OLDIES SUNDAY: Desmond Dekker & The Aces – 007 (Shanty Town) (1967)


With talks of protests happening in Jamaica in the past couple of days, and the upcoming release of the Film, “No Time To Die“, today’s Oldies Sunday seeks to blend the two. Today’s selection comes from the great Desmond Dekker with the track, “007 (Shanty Town)“.

Produced by Leslie Kong and released through the Pyramid label in 1967, Desmond Dekker with the help of The Aces shared some of his observations during that time. The song spoke about the “rude boys” of the time who continued their life of crime as soon as they’re released from Prison. The activities of the rude boys would cause a ruckus in certain communities, and the armed forces would be called to tackle the situation. “007 (Shanty Town)” was a hit for Desmond Dekker, a first for him really. Having achieved #1 status on the local music charts, and created history as being the first Jamaican-produced song to chart in the UK Top 20 peaking at #14. The song was also popular with the “rude boys” as well. There was an original version that made no reference to “Shanty Town”, which was also produced by Leslie Kong. The track was featured on Dekker’s debut album of the same name with The Aces, and on the soundtrack for the classic Film, “The Harder They Come“. It was also rerecorded for his 1980 album, “Black and Dekker“.

“007 (Shanty Town)” was inspired by a student demonstration that turned violent against the government’s decision to erect an Industrial Complex on a plot of land close to a beach in the mid 60s. The song also made references to Ian Fleming’sJames Bond” spy movie series, and the popular 1960’s “Ocean’s 11” heist Film. After “007”, Desmond Dekker went on to make more music, and rack up more hits along the way. Desmond Dekker passed away in 2006 at the age of 64, but his music continues to live on.

Thank You Desmond Dekker For This Classic!

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