Music: Prince Buster – five great tracks from the King of Ska

Prince Buster – five great tracks from the King of Ska

By Erin MacLeod – –  Friday 9 September 2016

Prince Buster … Iron fists, golden voice.

Prince Buster

Celebrate the life and music of one of Jamaican music’s all-time greats with these five brilliant recordings

Prince Buster was a multifaceted fellow: not just the King of Ska, but also a producer, singer, soundsystem owner and boxer (Prince was his boxing nickname, and he converted to Islam after meeting Muhammad Ali). He was also a man who, as both producer and artist, led changes in Jamaican music. It was his introduction of the guitar chord on the afterbeat instead of the downbeat that gave birth to ska; he led the move to slowing down ska’s frantic pace into rocksteady; he was there when dub was born.    

It’s hard to pick just five songs from his incredible output – it means leaving out not just some of the lesser known songs that form the backbone of his work, but also the hits that gained a second wind with the UK ska movement. So no Madness, the song that gave the London group their name (and which they covered), or One Step Beyond, or Enjoy Yourself, the song the Specials still leave the stage to. But these five tell a story about Buster and his home, Jamaica.

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