“Intensified” by Desmond Dekker and The Aces - album review

TJR says

Dekker’s second Jamaican LP, issued on Beverleys LP-004. Although three of these twelve tracks repeat from last year’s UK debut, namely “Rude Boy Train”, “Sweet Music” and “Wise Man”, I have used my discretion to assign this one as Desmond’s second album proper. Desmond’s album story is reflecting the dynamic stylistic changes going on within Jamaica’s studios. The Ska beat has all but disappeared, the gradual erosion of the rocksteady beat continues, and the smooth new reggae form is born in 1968, exemplified here on “A It Mek”, “Israelites” and “Nincompoop”. It was certainly a great year for Desmond Dekker. In August, he and The Aces performed at the Jamaica Independence Festival celebrations and their “Music Like Dirt (Intensified ’68)” became the third winner of the Island’s prestigious annual song contest. The winning song takes pride of place here, on an album which is dominated by that and two other monster cuts, “Israelites” being the most obvious. “Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir, So that every mouth can be fed, Poor mi Israelites”. (Rastafarians believe that the black races are the true Children of Israel, or Israelites, as they like to call themselves.) There’s no dilution to the message of sufferation. This is Desmond Dekker’s reggae on his terms; on Jamaican terms. Released as a single in October 1968, “Israelites” slowly and surely made it all the way to no.1 in the UK hit parade in April 1969 – completely without precedent. Pucker Jamaican music was suddenly banging down mainstream barriers in conservative European territories. A quick re-recording for “A It Mek” (included here in its original form) ensured that the momentum was immediately maintained. This LP stands as quite the statement. Reggae is born and Desmond Dekker is at the front of the charge as chief envoy. Hello World, this is Jamaica calling…

The Jukebox Rebel
09-May-2011

A1 [01:40] 10.0.png Desmond Dekker and The Aces - A It Mek (Desmond Dacres, Leslie Kong) Reggae
A2 [02:38] 7.6.png Desmond Dekker and The Aces - Too Much Too Soon (Desmond Dacres, Leslie Kong) Ska / Rocksteady
A3 [03:27] 5.6.png Desmond Dekker and The Aces - Coconut Water (Desmond Dacres) Ska / Rocksteady
A4 [02:29] 6.5.png Desmond Dekker and The Aces - Sweet Music (Desmond Dacres) Ska / Rocksteady
A5 [03:16] 4.6.png Desmond Dekker and The Aces - My Lonely World (Mark London, Donald Black) Soul Ballad
A6 [02:16] 6.6.png Desmond Dekker and The Aces - Rude Boy Train (Desmond Dacres, Leslie Kong) Ska / Rocksteady
B1 [02:47] 10.0.png Desmond Dekker and The Aces - Israelites (Desmond Dacres, Leslie Kong) Reggae
B2 [02:13] 6.9.png Desmond Dekker and The Aces - It Is Not Easy (Desmond Dacres, Leslie Kong) Ska / Rocksteady
B3 [02:43] 9.0.png Desmond Dekker and The Aces - Music Like Dirt (Intensified ‘68) (Desmond Dacres, Leslie Kong) Ska / Rocksteady
B4 [02:11] 6.4.png Desmond Dekker and The Aces - Nincompoop (Desmond Dacres, Leslie Kong) Reggae
B5 [03:27] 5.2.png Desmond Dekker and The Aces - Tips Of My Fingers (Bill Anderson) Soul Ballad
B6 [02:15] 7.1.png Desmond Dekker and The Aces - Wise Man (Desmond Dacres) Ska / Rocksteady




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