Dandy – Rock Steady With Dandy

by Nov 18, 2023Artist, Reviews

Dandy - Rock Steady With Dandy

Release Info

Doctor Bird/Cherry Red Records
Street date
November 17, 2023
Website Record Label


1 Keep Them Fretting
2 Got You On My Mind
3 Soul Power
4 Sock It To Me
5 People Do Rock Steady Let’s Do Rock Steady
6 Rhythm Of The Rain
7 Rude With Me
8 Play It Cool
9 Turn Your Wheel
10 My Wonderful One
11 Turn On Your Lovelight
12 You’re No Hustler
Bonus tracks
13 The Operation
14 A Little More Ska
15 The Fight
16 Do You Know
17 One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer
18 Maximum Pressure
19 Rudy A Message To You
20 Till Death Do Us Part

1 My Time Now
2 East Of Suez
3 Puppet On A String
4 Have Your Fun
5 We Are Still Rude
6 Somewhere My Love
7 My Kind Of Love
8 There Is A Mountain
9 This Music Got Soul
10 I’m The Mood
11 That’s How Strong My Love Is
12 Trouble In The Town
13 Charlie Brown
14 Ain’t That A Shame
15 Do It Right Now
16 Propagandist
17 The Giant March
18 Sweet Ride
19 Up The Hill
20 Tears On My Pillow
21 Mad Them
22 I’m Back With A Bang Bang
23 Jungle Walk

Unavailable on any format for 56 years this 2 CD collection comes from a Rock Steady legend, Dandy real name Robert Thompson. Dandy had notable success with Tito Simon recording a series of Ska Singles, as the duo Sugar & Dandy around 1964. Thompson decided to go solo recording for Emil Shallits Melodisc Records before moving to Rita and Benny’s King’s R&B Records. From this move came ‘Rudy A Message To You’ and ‘Let’s Do Rock Steady’ covered later by Two-Tone outfits The Specials/Bodysnatchers. Due to Thompson’s popularity on the UK Jamaican music scene this, his debut album ‘Rock Steady With Dandy’ was released on the R&B subsidiary, Giant in 1967. This collection includes another 32 recordings recorded for R&B before Thompson moved to Trojan Records in 1968.


1. KEEP THEM FRETTING. Starting with a ‘Here Comes The Bride’ short intro it moves into a punchy slice of Rock Steady. There is some percussion on the rhythm track. Dandy at his best on vocal. Released in UK on Giant label 1967. 2. GOT YOU ON MY MIND. This is a faster number again with a punchy rhythm track. Some percussion is present with further vocalists and we end up with a catchy slice of Rock Steady. 3. SOUL POWER. Strange track in as much as it is an instrumental track. Not sure where Dandy fits in but it is a 2min 40secs catchy number. 4. SOCK IT TO ME. This is a top Rock Steady number with the expected heavy bass on a mid-tempo rhythm track. Dandy is joined by further vocalists at various times. The percussion work is very good. 5. PEOPLE DO ROCK STEADY LET’D DO ROCK STEADY. This comes as a slower number with Dandy vocalising about doing the Rock Steady dance. More fine percussion work on a fine track. 6. RHYTHM OF THE RAIN. Very short rain sound intro on a version of an original by The Cascades back in the ’60s. The rain sounds return at times throughout. Not the best version of an original. 7. RUDE WITH ME. Comes with prominent piano and the rhythm is mid-tempo. Dandy is joined by further vocalists and the bass guitar is heard way back on the rhythm track. 8. PLAY IT COOL. This is a full-on slice of Rock Steady on which the vocals are shared. Nothing special about the backing but the overall sound is very catchy. Released in UK on Columbia label 1969. The rhythm track contains some percussion and this ends up as a laid-back number. 9. TURN YOUR WHEEL. A faster sound on which Dandy is again helped-out on the vocal. The bass is more prominent and percussion comes in from time-to-time. 11. TURN ON YOUR LOVELIGHT. The original was by Bobby Blue Bland way back and this mid-tempo version comes with a fine vocal from Dandy. 12. YOU’RE NO HUSTLER. A faster number on which the rhythm track is dominated by drumming, The vocal is clear and full-on with further vocalists coming in from time-to-time. Released in UK on Ska Beat label 1967.
BONUS TRACKS (A Selection)
13. THE OPERATION. This is a fast number that has some combined vocals. The percussion work is spot-on and along with Dandy’s vocalising it is a feel-good sound. Released in UK on Dice label in 1966. 14. A LITTLE MORE SKA. This is again a fast number that comes with a familiar backing track, not sure where from. This is a fun recording and has fine percussion work on a sound that makes on feel good. Released in UK on Dice label in 1966. 17. ONE SCOTCH, ONE BOURBON, ONE BEER. This comes more as a Blue Beat sound rather than Rock Steady. The tempo is slow with a clear vocal from Dandy, no vocal help this time. The backing is very good and overall it ends up as another fun, toe-tapping recording. Released in UK on Ska Beat label in 1967. 19, RUDY A MESSAGE TO YOU. You will most probably be familiar with this track as it has become an iconic Jamaican sound over the years. It has a punchy rhythm track and the percussion work is top-rated. The two-Tone outfit The Specials had a UK hit with this and although good this remains the better recording. Released in UK on Ska Beat label in 1967. 20. TILL DEATH DO US PART. This has nothing to do with the TV programme of the same name and again it comes as an instrumental number with Ska tones and a mid-tempo rhythm. More good percussion work and some whoop sounds usually associated with the Ska sound. Instrumental it may be but deserves its place on this disc.


3. PUPPET ON A STRING. If you remember the Sandie Shaw UK hit you will know the song. This is obviously a version on which Dandy gives a full-on vocal over a punchy backing that is very plain in make-up. Not really one of the best Jamaican music genre covers. Released in UK on Giant label in 1967. 7. MY KIND OF LOVE. Another instrumental sound, this time laid-back with classic percussion. Nothing special about this just easy on the ear Rock Steady. Released in UK on Giant label in 1967. 8. THERE IS A MOUNTAIN. Somewhere in my Jamaican music collection I have a 7″ single of this and have always enjoyed putting it onto the turntable. No doubt the song will be remembered as a hit for Donovan back in the ’60s and this comes as a competent version. The rhythm track is mid-tempo and comes with a flute sound on the backing that is punchy. Released in UK on Giant label in 1967. 9. THIS MUSIC GOT SOUL. Not really an instrumental as some vocalists do raise their heads from time-to-time. This is mid-tempo and punchy with some percussion to be heard. Another version by Hopeton Lewis was recorded in 1966. 12. TROUBLE IN TOWN. This has more of a Ska sound rather than Rock Steady and comes mid-tempo. Dandy is helped-out on the vocals in front of some fine percussion. The rhythm track is punchy and overall it is a good track. 16. PROPAGANDIST. A slower intro to this mid-tempo number on which the vocals are shared throughout. True Rock Steady this recording with the usual riffs on Rock Steady backings. Good punchy sound with an uncluttered rhythm track. Released in UK on Giant label in 1968. 20. TEARS ON MY PILLOW. Not the Johnny Nash recorded song, it comes mid-tempo and punchy. The vocals are shared and the Rock Steady rhythm is prominent. On the original 7″ single the credits go to Dandy & The Superboys, not sure where Dandy is. The overall sound is pleasing enough, although not one of the best tracks on the collection. 23. JUNGLE WALK. Dandy is back with The Superboys on this track that starts with a few spoken words before moving into a faster moving sound. The vocals are not sung but spoken and made to sound like a crowd. The rhythm track is surprisingly catchy and the track finishes this disc. Released in UK on Giant label and Common Ground International label in 1968.

In summing up this collection it is good to get the original versions of two iconic recordings, ‘Rudy A Message To You’ and ‘Let’s Do Rock Steady’. One has to say that half a decade since the original vinyl album is a long time to wait for it to be put onto the CD format and we have to thank the staff at Cherry Red Records for doing just that. With this being put onto this format it gives music fans the chance to get hold of the original album tracks as the album is probably not available to purchase anywhere. It also gives the chance to obtain further Dandy recordings, As with all Cherry Red releases it comes with an informative eight-page booklet and at £14 99p it could become part of one’s music collection.

Rudy, A Message To You

There Is A Mountain

East Of Suez


Where to get it


More Doctor Bird/Cherry Red Music