Saturday, February 9, 2008

PAULINE BLACK - Pirates on the Airwaves

In the late 70s and early 80s singer Pauline Black fronted Coventry-born 2 tone band The Selecter. Black's unmistakable, powerful vocals put a distinctive stamp on The Selecter's material - which fused elements of ska, new wave, reggae and punk. Selecter cuts such as On My Radio, Too Much Pressure, Missing Words and Three Minute Hero have long been revered as classics from the 2 tone movement.

After the band split in 1982, Black released a few fantastic singles that have since faded into obscurity. One of them was 1984's Pirates on the Airwaves, released in both 12" and 7" form by "Pauline Black With Sunday Best." Sunday Best included Neville Staples and Lynval Golding, formerly of The Specials and Fun Boy Three.

Pirates on the Airwaves is fun, bouncy dancehall reggae with an 80s pop sheen. It is much more lighthearted than Black's work with The Selecter, and you can tell everyone involved had fun recording the tune. The B-side, Pirate Dance, is pretty much the same song except with some toasting by Staples replacing Black's A-side vocals.

As far as I know, Pirates on the Airwaves has never appeared on CD even though countless Selecter and Pauline Black compilations have been put on the market over the years. Here are vinyl rips of both sides from my 12" version of the single:

Pauline Black With Sunday Best - Pirates on the Airwaves (1984)

- Pauline Black official site
- Pauline Black on MySpace
- The Selecter official site

1 comment:

Karl said...

Pauline black at Reggae Brittania...she's still doing it!