THIS IS ENGLAND from MODS to SKA

By SAMMY BLOUNT, translation by CORALINE CHUANG

 

For this issue 15, Revver had the opportunity to collaborate with the well-known English brand Fred Perry. Famous for their laurel wreath tennis shirt, Fred Perry has been associated with various British sub-culture movements since the early 1960’s. The most famous of these youth movements were Mods, short for Modernists, and Skinheads (obviously not the ones still thinking the third Reich was the greatest period in history, but we will come back to that). These subcultures were very much centred around music, fashion, friend gathering, dancing, riding Italian scooters and eventually having a good fight with the rival bands during Saturday night parties. The Mods appeared first, in the early sixties. They would go mad about bespoke suits, customised Vespa or Lambretta and of course Afro-American music. In the lines below, Revver is bringing you a sample of what you had to listen to in 1964 or 1968 to be a “Swinging London” cool kid.

第15期的Revver, 我們有榮幸與著名的英國品牌弗雷德·佩里(Fred Perry)合作。他們以月桂花環網球衫聞名,弗雷德·佩里自1960年代初以來一直與各種英國的次文化(又稱亞文化或非主流文化)有關。在這些青年運動中最有名的屬於摩斯族(Mods),它是Modernists(現代主義者)的縮寫,以及光頭黨(Skinheads)(當然,現在要說的,並不是有些人所想的第三大德意志帝國才應該是那段歷史中最輝煌的代表人物,但這點我們稍後再回過頭來探討。) 這些次文化幾乎集中於音樂,時尚,三五好友聚會,舞廳,以及騎著他們的義大利速可達, 然後並在星期六的夜晚派對上與敵對的樂團打一場瘋狂的群架。摩斯族在60年代初期首次出現。他們會為訂製西裝,訂製的偉士牌(Vespa)或蘭美達(Lambretta)而瘋狂, 當然還有美國黑人音樂。在下面的介紹中, Revver將為你提供音樂時光機回到1964或1968年間你必須聽的音樂, 讓你成為一位”搖擺倫敦”酷孩子。

Muddy Waters – I live the life I love and I love the life I live

I choose to start with this song for several reasons. First of all, Muddy Waters is one of the most acclaimed bluesman of all time and everyone knows that when it comes to Afro-American music, all of it more or less started with some blues. In the early sixties, Muddy Water was very famous among Mods and young English in general. But more important, this song talks about what essentially made the Mods what they were, working class teenagers willing to enjoy and express themselves no matter what society thought of them. This is pretty much the message Muddy and his guitar give here. It is worth mentioning the great influence French existentialists, like Sartre and the American Beatnik culture had on Mods. They even made this song theirs when Georgie Fame, a famous pianist who played in the trendiest Soho clubs like “The Flamingo” or the “Whiskey-A-Go-Go”, recorded a cover of it. Although “cooler” than the original blues version, it remains a classic.

馬迪·沃特斯 – I Love The Life I Live, I Live The Life I Love

我選擇這首歌做為開始有幾個原因。首先, 馬迪·沃特斯是有史以來最受讚譽的藍調歌手之一, 當談到非裔美國人的音樂時大家都會知道他的名字, 所有的一切或多或少都是從藍調開始的。在60年代初, 馬迪·沃特斯在摩斯族以及年輕的英國青年間非常受矚目。但更重要的是, 這首歌談論的即是摩斯族他們的本質是什麼,不管社會階層對於他們的看法,這些工人階級的青年族群願意去享受以及表達他們自己。這幾乎就是馬迪以及他的吉他所給予當時的感受。值得一提的是,這時法國存在主義者的影響力很大, 像是薩特(Sartre)和美國的比特尼克(Beatnik)文化同樣反映在摩斯族身上。這首歌甚至曾被一位著名的鋼琴演奏家喬治·費姆所演奏,像是當時時尚潮流的Soho俱樂部” The Flamingo”或是” Whiskey-A-Go-Go”, 將這首歌從新錄製並且翻唱。雖然它比原來的藍調版本聽來”舒緩”了些許, 但它然然是一個經典。

Wendy Rene – After Laughter

If you are in pain, if your girl left you or if you are just a bit down, just listen to Rene crying her tears and you’ll definitively feel better. Surely this song feels super sad, but it is a pure beauty. Something that only a Memphis artist could do. No Motown tune can ever make your soul feeling this way. This song is soul, with a capital S. The single was released on Volt label, owned by Staxx Record, in 1964 and it is one of the few recorded by Wendy Rene. After being forgotten for some time, it was re-discovered thanks to the Wu-Tang Clan who sampled it on Tearz for their “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” album.

Wendy Rene – After Laughter

如果你正痛苦不堪, 如果你的女人走了或者你只是心情有點憂鬱,去聽聽Rene以眼淚娓娓道來的聲音, 你絕對會感覺好一點,一切其實沒這麼糟糕。當然這首歌聽起來超肝腸寸斷地,但這是一種純粹的美。這樣的演出只有孟菲斯(Memphis)的藝術家才做得到。沒有任何一個摩城唱片(Motown)底下的調子可以唱出這種層次的靈魂。這首歌就是靈魂本身,超脫靈魂。該首單曲由Volt廠牌發行,錄製及擁有權歸Staxx Record所有, 它是少數幾首在1964年由Wendy Rene所演唱的歌曲。在它被遺忘了一段時間後又被重新發掘,這要感謝武當幫(Wu-Tang Clan)他們選了這首歌來當他們自己曲目Tearz裡面的樣本,收錄在專輯” Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)”裡面。

Darrell Banks – Open the doors to your heart

If there was one song to keep, it would be this one. This gem from 1966 was recorded on the Revilot label and written by Donnie Elbert and Darrell Banks. Just the album cover showing mister Darrell Banks in a flashy double breasted orange suit with a purple tie makes this record a classic. But the real stuff begins when the brasses start, giving this amazing tempo to the song, followed by Darrell’s voice begging his woman to open the door to her heart. If you don’t believe me this is the greatest song, think about this: according to the Independent, an English record collector paid more than 14,000£ for a very rare copy of the original record. That’s what you need to spend when you want the very best.

達雷爾·班克斯 – Open the doors to your heart

如果有一首歌永流傳,絕對就是這首。1966年這顆寶石的誕生是在音樂廠牌Revilot label底下所錄製,由Donnie Elbert和達雷爾·班克斯所撰寫。僅僅是看著唱片封面, 達雷爾·班克斯先生穿著一件華麗的雙排釦橙色西裝加上紫色領帶,它就能讓這張唱片入選經典。但當真正的靈魂響起時就是那黃銅敲擊的聲音,它賦予這首歌完美的節奏, 接著達雷爾的聲音跟隨著節奏,乞求它的女人為他打開她的心房。如果你還不相信我這首歌的傳奇,想想看, 據獨立報(Independent)報社所報導,一位英國唱片收藏家,他支付了超過14,000英鎊的非常紀錄來取得這張罕見的唱片副本。這就是當你想要最棒的東西時所要花費的代價。

Toots and the Maytals – 54-46 (That’s My Number)

Besides the Afro-American music, Jamaican music was also very popular among British teenager in the 60‘s. However the Kingston vibes came to England slightly later than the US music. Jamaica became independent from the UK in 1962 and Jamaican immigrants started to arrive to England in the years after. Of course they brought their music with them and it soon become a must at every all night parties. The first type of music to become popular among Mods was the Ska. This famous tune from Toots and the Maytals is a very fine example of how you could move a crowd of youngsters on a 1966 Saturday night in Liverpool or Manchester. In the late sixties, Mods evolved and eventually became Skinheads. The Skinheads listened to Ska, loved wearing checked shirts and Doc Martens shoes and go to football game on Saturdays. Let’s clarify something here. Skinheads are mostly known in the public’s eye as violent neo-Nazi. This exists of course, but appeared much later around the beginning of the 80’s with Ian Curtis and his sadly famous band Screwdriver. The original mods and skinheads were surely violent working-class kids but neo-Nazi certainly not. Coming back to Toots, this song was first released in 1968 and features the same riddim as “Train to Skaville” by the Ethiopians. Freddie “Toots”Hibbert wrote this song following his arrest for marijuana. He spent 16 months in jail between 1966 and 1967.

土司與梅托樂團 – 54-46 (That’s My Number)

除了非裔美國人的音樂,在60年代牙買加音樂當時也很受英國青少年的歡迎。不過金斯頓(Kingston)的氛圍稍晚於美國音樂浪潮的抵達。牙買加在1962年從英國獨立出來,牙買加的移民群在幾年後開始抵達英國。當然他們帶著他們自己的音樂,並且它很快的成為每個派對夜晚必備的主場樂。在摩斯族中第一種開始流行的音樂是斯卡曲風(Ska)。這首土司與梅托樂團的著名曲是一個很好的例子,它帶動了那些在1966年居住在利物浦(Liverpool)或曼徹斯特(Manchester)夜晚派對的青少年們。在60年代末期,摩斯族(Mods)最終進化演變成為了光頭黨(Skinheads)。光頭黨聽著斯卡曲風的音樂,他們喜歡穿著格子襯衫以及馬丁鞋, 並在星期六一起去看場足球比賽。讓我們在這裡澄清一件事。光頭黨在大眾眼中他們一般被看作是新納粹的暴力族群。這些當然是存在的,但這情況是在比較晚期之後大約是80年代初期才開始慢慢顯現, 當時伴隨著伊恩·柯蒂斯以及他悲劇性的樂團”歡樂分隊Joy Division”(註:起初團名叫螺絲起子Screwdriver)。最原始的摩斯族跟光頭黨他們肯定是暴力的工人階級的孩子,但他們絕對不是新納粹。讓我們回到土司與梅托樂團吧, 這首歌首次發行於1968年, 並且具有埃塞俄比亞人“火車到斯卡維爾(Train to Skaville)”相同的韻律。Frederick „Toots“ Hibbert在他因大麻入獄期間寫了這首歌。在1966年至1967年期間他總共被監禁了16個月。

Laurel Aitken – Skinhead Train

I choose this song because it is one of the most famous skinhead ska tunes of the late sixties. The singer Laurel Aitken was half-Jamaican, half-Cuban. He moved to the UK in the early 60’s and became known as the “Godfather of Ska”. His music had great success in the West Indies community but also among the Mods and Skinheads. Later in the 70’s, Laurel Aitken was one of biggest influence of the 2-tones movement, which features bands such as The Specials or The Selecter.

Laurel Aitken – Skinhead Train

我選擇這首歌因為在60年代末期它是光頭黨裡面最有名之一的斯卡曲風格之一。主唱Laurel Aitken他是半個牙買加人,半個古巴人。他在60年代初期搬到了英國, 從此變成家喻戶曉的”斯卡曲教父”。他的音樂在西印度群島獲得了很大的成功,但在70年代後期也在摩斯族跟光頭黨間獲得了迴響跟喜愛, Laurel Aitken 他是音樂類型2-tones 運動中最具指標性及影響力的代表人物之一, 其中包括了樂團像是” The Specials”或者” The Selecter”皆受他啟發。

To finish this brief introduction to Mods and Skinhead music, I just have a couple of things to add. First, the music production at the time was so important both in quantity and quality that you have to make choices. If you ask fans of the period which song they would pick as their favourite or most representative, you would probably get as many different answers as people asked. The list of artists and songs is endless. I also wanted to highlight that I deliberately chose only “black” artists, even tough some “white” band made very good song as well. Everybody knows the Rolling Stones, but I could have mentioned The Kinks, The Who, The Creations or The Small Faces. I did not select any of their songs because I think the essence of Mods and Skinhead music lies in US Jazz, Soul and R&B and Jamaician Ska and Rocksteady. “My Generation” is a great tune, but “Mannish Boy” or “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” belongs to a different category, simply the best one.

在完成這篇關於摩斯族跟光頭黨的音樂簡史之前, 我有幾件事情要補充, 首先, 當時的音樂製作是如此地重要, 在數量以及質量上你必須作出選擇; 如果你問那時代的樂迷他們如果要選擇會選哪一首歌當作他們最喜歡的歌曲或者最具代表性的, 如同人們說的,你可能會得到盡可能不只一種答案。只能說這個藝術家以及歌曲的名單是無止盡的。我也想強調,我故意只選了黑人音樂家創作的音樂,即使一些”白人”的樂團他們也有很厲害的創作。就像大家都知道滾石樂隊(Rolling Stones),而我也可以提及奇想樂團(The Kinks), 何許人合唱團(The Who), The Creations,小臉樂隊(The Small Faces)。我沒有選擇任何他們的創作,因為我認為那年代的摩斯族跟光頭黨他們的文化背景精隨是以美國的爵士樂,靈魂樂,R&B,牙買加斯卡曲風跟搖滾作為基石。” My Generation(譯:我這一代)”是一首很棒的創作, 但“Mannish Boy”或“Sitting on the Dock of the Bay(譯:坐在海邊的港口)”它們屬於另外一個類別, 簡單來說它們是最棒的。