story. I listened to it quite a lot and bought their second album too. I had an idea in my head that they were a kind of semi-legendary proto-rap group, pre-dating its popularity and as a result not really sounding like anyone else. However my efforts to find out more about them have failed – I can’t find anything at all. Clearly they can’t have been as groundbreaking and influential as I thought.
So, since I was wrong about them, can anyone fill me in?
The album is full of the sort of gritty social commentary I like and a mysticism I’m less keen on. The rapping is much more poetic than is usual and very effective. However it’s a 30 year old rap record so the backing is pretty primitive.
I can’t imagine why I’m writing this blog tonight. The house movers are coming in the morning and I’m surrounded by boxes and exhausted. An escape from the tedium of moving house maybe.
Syncopate 1990. SYN38 and 12SYX38
I love a bit of social commentary in music especially rap, and this single does a particularly good job. It’s the story of a couple emigrating from the Caribbean in the 1950s with high hopes, quickly dashed by the hostile reception they got from the xenophobic Brits. One verse is about the woman, the other the man and the whole thing is told from the perspective of their UK born son. This is a part of UK history everyone who lives here should know about, but it’s not just an earnest history lesson. The words are beautifully written, and it works just as well musically, with loping backing giving a nice caribbean vibe alongside the well placed Malcolm X samples. It had rave reviews at the time and Peel played it quite a bit, but it bombed. The band then took a real dive getting involved with Shaun Ryder and Black Grape. I guess they had bills to pay.
This is the CD single bundled up with the remix 12″. Do you need that many versions of it? I guess not, but it really is a fantastic dose of Brit rap.