Pressure Drop – Toots and the Maytals – 1970

August 5, 2018

Pressure Drop - Toots and the Maytals - 1970Nothing like a bit of Sunday afternoon reggae – Toots and the Maytals 1970 hit, Pressure Drop.

toots and the maytals fax

  • Formed in Jamaica in the early 60s, Toots and the Maytals were originally simply called The Maytals. The “Toot’s” was added in 1972.
  • The band’s frontman, Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, was, in 2010, named one of the 100 Greatest Singers by Rolling Stone.
  • The Maytals had their first chart success in the mid-60s only to have their musical career interrupted in late 1966 when Toots was jailed for 18 months for possession of marijuana.
  • The band’s 1968 single Do the Reggay, was the first song to first use the word “reggae”, giving a name to this musical genre and introducing it to a global audience. Reggae is listed in the dictionary as:

reggae [reg-ey] (noun) – a style of Jamaican popular music blending blues, calypso, and rock-‘n’-roll, characterized by a strong syncopated rhythm and lyrics of social protest. Origin of reggae: Jamaican English, respelling of reggay (introduced in the song “Do the Reggay” (1968) by Frederick “Toots” Hibbert).

  • The band’s first international hit was in 1970, Monkey Man – since recorded by The Specials and Amy Winehouse.
  • Toots and the Maytals continues to record and tour today, though they have taken a break or two along the way. Their last studio album was Flip and Twist in 2010.

pressure drop fax

  • Pressure Drop was written by Toots Hibbert and recorded in 1969 by the Maytals.
  • The song appears on the 1970 album Monkey Man in Jamaica and From the Roots in the UK.
  • Pressure Drop was the song the launched the career of The Maytals outside of their native Jamaica when it featured in the soundtrack of the film The Harder They Come (1972).
  • In 2004, Rolling Stone rated Pressure Drop at #453 in its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  • Notable covers of Pressure Drop have been produced by The Specials, Keith Richards, and the Clash.
  • Pressure Drop was also featured in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
  • Pressure Drop lyrics.

pressure drop – toots and the maytals – 1970 – video

Sometimes the YouTube links dropout – if this link doesn’t work, please go to YouTube and search for the song – it will be worth it!

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A Message to You, Rudy – The Specials – 1979

January 19, 2012

The Specials - A Message for You, Rudy.A typical UK ska track complete with horns and reggae-beat guitar, A Message to You, Rudy reached #10 on the UK charts in 1979.

ska revival

Okay, so I didn’t hear this one on the radio. Our son came home one day having bought the CD, The Specials Greatest Hits. I didn’t even realise he knew who The Specials were!

I’ve listened to the album a couple of times (when I can get my hands on it). I love it, it takes me right back to the UK ska I love but have heard little of for a long time.

the specials aka the specials aka

The Specials, originally known as The Special AKA appeared on the English music scene at the same time as punk bands like The Clash, The Jam and The Buzzcocks were waning or moving onto other things.

The Specials brought something new. They were, as far as I can remember, the first band to produce that wonderful blend of punk and reggae that we call (well, I call) ska. Of course, they weren’t the first ska band – but in bringing it to the UK they added elements that were fresh and new (and loud and rocky and full of horns).

The Specials - UK ska band.BTW – believe it or not, the UK’s first ska hit us usually credited as being, My Boy Lollipop, by Millie, back in 1964.

By 1979, when A Message to You, Rudy was released, the ska resurgence was huge in the UK. In fact, on November 8 of that year three ska bands appeared on the same episode of Top of the Pops – The Specials, Madness and The Selecter. It’s often said that that day is the day UK ska stopped being a cult and become a music sensation.

not a specials original

A Message to You, Rudy is not a Specials original. It was originally released in 1967 by Dandy Livingstone. It achieved success with The Specials in 1979.

a message to you, rudy fax

  • A Message to You, Rudy was originally released in 1964 by Dandy Livingstone.
  • A Message to You, Rudy peaked at #10 on the UK singles chart in 1979.
  • Trombone player Rico Rodriguez played on both The Specials’ version and Dandy Livingstone’s version of the song.
  • The song was originally about social unrest amongst the youth in Kingston, Jamaica. The Specials release was a comment on the UK in the late 1970s, a time of dissatisfaction in the UK political arena that led to a series of strikes and what came to be known as the 1978-79 Winter of Discontent.
  • “Rudy” (or Rudi, Rude boy) is a Jamaican term for criminal juveniles.
  • Technically, A Message to You, Rudy is a rocksteady song. Rocksteady is a music genre that originated in Jamaica around 1966. Bridging a music gap, it was a successor to ska and a precursor to reggae.
  • A Message to You, Rudy lyrics.

a message to you, rudy video

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