A: Destroyers/Joe Gibbs Allstars – Rock the clock

B: Destroyers – version

In the wake of Dave and Ansell Collins’ “Double Barrel“, a tune that unsuspectedly took over the charts in Europe in 1970, a whole slew of funky reggae tunes were released. All based on the template carefully crafted by James Brown. And by Dave Barker ofcourse, who’s “Shocks of mighty” for Lee Perry was a big hit in Jamaica, thus paving the way for Double Barrel. The success of Double Barrel was never equalled – Dave and Ansel’s Monkey Spanner perhaps came closest – but it did produce some fine music. Like the Destroyers tune featured here, concocted by the funkiest man in Jamaica: Niney the Observer. Unfortunately I can’t find any info on this funky gem, but to these ears it sounds like the Soul Syndicate provided the backing. As for the deejay: I always assumed it was Niney himself on the mic, but on my quest for info I came across a suggestion that the deejay might be Busty Brown. Like Dave Barker, Busty’s a fine, fine singer who recorded many a great tune, often with a firm footing in soul. Listening to his output, I’m inclined to agree that it is actually Busty on Rock the Clock. Trojan Records put out Rock the clock on their Amalgamated subsidiary, probably hoping to catch the wave set in motion by Double Barrel, but it never went anywhere. Not in Europe, nor in Jamaica, where it only came out as a pre-release. Perhaps it’s just too raw, perhaps it was too much of the same, who knows. It deserved more success, as far as I’m concerned, because this one yah rocks! Like Busty says in the breakdown: “This is bad. This is a bad, bad sound.” Indeed it is.

Many thanks to Rolf Cox aka Three Pan One for the Busty Brown suggestion.


Label: Blank (JA) / Amalgamated (Trojan) UK
Release date: 1970
Matrix: Dyna JG 1332 / Dyna JG 1333

Posted: 10-02-2018


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