Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1092

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Review

Moon Hop : Derrick Morgan

Moon 1

9

6.1

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UK release date 16.03.2019

I have to confess, I'll be brutishly honest I have never heard of Derrick Morgan! But don't let my ignorance put you off.This is a fantastic body of work 48 tracks featuring one of Jamaica's finest singers over some of the rawest, most insistent rocksteady ever recorded, driven by scratchy guitar and heavy basslines, this music sounds raw compared to some of the more polished releases by groups like the Melodians and the Maytals but that's what gives it its glorious edge.Along with Laurel Aitken and Desmond Dekker, Derrick Morgan is a godfather of ska, rocksteady, and reggae. Like the other two mentioned he is a favorite of skinheads, rudies, and mods the world over and this sterling collection bears witness to that era.Tracks like the famous "Moon Hop" and "Give me Lovin'" make this a massive album, but some of the tracks come across as filler to make a more full track list. The album follows the skinhead-reggae Moon Stomp beat with a heavy soul influence and some tracks border on the funkier side of things.It's a fine body of work and it's so good it has finally received it's CD release - props to Doctor Bird who again have unearthed further stone cut gems.

CD2 showcases the 1969 album, 'Derrick Morgan In London,' which is something of a misnomer as it was recorded in Jamacia.Now doubt he was capitalising on his popularity here in the UK.It included some great covers include the Aretha classic. 'Don't Play That Song' given a rocky steady roustabout work out and a suped - up version of 'Stand By Me' proving that R&B works extremely well given the raw reggae treatment.Crucial sounds from an era of Jamaican popular music that deserves to be more widely heard.
Words Emrys Baird

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