Archive for the ‘Justin Hinds & The Dominoes’ Category


Friday, July 9th, 2010

Back To Africa / Aswad

Listen: Back To Africa / Aswad AswadBack.mp3

Don’t dismiss Aswad because they were an English reggae band. I can understand you confusing them with the generic Steel Pulse based on origin, but Aswad indeed were roots. And the hits they had years later, well, they were great singles. I still love ‘Don’t Turn Around’.

Howard turned me on to them back in ’76. He put them out with Eddie & The Hot Rods. Remember when reggae and punk happily co-existed? Well that tour may indeed be the one that gave Joe Strummer the idea to take The Clash reggae a year or so later – I mean he was copying everything else so why leave this idea on the table?

I initially had no idea Aswad were English, having been part of those 45 packages Howard would send along from Island: Augustus Pablo, Justin Hines & The Dominoes, Max Romeo & The Upsetters, Rico, Burning Spear and Junior Murvin. They sounded so authentic, I couldn’t tell the difference from their initial few singles, of which this was the first.


Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Botheration (Ska) / Justin Hinds & The Dominoes

Listen: Botheration (Ska) / Justin Hinds & The Dominoes

Botheration (Rock Steady) / 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.