Friday, June 5, 2015

"Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth

Top 10 Alert!
One-Hit Wonder!
Song#:  1279
Date:  12/11/1982
Debut:  80
Peak:  10
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Reggae

Pop Bits:  This English teenage quintet consisted of two pairs of brothers (the Grants and the Waites) plus lead singer Dennis Seaton. They were already playing pubs and issuing local singles before a spot on John Peel's BBC Radio 1 show helped them secure a contract with MCA. The boys then recorded their debut album, "The Youth of Today," and this first single got released in the fall of '82. It quickly took off and reached #1 in the UK and in several other European countries. It was eventually released Stateside a few months later where it just barely made the Top 10 - an unusual showing at the time for a reggae-based song. It was enough to get them a Grammy nod for Best New Artist. In the UK, the group would have six more chart songs including the #6 "Never Gonna Give You Up" before breaking apart after the release of their second album. Their follow-up singles were not as successful in the US and despite having one more low-level chart entry late in '83, this lone Top 10'er got them tagged as a one-hit wonder.

ReduxReview:  Frankly, I didn't really know what reggae music was back then. I may have heard of Bob Marley, but I doubt I ever heard his music or knew what a reggae beat was (except for maybe in a song by The Police or Culture Club). Plus, it was definitely not a popular tune where I grew up. So this song was lost on me. Didn't get it - didn't care for it. I don't mind it so much now. It's a nice add to a summer playlist.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song is combo cover of two other songs. It combines portions of "Gimme the Music" by U Brown and "Pass the Kouchie" by the Mighty Diamonds. In the Diamonds' original song, the "kouchie" referred to is a cannabis pipe and they lyrics pertain to the recreational use of the drug. For Musical Youth, this was obviously changed. "Kouchie" became "dutchie," which is slang for a Jamaican cooking pot, or Dutch oven, and the lyrics reflected on poverty with the line "how does it feel when ya got no food" repeated (instead of the original drug reference lyric that had "herb" instead of "food"). Despite the changes, some listeners still though the song was about drugs and later on "dutchie" did become a drug term meaning a blunt that was rolled in a wrapper from a Dutch Masters cigar.


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