Desmond Dekker :: This Is Desmond Dekker (1969)

Desmond DekkerAs we mentioned last month, Aquarium Drunkard is excited to have teamed up with the classic reggae/dub label, Trojan Records, to help commemorate the their 40th anniversary. As any genre aficionado will tell you, when it comes to this shit, Trojan is where it’s at.

What this means for A.D. readers – who are reggae/dub enthusiasts – is the opportunity to get your paws on some excellent, free, Jamaican classics. Throughout the next five weeks, or so, we will be giving away one classic title, per week, from the Trojan archives. Each week one winner will receive the record featured that week (i.e. this week is Desmond Dekker) and 5 other titles from the Trojan 40th Anniversary campaign, plus Trojan pins, a turntable mat, backpack, etc. Check back weekly for updates.

We’re going to kick this thing off with 1969s This Is Desmond Dekker which got the reissue treatment last year tacking on additional songs to the already classic LP.

To get your hands on this stuff: Leave you name, a valid email address, and your fave reggae/dub album, and why, in the comments. The winner will be alerted (via email) by Sunday evening.

Desmond Dekker :: 007 (Shanty Town)
Amazon: Desmond Dekker – This Is Desmond Dekker

+ Download reggae/dub via eMusic’s 25 free MP3 no risk trial offer
+ Visit The Hype Machine for additional Desmond Dekker MP3s

24 thoughts on “Desmond Dekker :: This Is Desmond Dekker (1969)

  1. This is one of my favorite records. Good idea.

    What’s with the spelling of dude’s last name? A misprint on the cover art or?

  2. Yea that is interesting on the spelling, maybe this comes from an old LP cover that was spelled that way back in Jamaica? Who knows, maybe he changed the spelling to DEKKER later in his career? I’ve never seen that before though. I just looked through my collection, and I surprisingly don’t have a full Dekker album although I have 22 songs from him from various Trojan comps and such.


  3. Let’s see, my favorite reggae/dub album…
    I’m more of an original ska and rocksteady fan than the later reggae and dub movements, if we are going for classics here, I would probably go with John Holt’s The Tide Is High : Anthology 62 To 79. It has the perfect mix of rocksteady and reggae for me. I was thinking about a Dennis Brown anthology, but I think overall I prefer John Holt’s voice over Dennis. I like the higher range John hit, Dennis tends to be too low all the time and that along with the super heavy bass, gets to be a bit much. I also prefer the instrumentation of Holt, lots more organ work and “stick bass” style of playing. Plus “Got To Get Away / Man Next Door” is one of my favorite riddims of all time! Even though Dennis cover it.

    John also has this sorta mysterious creepy feel to his lyrics and subject matter, lots of sneaking around and “dark times”…more moody and atmospheric!

    So there it is….


    oh yea, my 4 year old likes his “Ali Baba” tune as well! 😉

  4. I’m also more of a fan of oldschool ska/rocksteady, such as Desmond Dekker; I have Israelites on vinyl, and have worn the hell out of that — it’s probably my favorite. It would be all the better to have “This is Desmond Dekker” as a companion. I’ve been into reggae (as in an all-encompassing term) since I was a kid (before the pot-smoking even), but I have to say that it was The Clash who really sent my interest in reggae into overdrive over the course of my high school years and since. The reggae influence on the Clash needs no further comment, besides maybe that the Clash played along to Israelites in “Rehearsal Rehearsals”, and they were all about the Jimmy Cliff movie “The Harder They Come” (“You see he feels like Ivan born under the Brixton sun/his game is called survivin’ at the end of the Harder They Come”), which is in itself a fantastic trove of 60s/early-70s rocksteady/ska/reggae — definitely also up there in the best reggae albums/compilations on my list.

    Also, I’ve recently rediscovered my copy of the Blues Busters anthology, which has become my most-played-most-recently reggae album. Blues Busters are where it’s at — in trying to drunkenly describe it to a friend the other night, I referred to it as a hybrid of reggae and doo-wop — and anyone who’s into reggae, particularly the older, more soul-oriented stuff should really check them out.

    Not to mention Dylan’s Infidels. I mean…”Jokerman”?

    So come on. a) I’m really, really broke. b) I’ve been thinking lately about how I haven’t bought any new music in a really long time. Getting some for free (legitimately) would make up for all that time doing without it. c) I got these cheeseburgers, man…

  5. Peter Tosh’s “Equal Rights” circa 1977 is probably my favorite. I doubt seriously it’s the best reggae album, but it holds a lot of hazy memories for me nonetheless.

    Bob Marley, King Tubby, The Specials, and of course Desmond Dekker. Fu Manchu is easily my favorite Dekker song.

  6. Has to be The Upsetters – Super Ape.

    Every time I spin that album it takes me back to the very first time I heard it; a cool autumn evening, a friend of mine brought it over for me to hear and within the first few seconds I was transfixed to another time and place, where there was no time and I was no place. It was simply a musical experience.

  7. Though it changes all the time, my favorite dub album may be the Skatalites – Heroes of Reggae in Dub. A reformed Skatalites recorded a bunch of groove heavy instrumentals and King Tubby gave them the treatment. Good stuff.

    When it comes to ska and rocksteady, I’ve always been a big fan of collection albums (like Duke Reid’s Treasure Chest). Those were singles driven times and there are so many great songs out there.

  8. I always loved old school reggae, which I listen to on a great college radio station here in Boston, WERS. I just never knew who was who. I picked up Trojans Golden Age of Reggae Collection last year which was a great introduction and I’ve been buying more and more ever since. Apart from the sets by genre of reggae, I totally dig the Toots and the Maytals collection.

    By the way, any idea about the fascination with the “Ring of Fire” melody in early reggae? For example, “Music is my Occupation” by Don Drummand and “Train to Skaville” by The Ethiopians. Its very interesting to hear that exact melody in those songs. You hear suggestions of the melody in several others as well.

  9. I keep coming back to “Night Nurse” by Gregory Isaacs. My affinity for this album probably has more to do with what was going on in my life when I was first introduced to this album, but I never fail to enjoy it more, start to finish, than any other reggae album. For me, the key to this album’s success is Isaacs’ delivery.

  10. i think my favorite would have to be Dr. Alimantado’s Best Dressed Chicken in Town. Why you ask………well besides being called Best Dressed Chicken in Town (arguably one of the best album titles ever) it was recorded at Black Ark, King Tubbys, and Channel One. put those two things together and you got yourself a masterpiece.

    Just spend a day at the beach partying and as you drive home pop it in…..yes!

  11. Favorite dub album of all time has got to be 1978’s Dread Beat and Blood from none other than Linton Kwesi Johnson. LKJ who was really a poet who utilized dub to get his words out to a larger audience captured exactly what it was like to be young, black and alienated (not to mention unemployed) in England during the late 70’s and early 80’s…thank you Margaret Thatcher!

  12. My favorite reggae/dub album is heart of the congos by the congos. My address is 4405 38th St NW, Washington DC 20016

  13. Yes I! King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown is my all-time favorite! I love the dub from the seventies and the all-star Rockers + King Tubby at the controls is a unbeatable dub combo. This record is timeless dub reggae.

  14. Toots & The Maytals’ “Funky Kingston” is probably my favorite. In addition to being one of the first reggae albums I owned, Toots Hibbert’s voice is simply fantastic. It’s a frequent party-starter at our house.

  15. It is very hard to pick just one album from the genre but perhaps my favorite of roots reggae, The Congos, Heart of the Congos is just a solid classic. Production by Lee Perry at The Black Ark and beautiful vocal harmonies keep me coming back to this again and again. This might just be his best production, there is a kitchen sink aesthetic but somehow still lets the voices come through. I have put this on shuffle many times for summer picnics and almost always get a question from people whose knowledge of reggae stops at the Legend compilation of Bob Marley.

  16. Kiddus I “Inna Da Yard”

    You ever see Rockers? Man this guys voice is amazing. This album was recorded outdoors. You can feel the ground moving and the trees swaying. It’s like one of those happy Disney scenes with all the animals. Except here they’re stoned.

    Nick Bahula

  17. My favorite album? That is a tall order, as I’ve come to love so many. But I’d have to go with Burning Spear “Social Living”. Why? It’s the first reggae album I ever got high to, which makes me smile every time I hear it. Simple as that.

  18. Wailing Souls – Kingston Rise. For those of you that are listening to the remasters on Cds and MP3s burn them now and save your ears any further misery. Get to a sore and find the original 45 released on Thompson Sounds. The bass is raw the vocals soulful and the wailing will make your soul cry. It will take you back to those days of street fighting and rude bwoys. Enjoy.

  19. My hands down favorite has to be the Upsetters’ “14 Dub Blackboard Jungle Dub”. Elegantly trippy, tasteful and arguably the first true dub album. It hasn’t left my car stereo all summer for the simple fact that it reveals something new every time I hear it. Solid proof of Lee Perry’s brilliance.

  20. Augustus Pablo – King Tubby meets Rockers Uptown
    because it’s the first dub i really heard, and it still is great today

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