Friday, 9 September 2016

Farewell, Prince Buster - you've taken that final One Step Beyond. I wonder if you've met up with Stinky Pommells yet?

I can't tell you how great Prince Buster records sounded on my parents' enormous, bass-heavy 1950s Blaupunkt radiogram:

As for the mysterious Stinky Pommells, he puts in an appearance on this elegiac number:

"Ghost Dance" was one of the twelve tracks on the 1968 Fabulous Records release, Prince Buster's Greatest Hits. "One Step Beyond" wasn't included - presumably because it was a humble B-side - but the A-side, "Al Capone", most certainly was:

The LP belonged to a close friend, who still shares my love of tough, roots music - I think that, for us, Prince Buster represented a sort of Jamaican equivalent of Bo Diddley for us: the same propulsive rhythm, wry humour and stripped-back musical unfussiness. The splendid "Earthquake" was one of our favourites:

I suggest that any feminist reading this (unlikely, I know) skips the next track - it will only upset you:

And anyone in favour of liberal sentencing policies should definitely avoid this one:

I'll end this little homage to a more innocent, more exciting musical age with a terrific Prince Buster instrumental,which I heard for the first time today. In case you're wondering what the relentless "Jet 707" reminds you of...

...the horn phrases are lifted straight from Duane Eddy's "Peter Gunn". 


  1. Hugely influential despite only ever having one record in the UK top twenty-"Al Capone."

    1. I think I have a copy on 78. I'll try to dig it out.

      I hadn't realised until his Times obit that Mr All Stars was the man behind the "rude boy" locution.

    2. The Prince fared better than Bo Diddley, whose highest UK chart placing was for "Pretty Thing" - No. 34 in 1963.

    3. Pronounced "rude bwoy", I believe. And neither had I, Mr. Moss.