Pressure Drop

Album: Monkey Man (1970)

Songfacts®:

  • First recorded in 1969 with producer Leslie Kong, this song was included on the 1970 Monkey Man album (brought to the UK by the famous Trojan Records label) and became popular around the world when it was included on the soundtrack to the popular 1972 movie The Harder They Come.
  • The group's frontman Toots Hibbert wrote this song. It's a very repetitive, danceable song, but it carries a sincere sentiment. Hibbert felt that his home country of Jamaica, and especially Jamaican musicians, were under a lot of pressure, as it was very hard for them to make a decent living.
  • "Pressure Drop" is a phrase that Toots used to say, meaning if you do bad things to innocent people, then bad things will happen to you. He explained to Uncut: "Somebody was supposed to pay us our first £1,000 or £2,000 but we never get it. I wrote this song which, instead of trying to fight this person or do him any harm, it said, pressure going to drop on you. But he knew I was talking to him."
  • One of the most popular reggae songs around, "Pressure Drop" has been covered by a number of bands, most popularly the UK punk band The Clash as a follow-up to their cover of Junior Murvin's "Police And Thieves." It started as a live cover on The Clash's White Riot tour in 1977, and a few attempts at recording it in studio were unsuccessful before finally the finished cover was completed at Marquee Studios in March 1978, in the same sessions that would produce fellow B-Sides "1-2 Crush on You" and "The Prisoner." The final recording is strong but hampered by Joe Strummer's sore throat, which is partially evident on the hoarse vocal track.
  • This became a very popular song to cover amongst UK ska bands - The Selector and The Specials both recorded versions. Other covers include versions by Robert Palmer, Guns N' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin, Too Hectic and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.
  • Media appearances for this song include the films 50 First Dates and This Is England, and the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, where it is featured on the in-game radio station K-Jah West, a reggae station.
  • This was used in a 2019 Coors Light commercial where a woman unwinds after a stressful day. The tagline: "The Official Beer of Being Done Wearing a Bra."

Comments: 1

  • Jay from London I believe that my interpretation of ‘Pressure Drop’ the song by the Toots And The Maytals is the one and only correct interpretation: This song is about bad karma coming back at wrong-doers, for their bad deeds.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

00s Music Quiz 1

00s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

Do you know the girl singer on Eminem's "Stan"? If so, this quiz is for you.

Matt Sorum

Matt SorumSongwriter Interviews

When he joined Guns N' Roses in 1990, Matt helped them craft an orchestral sound; his mezzo fortes and pianissimos are all over "November Rain."

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)Songwriter Interviews

Before "Rap" was a form of music, it was something guys did to pick up girls in nightclubs. Donnie talks about "The Rapper" and reveals the identity of Leah.

Alan Merrill of The Arrows

Alan Merrill of The ArrowsSongwriter Interviews

In her days with The Runaways, Joan Jett saw The Arrows perform "I Love Rock And Roll," which Alan Merrill co-wrote - that story and much more from this glam rock pioneer.

Tom Keifer of Cinderella

Tom Keifer of CinderellaSongwriter Interviews

Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.

Judas Priest

Judas PriestSongwriter Interviews

Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton talk twin guitar harmonies and explain how they create songs in Judas Priest.