RAS Portraits

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Having overrun Jamaica, Eek-A-Mouse was now ready to infest the world. In search of new pastures, the DJ scurried out from producer Junjo Lawes, who helped establish him on the Jamaican charts, and slipped into the studio with Anthony and Ronald Welch, emerging with the Assassinator album. It was at this point that the U.S. label RAS stepped in and made the album Mouse's debut domestic release. The King & I followed, recorded in the U.K. with producer Cliff Carnegie. The Mouse was now donning a new costume, that of a crossover artist; he'd already been embraced by British punks, and now it was the turn of American rock fans. RAS label head Dr. Dread himself oversaw the DJ's next album, Eek-A-Nomics, home of his most memorable U.S. hit, "The Freak." Afterwards, the artist found a new nest at the Island label, leaving RAS three unforgettable albums to pick over. Ten fabulous cuts are culled for Portraits, and present the many faces (snouts?) of the furry star. From the surreal ("The Freak") to the serious ("Gun Shot a Cry"), from roots ("Assassinator") to rock ("Oh Me Oh My"), and from mishaps ("Penni-Walli") to Mouse-style machismo ("Macho Man"), tracks are delivered up in that unbelievable vocal style that was all the DJ's own. And if that isn't enough, there's an additional incentive, Eek's special holiday treat, a truly original take on "Night Before Christmas," previously available on a RAS label sampler from 1988. No need for an exterminator; this rodent is a welcome addition to your record family.

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