Listen: Botheration (Ska) / Justin Hinds & The Dominoes
Listen: Botheration (Rock Steady) / Justin Hinds & The Dominoes BotherationRckStdy.mp3
Justin Hinds & the Dominoes were one of those unique & ethereal rock steady bands who first hit in the ska era, then successfully migrated straight thru to roots reggae in the late ’70s. Led by Justin Hinds clear & distinctive lead vocals, with the tight harmonies of the Dominoes – Dennis Sinclair & Junior Dixon, they released the first pop records that openly mixed rasta ideology into their lyrics, infusing a deep spiritual sensibility into their infectious pop hooks.
In Jamaica, it became common for an artist to re-record popular material from earlier in their careers. Burning Spear did it, as did Bob Marley on the KAYA album. Justin Hinds (later known in the UK as Hines) re-recorded several of his hits over the years, as well. 2 such versions of ‘Botheration’ are presented here. He also released ska, rock steady, & roots versions of his hit, “Carry Go Bring Come”, over the course of his career.
Released in 1965, Botheration makes for a good military style ska track, with its pumping “forward charge” horns. It was released in Jamaica on Treasure Isle & licensed to Island in the UK, as shown here.
It’s equally effective in its rock steady version from the 1971, with a Hammond organ replacing the horns & Justin’s more soulful delivery. Both ska & rock steady versions are Duke Reid productions.
Mr. Reid, a former cop, used to wear a gun belt & pistol everywhere he went. He was a fierce competitor, and an intimidating force to be dealt with. In the mid ’60s, he had Stranger Cole record & release a hit single called Ruff & Tuff, written by a then unknown & uncredited young Lee Perry. When Perry showed up to complain & seek his share of the profits, Reid punched him in the head so hard he knocked him out cold. Justin Hinds & the Dominoes stayed with Duke Reid for about a decade, resurfacing in the mid ’70s when they began to record heavier roots oriented material with Jack Ruby, releasing the brilliant JEZEBEL album, among others.
In the mid-90s Hinds & the Dominoes played a rare show in NYC at Tramps that is forever burned in my brain. Only about 150 showed up, but that didnt matter. The band was filled with elderly JA session legends who came out first & played a 20 minute instrumental tribute to Don Drummond, the Studio One trombone star who died in prison after murdering his girlfriend. Then Justin Hinds & the Dominoes came on & played a showcase of all their hits, basically in order, starting with the blistering ska single “Over the River”, thru their Rock Steady hits like “Save a Bread” & “Sinners” thru to their roots hits such as “Dip And Fall Back”, “Fire is a Desire” and “Prophesy Must Fulfill”, all complemented by the troop of nyabinghi drummers seated at the left of the stage.
Justin Hinds passed away in 2005.