Dave & Ansil Collins – Double Barrel


(L-R) Ansil Collins and Dave Barker


Listen – Double Barrel MP3″

Greetings all.

This’ll be a quick one, as I had to pick up the little guy from day care because he wasn’t feeling well.
Today’s selection, ‘Double Barrel’ by Dave & Ansil Collins was one of the very first reggae records I ever heard, which probably had something to do with the fact that it was in fact one of the first reggae sides to get played on US radio (it was a Top 40 hit in the summer of 1971, and a HUGE hit in the UK and Jamaica).
As a result of its popularity, it’s also one of the easiest reggae 45s to find. I’ve had the US issue (on Big Tree) for years (in fact I probably have a few copies), but it was only a few weeks ago, in a unassuming crate full of teen pop and R&B that I happened upon a copy of the original UK pressing (for $2.00!?!?) on Techniques (a Trojan subsidiary). When I pulled it out of the box I wasn’t even sure what it was, only that it appeared (due to the small hole) to be a UK 45. When I saw it was ‘Double Barrell’ I grabbed it immediately.
The interesting thing – aside from the fact that ‘Double Barrel’ is an ass-kicking slice of island soul (I can’t get enough of Barker’s toasting) – is that for years I (and I’m sure almost everyone else without deep reggae crates) assumed that the duo on the record were in fact brothers, i.e. Dave Collins, and Ansil Collins. It was only a few years ago while reading ‘Young Gifted and Black: The Story of Trojan Records’ by Michael De Koningh (a fantastic resource), that I discovered that the dudes on the record were actually Dave Barker (the singer) and Ansil Collins (the organist). Imagine my surprise. Apparently the record also features the initial session of a young drummer named Sly Dunbar (of Sly & Robbie and about a million reggae records).
As I said ‘Double Barrel’ is a funky reggae classic, and as further testament to its goodness (aside from listening to it), my crabby 15-month old pepped right up when I put the record on, so it also has healing powers!
Dave & Ansil Collins went on to have a follow up hit ‘Monkey Spanner’, and if you can get your hands on their LP, it’s well worth tracking down.
So, grab those ones and zeros, fire up a spliff and get your groove on.
As Dave says: Good God, too much, I like it!!


PS ‘Double Barrel’ was sampled (heavily) by none other than Biz Markie on ‘Biz Is Goin’ Off’

Buy – The Heavy Heavy Monster Sound of Dave & Ansel Collins – on Amazon.com

14 Responses to “Dave & Ansil Collins – Double Barrel”

  1. DMc Says:

    Yes, great record that. If people want to hear more from the incredible Dave Barker I suggest they check out Mick Sleeper’s show on May 7, 2007.
    It can be found here:


    By the way, the reggae community over at Chatty Mouth really dig this site Larry!

    – DMc

  2. HeavySoulBruthaDaveB. Says:

    Super tune! Thanks so much!

    Peace and SOUL,

  3. Captain Wrong Says:

    One of my fave cheap 45s. I think I have half a dozen US pressings and never paid more than 50 cents. A great record, one that even if people don’t think they know, they know (thanks Biz!) and one that still gets a good reaction from folks.

  4. fleamarketfunk Says:

    yeah this record is definitely a side always in my 45 box for sure. another dollar record that s just superb. trying to get together part 2 of the special request mix, which will feature some off the radar reggae artists from the 70’s and 80’s.

    great one larry.

  5. Planet Mondo Says:

    Its a great tune and there’s a great mashup using a Double Barrel

  6. jb Says:

    Love this record–still can’t believe it got played on AM radio back in the day.

  7. rikonick Says:

    Also massively sampled by Special Ed


  8. themusicologist Says:

    love the site. funny enough it was one of them tunes that got rinsed to death in England so doesnt seem to hold the same reverence over here. nice to hear it again though as a good tune is still a good tune.

    streamed a nice uniques cover of The Impressions ‘You’ll Want’ me back this week. http://themusicologist.wordpress.com

  9. gneuralgic_gnarl Says:

    What a fantastic choon! Definitely will follow up those recommendations. I first came across Double Barrel when it was (yet AGAIN it seems!) sampled heavily by an r’n’b singer called McKay a couple of years back. Apparently this was a HUGE summer hit (circa 2003/4) your side of The Big Water, Larry. Highly recommended.

    I’m not sure of your views but well I personally despise 99.99% of what passes as modern R’n’B these days but this is most definitely in that ever rare .01 percentile. The sample has been justifiable left intact with vinyl crackles and all and topped with the addition of that ever-“reassuring” Motown-style backup girl-group vocals. McKay (in another rare stint these days) successfully manages some kickin’ transcendental melisma. The track really soars with her vocals. Maybe you’d like — maybe you wouldn’t. But i thought the track deserves a mention. A rare modern day pop gem.

  10. gneuralgic_gnarl Says:

    Whoa — dues to Planet Mondo. He’s got it linked above 🙂

  11. Professor Blackie Says:

    Was 9 when this first came out and I loved it — the local youth club I went to had a copy. Everyone piled the records they wanted to hear beside the Dansette. Several times a night I would put Double Barrel on top of the pile, but other people kept taking it off! But there was lots of Judge Dread graffiti around town, so I wasn’t alone.

  12. Dave Barker Says:

    just poping in to say hi to everyone nice to read all the commects its a tune i done with ansell collins way back in 1971 and still gets great responce whenever i appear live love the site
    one love

  13. Dave Barker Says:

    check out my space http://www.myspace.com/davebarker1

  14. funky16corners Says:

    Yo Dave!! Thanks for stopping in to say hi!

    As you say ‘Too much! I like it!


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