George Dekker (straight outa Jamaica) delivers a timeless anthem of rather uplifting despair, if such is possible. Because things are always getting worse, just turn on the news, which is no reason to stop moving. “I remember a work friend whose younger brother was dying of Hodgkin’s. She loved this song. I’d ask her how things were. She’d raise a triumphant fist and declare, Things Are Getting Worse.” (Philip Random)
The Specials were one of many so-called Two-Tone outfits to come out of England at the end of the 1970s. But come their second album, it was pretty clear they wanted to do more than just party hard, with Stereotypes (particularly the dubbed out second part) a solid example of people having wigged out fun in a recording studio. Marijuana may have been involved.
The Selecter being one of one of a rash of party strong 2-Tone ska revival bands to hit the UK scene in the late 1970s. James Bond being a killer cover of the famous movie theme – sort of. Steal the riff and run with it is more like it.
You had to love the cover of Tupelo Chain Sex’s Spot the Difference. Little punk kid sporting a Ronald Reagan Adolph Hitler t-shirt, getting pulled two ways at once. But the real treasure was the music. Not just another hardcore band from LA, these guys had former Frank Zappa alumni Sugarcane Harris in their midst (not to mention a guy named Stumuk blowing a monster sax) and thus were brilliantly all over the place. Reggae, dub, ska, jazz, rockabilly, hardcore – everything, with lead off track The Dream (an extrapolation on an old Cab Calloway hit) serving as a whip smart intro to what remains one of the great (mostly) forgotten albums of any era.