Track of the Day: 'Israelites'

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Desmond Dekker was crucial: With his backing group, the Aces, he was hugely influential in the Jamaican ska, rocksteady, and reggae scenes—and, just as much, in the English ska revival of the late '70s that spawned bands as heavy and enduringly big as the Specials, the Selecter, and the English Beat. Dekker also recorded one of the first international hits out of Jamaica, "Israelites." Here it is. ... Listen for that big baritone at the coda to each verse: "Poor-orr me Israelites." It's loud in the mix, for a backing vocal, but it makes the track.


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J.J. Gould is the editor of TheAtlantic.com. More

He has written for The Washington MonthlyThe American ProspectThe Moscow Times, The Chronicle Herald, and The European Journal of Political Theory. Gould was previously an editor at the Journal of Democracy, co-published by the Johns Hopkins University Press and the National Endowment for Democracy, and a lecturer in history and politics at Yale University. He has also worked with McKinsey & Company's New York-based Knowledge Group on global public- and social-sector development and on the economics of carbon-emissions reduction. Gould has a B.A. in history from McGill University in Montreal, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in politics from Yale. He is from Nova Scotia.

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