The Inspirations - Take back your duck

A: The Inspirations – Take back your duck

B: Prince Student – Rivers of babylon


After breaking big with “Tighten up,” recorded as the Untouchables for Lee Perry in 1969 and still a huge anthem today, The Inspirations had a hard time beating their own success. The group, composed of Trevor Shaw and Ransford White, recorded some follow-ups which failed to deliver and then decided to try their luck at Perry’s old employer. There they stayed for almost a year, recording some originals and quite a few cover songs, all with Niney behind the mixing board. These tracks ended up on an album called “Reggae Fever“, which was released in Jamaica on the Jogib label and in the UK on Trojan. If you happen to own a copy: treasure it, because both of the original versions are very rare. (The album was re-released by Trojan in 1998 with additional tracks.)

“Take back your duck” was also included on the album, and it’s a perfect example of the quality of the group. Though lyrically very funny, witty and suggestive (the duck’s not really a duck, if you get me..), this track is capturing from the get go and delivered in such fine style, it just can’t go off track. Which is partly due to the great riddim, a re-recording of the Pioneers’ hit “Samfie Man, but also for a great deal due to Trevor and Ransford, who are both very gifted singers. Which they would eventually showcase under different monnikers…

Joe Gibbs had a great hand in picking his groups, but the loss of the Inspirations must have hurt. In 1970 the duo went back to working with Lee Perry but eventually broke up in 1971 to pursue solo careers. Trevor Shaw was the most successful of the two: he renamed himself Jimmy London, cutting hits for Impact! such as “A Little love” and the Simon & Garfunkel cover “Bridge over troubled water.” Ransford White took on the name Billy Dyce and recorded a personal favourite of mine: “Unity is love.” (which has a great dj track by Charlie Ace on the flip as well.)

Label: Pressure Beat (Ja)
Matrix: JOE GIBBS 0025
Release date: 1970
Riddim: Samfie man – Pioneers

(originally posted on 27-05-11)


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