Desmond Dekker

The Original Rude Boy

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Desmond Dekker only had one hit in America, 1969's rocksteady smash "Israelites." But Dekker's career as an early exponent of ska has been a long-lasting one, beginning in 1963 with his debut disc, "Honour Your Father and Mother" and reaching into the 1990s paired with his disciples, 2-Tone group the Specials, for a remake of 1964's "King of Ska." Both versions, plus 1993's cover of "Carry Go Bring Come," are aboard, along with 13 prime cuts ranging from the ethereal drift of 1996's "Big Head" to the rude boy sounds of "Get Up Edina," "007 (Shanty Town)," "Mother's Young Girl" and "You Can Get It If Really Want." As a wide, sweeping compilation, this hits all the high spots of Dekker's career and makes an essential first purchase in assembling a Jamaican music collection.

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