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Prince Buster

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Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think) Jools Holland, Prince Buster 03:01
Madness Prince Buster 02:45
Wine or Grind Prince Buster 03:41
Al Capone Prince Buster 03:00
Judge Dread Prince Buster 03:38
One Step Beyond Prince Buster 02:39
Nothing Takes the Place of You Prince Buster 02:56
Ten Commandments Prince Buster 03:29
One Step Beyond Prince Buster 02:55
Take It Easy Prince Buster 02:55

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Biography

A legend of Jamaican music, Prince Buster was one of the pioneers of ska, rocksteady and reggae and left a legacy that continues to resonate with new generations. Born Cecil Bustamente Campbell, he spent part of his childhood growing up in the countryside and got his first taste of music by singing in church choirs, before returning to Kingston, where he started performing in a rock & roll dance troupe at a local club.

A talented boxer and all round tough guy, he got the nickname Prince Buster due to his lethal left hand punch and met Coxsone Dodd when the DJ required some muscle to scare off a rival. It led to him working on Dodd's sound system and in his record shop and he developed a keen ear for the American R&B hits popular at the time. By 1961 Buster had started his own sound system named Voice of the People, but, unable to gain entry into the US in order to buy the latest records, he recruited local musicians to imitate the R&B sounds. With Buster at the controls experimenting with a jumping, shuffling rhythm, some of the first ska records were born, including 'Oh Carolina' by the Folkes Brothers, 'Humpty Dumpty' by Eric Monty Morris and 'Warpaint Baby' by Boris Gabbidon.

When ska reached Britain in the mid-60s via the Blue Beat label, his own singles 'Madness', 'Al Capone' and 'Hard Man Fe Dead' captured the rude boy swagger and became classics of the genre. By slowing down the rhythms, he created more soulful, romantic grooves on tracks like 'Judge Dread', 'Shaking Up Orange Street' and 'Take It Easy' and thus came to the forefront of the new rocksteady sound. But, after being inspired to convert to Islam by Muhammad Ali, he struggled to connect with the roots reggae music and Rastafari culture which became prominent through the '70s. Back in Britain, the 2Tone movement was hugely influenced by Buster, and bands like The Specials and Madness had hits with his songs 'Enjoy Yourself' and 'One Step Beyond'. Yet, despite occasionally performing with The Skatalites and appearing in the film 'The Harder They Come' with Jimmy Cliff, he didn't record again until 1992. He died at home in Miami, Florida, USA in 2016, aged 78, after suffering with strokes and heart problems.