Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day 11/19/2019

Dave Collins was a studio vocalist and Ansell Collins was a keyboard studio musician in Kingston, Jamaica in the late sixties. Winston Riley produced the record Double Barrel using the duo as well as future reggae star studio drummer Sly Dunbar. The record’s writer is credited as R. Bell.

The record was considered to be an early successful reggae song, but a strong case could be made that it fits more neatly into the funk category. It nearly qualifies as an instrumental as the vocals are mostly bragging and don’t actually contain any singing.

Lip-sync performances are not usually as impressive as live performances but in this case, the ability to lip-sync the seemingly random “lyrics” of the song is pretty impressive.

The record actually topped the charts in both Jamaica and the UK but only reached #22 in the US in 1971. The group recorded a follow-up single, Monkey Spanner, which reached #7 in the UK but failed to reach the Hot 100. It did, however, inspire a number of interesting videos that tried to sync the music to dance numbers by Laurel and Hardy, Mr. Bean and other dancers, and even some actual CGI monkeys…well, apes is probably more accurate.

Dave relocated to England and continued performing and recording into the early 2000s as a solo act.

Ansell (sometimes credited as Ansil or Ansel) remained in Jamaica primarily continuing to work as a studio musician. He was a member of Jimmy Cliff’s band and also recorded a solo album in 1986.


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