Taking a turn from the corny to the downright creepy... aurally that is. With church bell tolling and a minister preparing for interment we are graveside for the next tune in our Spooktacular. But is the poor soul lying still and cold in his coffin ready to be laid to rest? You'll have to listen to today's chapter to discover the fate of the "deceased."
While we've got that macabre scene playing out in the background we're then treated to the odd juxtaposition of a seemingly upbeat ska number called "Reburial" by the Skatalites. It comes from a 1998 CD release of ska era tracks produced by the relatively unknown Justin Yap called Ska Boo-Da-Ba: Top Sounds From Top Deck, Vol. 3 on the WestSide label. I read elsewhere that unlike Duke Reid or Coxsone Dodd, Yap gave the Skatalites enough time and money to let them get creative and really hone their craft. The same source went on to say that Justin Yap freely allowed ganja smoking in house therefore making the musicians content... but I digress.
Before I used the term "seemingly" when describing "Reburial" because though it has that quick tempo ska trademark it's lacking in a light-hearted melody that many perceive is also mandatory. "Reburial" has a bit of a sinister, uneasy side courtesy of the horn section lead by the legendary Don Drummond. To me the horns just seem to add an urgency that makes the title of the track make complete sense. It's a race against time as the coffin's occupant tries to free himself from his entombment... but wait... I'm giving away the ending to the little spooky yarn I began weaving at the top of the post. Oh well, you probably already knew the fate of the deceased from the get-go. Besides it's getting closer to Halloween would you expect anything less?
I have always had a fear of being buried alive and I know my phobia can be owed to the aforementioned Halloween Sounds Of Terror record I had as a kid. I used the kiddie album's "Buried Alive" track last October to accompany the Aggrolites "Grave Digger" and of all the vignettes on the LP that one always scared me the most. Thanks go out to the seemingly innocent Pickwick Records and their horrific "child friendly" album for scarring me for life! Good job fellas!
Oh I wanted to mention... the artwork for this post is by Harry Clarke (1889-1931) and was originally published in 1916 and appeared alongside the Edgar Allen Poe short story "Premature Burial" in a 1919 book called Tales Of Mystery And Imagination. Frightening stuff!