Desmond Dekker

The Best of Desmond Dekker: The Israelites [2001]

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Orphan and ex-welder Desmond Dacres, better known to the world as Desmond Dekker, has had as long and prosperous a career as any Jamaican singer. Beginning in 1963 with his debut recording "Honour Your Father and Mother" on the Beverley label (owned by the legendary producer Leslie Kong), Dekker has had several Jamaican hits. "007 (Shanty Town)," his anthem to the West Kingston rudeboys, was a huge hit in Great Britain in the mid-'60s, and the sufferer's tale "The Israelites" made it into the U.S. Top Ten in 1968. The British ska revival in the late '70s and early '80s led to Dekker re-recording several of his hits for the new international market for Jamaican music. This collection is OK as far as it goes, but it lacks key tracks, most notably the essential "007 (Shanty Town)." The versions collected here are also not the original Kong recordings, but re-recordings, which doesn't make it a bad album, just not an essential one.

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