Eek-A-Mouse

Skidip!

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Eek-A-Mouse sent the dancehalls raving in 1979 with his very first DJ single, the Joe Gibbs produced "Once a Virgin." The rodent linked up with Henry "Junjo" Lawes soon after, but surprisingly, Lawes was slow to release Eek's recordings, and so the mouse scurried off to work with Linval Thompson. Their first single together, 1980s "Modeling Queen," hit, as did "Bubble Up Your Hip," the latter titling Eek's Thompson-produced debut album which arrived before the year was out. Two years later, the U.S. Shanachie label released the set as Skidip!, a fast follow-up to Wa-Do-Dem which had hit American shelves that same year.

Confusingly, Shanachie retitled over half the album's tracks: "Skidip" itself, for instance, was actually "Bubble Up Your Hip"; "Walking Sexy" became "Looking Sexy"; "Need Your Loving" was enigmatically renamed "Always on My Mind" (even though it bore no relation to the Willie Nelson hit of that title); and "Every Girl Is a Virgin" became the presumably more acceptable "Fat and Slim." "Do You Remember Those Days" was shortened but oddly, "Reggae Music" was lengthened to "You Na Love Reggae," and "My Girl" was expanded to "Na Make Mi Girl Go Away." The set itself was increased as well, with the addition of "Sensee Party." But regardless of what the songs were called, they were a devastating group. Only a few -- "Queen," "Remember," and "Bubble" spun at 45, but the rest of the set was filled with tracks that could have done the same. From the good-times vibe of "Sensee Party" and "You Na Love Reggae," across the romantic "Always on My Mind," and onto the heart aching "Where Is My Baby," every one was equal in strength to the hits, all driven by Thompson's mouth-watering productions and the Roots Radics spine-tingling riddims.

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