“It’s Burkes Law” by Prince Buster All Stars - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1965Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

His second new set of the year for Blue Beat, moving away from the Jamaican traditionals in favour of the Ska. Opens up with the title track, where a great rhythm bed is kinda spoiled by the stupid vocals and lyrics it has to be said: “cleyclaclacloycloycleycleyclaclooycloy” indeed. In the future, some idiot will reckon this to make a great advert. Shoot me now. The classic “Al Capone” begs for redemption immediately and all is forgiven. “Gun The Man Down”, a Val Bennett composition, continues with the rude boy culture, as bullets whistle past your ears every 20 seconds. The sound effects library was well and truly raided for this album, and this is once more apparent on “Trip To Mars”. Perhaps unsurprisingly, offers to score Sci-Fi b-movie soundtracks did not come flooding in to Buster’s Orange Street HQ. The gimmicks continue with smashing glass, gunshots and ringing bells on “Rygin’” – it’s all a bit OTT and is a bit of a passion killer. Buster’s All Stars get a chance to shine on the old tin-pan alley hit, “Mighty As A Rose”, and they are terrific – the class levels immediately rise. They take it too far, however, by going for a tea-dance rhumba on an old 20s tune, “Indian Love Call”. I can’t help but feel people are losing the plot here. The strange programming continues with a doo-wop ballad, “Here Comes The Bride”, probably written by Buster, but with song writing credited to girlfriend Lucile Pearce (real name Annette Gibson). It actually uses the melody line from Wagner’s piece and is kinda cheesy; the second disappointing track in a row. More Broadway action follows with an instrumental version of “Almost Like Being In Love”, originally done by David Brooks and Marion Bell in the stage production “Brigadoon” (March 13, 1947) and made famous by Frank Sinatra in the same year. Second last track “She Pon Top” is MUCH more like it, this is what we want on a Prince Buster record; a wicked, innovative band with a great vocal from the Prince and his girl. This is nyabinghi Ska par excellence. Sigh, if only they could all be like that…

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:51] 7.2.png Prince Buster and The All Stars - Burke’s Law (Cecil Campbell) Ska / Rocksteady
A2 [03:28] 9.0.png Prince Buster and The All Stars - Al Capone (Cecil Campbell) Ska / Rocksteady
A3 [02:27] 6.3.png Prince Buster and The All Stars - Gun The Man Down (Val Bennett) Ska / Rocksteady
A4 [02:27] 6.0.png Prince Buster and The All Stars - Skahara (Cecil Campbell) Ska / Rocksteady
A5 [03:30] 6.1.png Prince Buster and The All Stars - Trip To Mars (Cecil Campbell) Ska / Rocksteady
A6 [02:59] 6.0.png Prince Buster and The All Stars - Rygin’ (Cecil Campbell) Ska / Rocksteady
B1 [02:56] 6.2.png Buster’s All Stars - Mighty As A Rose (Ethelbert Nevin) Ska / Rocksteady
B2 [02:28] 3.4.png Buster’s All Stars - Indian Love Call (Rudolf Friml) Orchestra Dance
B3 [02:49] 4.7.png Prince Buster and The All Stars - Here Comes The Bride (Annette Gibson) Rock n Roll Ballad
B4 [02:43] 5.7.png Buster’s All Stars - Almost Like Being In Love (Frederick Loewe) Ska / Rocksteady
B5 [03:02] 8.8.png Prince Buster and The All Stars - She Pon Top (Cecil Campbell) Ska / Rocksteady
B6 [02:49] 5.8.png Prince Buster and The All Stars - Feel Up (Cecil Campbell) Ska / Rocksteady

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