Desmond Dekker The Original Rude Boy

Jamaican ska legend Desmond Dekker has been introduced to a younger generation of ska fans on a number of recent first-wave compilations and now this greatest hits collection. The Original Rude Boy includes essential tracks like Dekker’s best-known song, “Israelites.” Also featured are classics such as “007 (Shanty Town)” and a cover of Jimmy Cliff’s “You Can Get It If You Really Want.” The song that both opens and closes this collection is “King of Ska,” Dekker’s 1965 hit, which became immensely popular in Europe. The first version of the song is the original ’65 recording, while the second is a 1993 recording with the Specials as the back-up band. While the newer version is much cleaner and tighter sounding, it sounds almost over-produced and lacks the raw feeling of the original. The 16 tracks on this best-of CD are an excellent way of introducing Desmond Dekker’s music to the uninitiated, with all of the classics and some new material thrown in for good measure. A must for all ska fans. (Music Club)