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.
"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."