(L-R) Ansil Collins and Dave Barker
“Listen – Double Barrel MP3″
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’