Double Barrel

Album: Double Barrel (1971)
Charted: 1 22

Songfacts®:

  • "Double Barrel" began life as an instrumental written by producer Winston Riley and worked up by organist Ansell Collins. Young drummer Sly Dunbar, who was only 14 at the time, provided metronomic high hat beats.
  • Allegedly vocalist Dave Barker was only paid a paltry 20 pounds by Winston Riley to add his toast to the instrumental. While Barker was happy with that, the resulting single bought Riley a record shop on Kingston's famed Orange Street and a UK licensing deal with Trojan Records.
  • There was confusion at the time of the hit in Britain about how to spell Ansil's name - he was billed as Ansil on the hit single but solo he records as Ansell.
  • Ansell Collins was also for a time the keyboardist for Jimmy Cliff's band. Sly Dunbar later teamed up with bass player Robbie Shakespeare and recorded two Top 20 UK hits as Sly and Robbie. The duo also successfully produced several hits for Chaka Demus & Pliers including a UK #1 in 1993, a reggae cover of the Isley Brothers' "Twist And Shout." They are arguably the most prolific recording artists ever, having according to allmusic.com played on or produced close to 200,000 songs.
  • As well as being a popular reggae record, this was also a skinhead anthem.
  • This was sampled on Chaka Demus & Pliers 1994 UK Top 20 single "Gal Wine."

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