Clint Eastwood & General Saint Stop That Train

Rewind to 1983 and mention the name Clint Eastwood in reggae circles in England and Jamaica and a Hollywood star wouldn’t be the first celebrity to come to mind. Heralded at the time as the first deejay album to crossover into the mainstream, Stop That Train remains required listening for any serious rub-a-dub fan. Eastwood and Saint’s antics never stop, and Chris Cracknell’s crisp production is a shining example of England’s polished roots sound. Other than a few throwaway tracks — "Nuclear Crises” is passed its due date and unless you like a stream of nursery rhymes, you’ll want to skip "Rock With Me” — the work here is all top shelf. Versions of ska favourites "Shame & Scandal” and "Everything Crash” update old Kingston greats with renewed swagger, while "True Vegetarian” and "Vote for We” give us a glimpse of the playful sparring these two were renowned for in their live shows. But it’s "Stop that Train,” first recorded by the Spanishtonians in 1965, that sends the set over the top. If Eastwood and Saint’s pleas don’t do the trick, the sheer weight of this heavy riddim will surely grind any locomotive to a halt. (Greensleeves)