First Cut: Prince Buster

You know Prince Buster. If you don’t, and you’re at this website, you missed some steps along the way. He’s undoubtedly one of the foundation artists for the Jamaican music industry, releasing his first single in 1961 although he had been involved in the budding industries sound system wars for years before. A former boxer, Buster and his friends provided a special kind of service for Coxsone Dodd during his dances.

His first outing on the label of his own name didn’t come until 1970 in the UK, although the track was originally released in 1967 and was credited as such on the ’70 issue. Of course the track was far from his first, and his voluminous output had seen issue on the Fab label prior to the Prince Buster label being established.

By 1970 Buster was not exhibiting his usual prolific output, taking a step back from the industry during the time of early, or skinhead, reggae. No surprise his first tune then would be a reissue of a track he’d released three years before. No surprise he also was still just as popular as ever, the risqué lyrics keeping all the, by now, suedehead lads stomping away in the dancehall.

The flip isn’t a slouch either, Buster giving his shot at a bit of toasting and providing an education with the aptly named Musical College. Two boss sides from a genuine legend, what a start.

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