Double Barrel hits milestone


Double Barrel hits milestone

Observer senior writer

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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IT was reggae with a slice of James Brown funk. Double Barrel, the uptempo song by Dave Barker and Ansell Collins that topped the British national chart in 1971 turns 50 this year.

To celebrate its golden anniversary, Trojan Records has planned a slate of activities in the United Kingdom. Trojan distributed the song in that country.

Caeshia St Paul, the company's marketing manager, told the Jamaica Observer that a special orange-vinyl edition of Double Barrel will be released in March by Dutch company Music On Vinyl. The single, produced by Winston Riley, entered the British chart in March 1971.

It went number one for two weeks in May. Barker, who lives in London, and Kingston-based Collins will also receive the Number One Award from The Official UK Charts Company, an accolade which is presented to artiste(s) who top the British national chart. Barker and Collins did not receive an award 50 years ago.

Double Barrel was the first number one song for Trojan Records, which was launched in London in 1968 by Jamaican Lee Gopthal and Chris Blackwell.

Collins claims to have created the song, which features a teenaged Sly Dunbar on drums and a James Brown-inspired intro by Barker.

Double Barrel opened the floodgates for Trojan. In 1973 the company released John Holt's 1000 Volts of Holt album to great acclaim in the UK; the following year, Trojan had a second number one with Ken Boothe's Everything I Own.

Barker and Collins had a follow-up hit in the UK with Monkey Spanner.

Trojan experienced financial difficulties in the late 1970s and has changed owners several times. It is currently owned by BMG.

Other Double Barrel 50th anniversary activities are:

* brand new visuals for the song, including an animated video;

* a short gif from the above-mentioned video for a Spotify canvas — these visuals will show on all mobile devices when the song is played via Spotify;

* video interview with Dave Barker and Ansell Collins to be shared on all social media platforms;

*audio from this interview will be used for the Trojan Tighten Up Radio Show.

* an infogram in the style of a family tree showing the number of musicians who have sampled Double Barrel — from Kanye West to MF Doom. This visual will portray how influential the track has been for the last 50 years.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




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