Monday, April 19, 2010

The Selecter - On My Radio - Two Tone Records, 1979

I usually cover 45s a bit older and in a different style, put I came across this record the other day and could not resist. I bought this record in the early 90's at Reckless Records in Chicago, and it was definitely one of my first record purchases. At the time I was listening to a lot of Ska and Oi! music. I guess I was about 10 years late to the Ska revival party of the late 70s / early 80s, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the hell out of this music.
The Selecter was formed in '79, so this was one of thier first records (the first was an instrumental tune, "Gangsters vs.The Selecter".) Pauline Black on vocals and Desmond Brown on the Hammond organ really set the group apart from many of the other acts of the era. The band split in '82 but came back together for several short episodes, most notably in the early 90's during which several new albums were released.
This release was the 3rd single on Two Tone Records. Jerry Dammers of The Specials started the record label in 1979, releasing such acts as The Selecter, Madness, The Beat, Elvis Costello and The Higsons. By 1986 the label was shut down, but what a run they had! Two Tone was an offshoot of Chrysalis, which was sold to EMI in '91.
Jerry Dammers, with the assistance of Horace Panter, created the iconic label artwork. The "Walt Jabsco" logo portrays a man in a black suit, white shirt, black tie, pork pie hat, white socks and black loafers. This fictional character was based on a photograph of Peter Tosh, a former member of The Wailers. (Thanks Wikipedia!) This has to be one of the most tattooed logos out there, it became the symbol of a cultural movement based around Ska (see: Two Tone).
For those who want to check out more of The Selecter, you can download the full Mp3 from Amazon here: On My Radio or check out album, Too Much Pressure .
And now, the clip!

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