Every Friday night at 12:00 I play one of my favorite albums and bring you the tracks and background on that album.
Tonight itâ€™s Linton Kwesi Johnsonâ€™s Dread Beat anâ€™ Blood, recorded in 1978. Johnson was known as one of the founding fathers of reggae dub poetry. He was born in a small rural town in Jamaica and raised in London. Growing up in south London, Johnsonâ€™s poetry and later his music was infused with the realities of that eraâ€™s racism and poverty. The eight tracks on this LP are intelligent and streetwise. They have a definite deep feel to them. Heâ€™s very philosophical and literate. If you ever get to see him live, the best word to describe him is elegant. Here is the opening track, â€œDread Beat anâ€™ Blood.â€
Friday, May 25, 2007 (LISTEN TO THIS SHOW)
Dread Beat anâ€™ Blood, which was Johnsonâ€™s debut album, is also the title of his second book of poetry that published in 1975, as well as the title of a documentary film of his work to that date. The album was recorded three years after the book was published. The track â€œFive Nights of Bleedingâ€ is my favorite song on the album. There is something about the way he says â€œmadness, madnessâ€ that is a call to think. The song describes random violence against the West Indian population of London by London police.
The last track on the album, â€œAll Wi Doinâ€™ is Defendinâ€™â€ is a song thatâ€™s all about war and the eruption of violence and the resignation that he feels. You can hear that in his voice – a lament along with the strong political statement, and an echo of the question â€œWhy are we doing this?â€
Here’s Linton Kwesi Johnson performing live in Paris:
Every Friday night at 12 o’clock it’s the “Midnight Album Feature”. DJ Michele brings you tracks and history from a disc in her personal collection. This week focuses on dance-rockers LCD Soundsystem and the comparison between their popular self-titled debut and their 2007 release “Sound of Silver”.