(I Got Them) Uninspired Cultural Appropriation Big Beat Blues

This was a bit of a disappointment.  Lionrock Rude Boy Rock has not aged well in the past 21 years. 

Do you remember big beat as a genre? I do vaguely in the ferment of the febrile music press of the late 90’s, as a means of trying to tie together Fat Boy Slim, The Chemical Brothers and other jokers* together who made skyscraper-sized, melody laced dance fuckers with a real appreciation of rock dynamics.  Some great sweaty music was made and good nights were had. Then, as dance genres do in particular, it all warped and went elsewhere…

… Leaving us record buyers as witnesses.  Lionrock Rude Boy Rock is, as the title and cover will tell you a hunk of dance music seeking to evoke Jamaican sound systems of the 60’s and 70’s, ska and ‘ting.  All things I like, everybody does, the hats were great back then.  But … ‘Rude Boy Rock’ makes one fatal mistake, it just doesn’t rock the way the very best big beat stuff did.  The basic sound is good but the track just sits there and doesn’t go anywhere for me.

For comparison purposes

Which is where I thought the saga of ‘Rude Boy Rock’ began and ended.  Wrongly.

Despite being credited as being written by Lionrock main man Justin Robertson ‘Rude Boy Rock’ sounds to me just like a big beat remix of the Skatalites ‘Nimrod’.  I only found this out very recently**.  WTF? remix away, but credit the original chaps properly and prominently, then credit your own contribution – otherwise you are edging towards that utterly reprehensible dumpster fire that is the original writing credits for Led Zeppelin’s debut LP. 

For comparison purposes

Who knows what may have happened behind the scenes and I have no doubt that all involved were sincere fans of the original sound and artists.  Deals may have been struck, but none are visible here.  Looking at it through 2019 sensibilities it leaves a certain bad taste in my mouth. 

Plus it has to be said that ‘Nimrod’ is such an awesome-r tune, a far better bet for a good dance than ‘Rude Boy Rock’ as it goes places courtesy of a brilliant horn section. 

My verdict tonight: stick with the (uncredited) original.

949 Down.

PS: as always I have a duty to state for the record that Lionrock have made far more and better records than I ever have, or will; I’m just a moron with a keyboard.  They win hands down.  

*Bentley Rhythm Ace? Lo-Fidelity Allstars? both released a couple of great tracks.

**despite loving the Skatalites and seeing them once, this fact had totally eluded me. 

5 thoughts on “(I Got Them) Uninspired Cultural Appropriation Big Beat Blues

  1. I hear you on this. To my highly trained sophisticated ear it just lacks the energy of the Skatillites. Still not bad 1537. Someone could have asked for another take. Like hey Rude Boys how about one more with feeling.

  2. Lionrock; “Call a Cab” from the 1997 “City of Industry” movie soundtrack was cool, but I used “Bug Powder Dust” from that soundtrack album as intro to a video I did for a proposal of a toy/Saturday morning cartoon show about wrestlers as kids:

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