Real Rock – Studio One Records / Revolution Rock – Golden Age Records – The Clash – 1979

Sound Dimension – Real Rock – Original Version Of Rhythm – 1969

Dillinger – Fountain On The Mountain – 1975

Willie Williams– Armagideon Time – 1978

Jackie Edwards – Git Up – Original Version Of Rhythm – 1977

Danny Ray – Revolution Rock – 1977

Mexicano – Dub Rock – 1977

The Clash – Armagideon Time – 1979

The Clash – Justice Tonight / Kick It Over – 1979

The Clash – Revolution Rock – 1979

The Clash, to me, were extremely inspirational, whatever you think about the band, one thing that can not be denied is the band’s real love of Black music and culture, reggae music was no exception. If it was not for The Clash promoting authentic reggae via the media, via namedrops on original compositions and also covering some of the songs of the day, thousands of people, like me, may not have been touched by this music. Sure there were other bands around the time also, and The Clash did attempt ‘Police And Thieves’ and ‘Pressure Drop’ in a more punked up style, but when it came to 1979 this band found out that they were far from just a ‘punk’ band. With Mickey Gallagher and other musicians in tow, the band recorded the sessions that would result in the formidable ‘London Calling’ LP way down deep in Highbury, North London.

Straight onto the B-Side of the massive ‘London Calling’ single goes ‘Armagideon Time’ a recent hit in JA for Willie Williams voiced onto a well known rhythm going way back, almost a decade before the Willie Williams hit. The Clash’s version of this song is so good, even champion soundman Fatman carries the Clash tune in the big box marked ‘Special’. I know this for a fact as Daddy Fatman dropped it one night, when myself and Kevin Webb RIP ex-Conflict were the only non Rastas in the hall! The Rastas seemed to be cool with The Clash’s version and the dub version, that was spun next…

On the ‘London Calling’ LP one of the highlights (for me anyway) was the band’s version of Danny Ray’s ‘Revolution Rock’.

A relatively recent import from 1977, with the help of The Pioneers imprint Golden Age Records, this rhythm was cut several times, originally releasing ‘Git Up’ voiced by old Jamaican legend Jackie Edwards, who had been around since the 1950’s, and who had also helped Chris Blackwell organise Island Records at a time when Blackwell was selling records out of the back of his Austin Mini. Hope he got his cut further on down the line…Probably not.

The much younger vocalist, and less well known in Root’s than his favoured U.K. Lovers Rock circles, Danny Ray voiced this tune in the same year for Golden Age Records. This is the version that The Clash covered.

Eddy Grant’s brother, Mexicano was taken into the Stoke Newington Coach House studios to voice the DJ cut, again for Golden Age Records. Incidently the rhythm for this track was originally created in Jamaica, but all the versions uploaded here were voiced in the U.K.

*** Wanted to add another track for Mick Slaughter from the ‘Londons Calling’ era Clash and the original track from way back on Rio Records by The Rulers. The Clash copied the track with repect and even kept the false start on the recording!

The Rulers – Wrong Em Boyo – 1966

The Clash – Wrong Em Boyo – 1979

The Clash of course went on to do great work with the now deceased Mikey Dread, there is a post on this site, if you search for it, celebrating Mikey Dread on the day of the saddening news that he had died.

A quick link to the Mikey Dread post HERE

This post dedicated to Richard Kick, ex Brigandage member and N.M.E. writer whose birthday it is today. Have a super day Richard.

Richard championed a lot of KYPP type bands (that nowadays are uploaded onto this site)  for his own fanzine ‘Kick’ and for the N.M.E. from the late 1970’s and through the early 1980’s and beyond…

  1. denzil
    March 29, 2010 at 9:30 am

    All the best man, some great music posted on this thread for ya.

  2. alistairliv
    March 29, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    A musical education for me. Know the Clash versions, but never heard originals before. Happy birthday Richard.

  3. Farner Glitch
    Farner Glitch
    March 29, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Lovely stuff !!

  4. Mick Slaughter
    Mick Slaughter
    March 29, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    As Alistair says, A musical education, it’s the first time I ever heard the originals and it was really interesting to hear how those tracks had been used earlier and the whole progression of those tracks.
    What followed “London Calling” was for me one of the most disappointing albums ever – “Sandanista” although now that my ears have mellowed, I can enjoy it more than I did then. Were the reggae tracks on that album like Junco Partner, The Crooked Beat and One More Time all covers? If so, can you dig into your collection and educate us further?

    Mick Slaughter

  5. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    March 29, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    ‘Junco Partner’ was a mid 50’s U.S. blues track by James Wayne, rare as hens teeth you will not find that track on original vinyl ever (78 rpm I think). The 101’ers also had this track in the live set. The other tracks you mention are Clash originals but ‘Police On My Back’ is by Eddy Grants (and his brother who turned into Mexicano above) UK based beat band from 1966 / 67 called The Equals. I got the original of that tune plus the best track off the ‘Londons Calling’ LP ‘Wrong Em Boyo’ originally by The Rulers from Kingston on Rio Records 1966.

  6. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    March 29, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Slapped ‘Wrong Em Boyo’ by The Rulers up on the post above for you Mick and anyone else who gives a rats arse!

  7. Nic
    March 30, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Another great post, Penguin: one of my favourite rhythms…

    I think Willie Williams’ version is the pinnacle for me (closely followed by Sound Dimension – drooling over that Studio 1 7″!): such a beautifully laconic vocal, ably complimented by the lilt and distance of the rhythm…

    Nice to see The Equals get a mention on KYPP too 🙂

  8. dan i
    dan i
    March 31, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Like Nic says, enjoying The Equals cut. Nice pieces of history here.

    I was just sorting through different versions of Real Rock earlier this week, and yes Nic, the Willie Williams is still the most crucial of them all:

    Michigan & Smiley – Nice Up The Dance – a more dancehall style update from Studio One.

    Dennis Brown – Together Brothers – a classic Rasta call to arms.

    Augustus Pablo – El Rockers/132 Version/Rockers Rock – as he often did, a slightly offbeat take on a classic riddim turns into a new tune entirely in Pablo’s hands.

    Linval Thompson – Can’t Stop Natty Dread Again.

    Michael Rose – Ouncey Boy – a more modern raucous dancehall mix of the riddim, with a great herb lyric from Mr Black Uhuru himself.

    Fred Locks – Black Star Liner – a similar mix to the Michael Rose (Fatis Burrel’s Xterminator I think), but using Fred Locks’ classic lyrics from his own old hit.

    Just some of the listening delights over here at Dan I central.

  9. Shocks Of Mighty!
    Shocks Of Mighty!
    January 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Read somewhere that The Clash originally wanted to use the same classic Real Rock backing track for their version too but Mr Dodd wasn’t having it! Would have been great if that had come off though!

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