Yellowman Nobody Move Nobody Get Hurt Review

Released 2004.  

BBC Review

He might have had a potty mouth but you could never accuse the man of poor pronunciation.

Jack Smith 2004

Winston Foster always did stand out from the crowd.Just as any yellow-suited, six-foot albino Jamaican man might. But it was through his lyrical talents (mostly XXX-rated) that Yellowman found fame, and this reissue of a 1984 collection is a welcome reminder of the original slack DJ.

The title track is as good as anything from the era. Built around that classic crowd-pleasing chorus, sampled by US hip hop act Poor Righteous Teachers, the song is in a constant state of improvisation. Bass lines chase Yellow around the room as he lays down the law in a seamlessly easy flow. He might have a potty mouth but you could never accuse the man of poor pronunciation.

Recognition must also be given to producer Henry Junjo Lawes with whom Yellow has been collaborating since 1982. Tracks like "Hill & Gully Rider" and "Wreck A Pum Pum" remain classic examples of the soundsmiths art,Junjo's dial-twisting creating a perfect vacuum for Yellow to strut his stuff. Nothing is smothered and backing band Roots Radics supply a succession of intruiging arrangements.

The lyrics might descend fairly quickly into a series of bawdy sexual exploits but, by today's standards, Yellow sounds pretty tame. At the time Peter Tosh famously condemned him as being anti-women, but truth be told the filth here is more Carry On than top shelf, with the world's female population succumbing helplessly to our hero's gold jewellery, smooth voice, bedroom prowess, etc, etc. This comes to a head on the album's bonus track the 12 mix of "Rub & Go Down" which is essentially 6m 03s of peacocking self-gratification.

Nevertheless, whether spontaneously bursting into Cliff's "Summer Holiday" or bedding yet another lady, Yellow is always engaging. As a performer he commanded attention and respect. Ultimately this makes Nobody Move...that rare sort of album, one that could rock the dance twenty years ago and still can now.

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