Friday, 10 June 2011

FlashBack Friday: Soca/Calypso Gems

Hey guys and gals, I'm back with the fourth episode of the popular series FlashBack Friday (click for previous episodes) for the year like 2011. I love doing these posts as I get to relive a time when life was all about not doing homework, watching cartoons, asking mum and dad for toys and what I would be when I grew up.

I've decided I'm doing a post dedicated to soca songs I like. Don't even remember how the subject came up in my head to be fair. I tweeted the first song (below), then was about to embark on filling up my followers timelines, but that's inconsiderate. I then thought it may be better to do it for Notting Hill Carnival weekend, before realising rapture could happen before so I won't be able to. Another thing I won't do is post the 6 soca songs I hear every time I go out. Krosfyah - Pump Me Up, Dollar Wine, Follow The Leader, Tempted To Touch, Square One - Faluma etc. Kevin Lyttle "Turn Me On" ,the most popular soca song of the last decade, was sold like it was a dancehall song. Levels. Only kidding (not really, but it isn't what we are here for).

It always confuses me that DJs play the same songs every one else does. I'd challenge myself to think out of the box. Saying that, I'm the type of guy that wouldn't/doesn't buy trainers/footwear I've seen someone else wearing. Somewhere in there is a logical explanation as to why I don't follow crowds.

I may go on and on about reggae and dancehall, to a somewhat tiresome/roll eyes level sometimes. If I cared, I'd care more, but I don't. So I won't stop... 'cos I can't stop (couldn't resist the little Puffy/Diddyism). In reality, I listen to and love all types of music. I just love music. There are three genres; good music, bad music and inspired by/rip-off dancehall and reggae.

None of these are obscure songs. Well they shouldn't be to any Caribbean that was old enough to do the running man to MC Hammer when it was in the charts or Bogle to Buju Banton's "Bogle" when it was fresh.

Anslem Douglas - "Doggie (Who Let The Dogs Out?)"

Although I don't know why it crossed my mind but the song that inspired this topic today is the original "Who Let The Dogs Out?" popularised by Baha Men. To this day I don't know who they are or how they came to record the song. Guess they found three random young looking "islands" men to sing it. Anslem Douglas looks a bit old and Anslem isn't the youngest of names.

Like the aforementioned Kevin Lyttle song, this song killed carnival for a few years prior to major label release. I think Anslem's "Doggie" was the biggest song at '98 carnival. I'm sure it was a big song for a few years. Sounds like African music.



Square One - Turn It Around

This song reminds me of family parties in late '90s. What a vibe. Allison Hinds was part of this group. When UK funky has this type of feel/drum pattern I can't help skankin' out.



Burning Flames - Swinging Engine

I didn't know the name of this song for ages. I searched and kept saying to people (namely my Bajan friend @missjaylouise) "Ringing Engine". You can imagine my disappointment when I found I was so close.

This is a hype. It mek me juss waan march dong di row'd, guy (in Bajan/Trini etc., accent).



TC - Wrong Name (Kim)

I lied about not putting any of the obvious songs I hear every week. This is one of my favourite soca songs. Her feisty attitude is winning. Someone in the pop world should copy this concept. Re-work the lyrics because of the obvious islands sentence structure.

"Tink he can tek me for a royde, well I putting he tings outsoyde" @ 2:40 cracks me up



Lord Kitchener - Gimme D Ting (Doctor Order Me)

I played this song on repeat, on vinyl back in the day. It was my favourite calypso song at the time. Still remember the black and white sleeve. Not sure what year this is from. I'm guessing 70s.

The video contains a loose biography. Not sure how accurate it is. I never read it. But I do know he came to England on the Windrush. Well, everyone who knows something about him and Windrush should know that.



Byron Lee & The Dragonaires - Ragga Ragga

This will make you wanna whine a woman right now. Or perv. Just watch those women that can whine their bottom half alone while their bottom circles like the time ticks on a clock.

p.s. I'm not sure if this is the original. It sounds re-done to me.



Crazy - Nani Wine

Song reminds me of my god mother's mum (RIP). Her and her husband whining to the floor at a house party in the early 90s. She would've been in her 50's



Lord Kitchener - Sugar Bum Bum

My all-time favourite calypso song by far. There came a point in life when I went to my parents friends parties hoping to hear this song. I still go out to that age group's parties anticipating the... I don't even know what sound that is at the beginning. One of the main songs I wanted but never learnt on steel drums. I envied every single steel band that could play this. I wanna push over a pan if a hear it at Notting Hill Carnival. I don't but I wanna.



Hopefully, this post will help some of the DJs that stand in the dance copying other DJs playlists on to their BlackBerry/iPhone notes will have some idea of other songs you can play. And that isn't a theory, DJs do watch over a next mans shoulder to see what he played then illegally download it. That's why they all play the same songs from yesteryear. If you've ever wondered about how many years and big songs there have been in our generation, yet DJs play the same old ones, there's your answer.

That's my good deed for the day.

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