Footnote Archives: Judge Dread an unlikely reggae hero

By the early 1970s, the popularity of reggae had reached epic proportions in Britain. Buoyed less by the country?s generation-old Jamaican immigrant population than by the music?s popularity with the burgeoning Skinhead culture, reggae was both distinctly working class, and profoundly classless. Massive hits by Dave and Ansel Collins, Greyhound, and Bob & Marcia were as familiar in the kitchens of suburbia as the dancehalls of the cities, while the now legendary Tighten Up series of reggae compilations was as avidly purchased by bank clerks as by ?Bovver Boys.?Judge-use.jpg

It was into this climate of widespread acceptance that reggae?s capacity for earthiness exploded. In 1969, Max Romeo scored his only British hit with ?Wet Dream,? a humorous novelty whose impact was only heightened by Romeo?s own defense of the song?s subject matter.

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