On October 16th, Greensleeves, in conjunction with One Love Books, released Clarks in Jamaica, the album companion to DJ Al Fingers’ critically acclaimed book of the same name. The book, which was originally released in 2012, was inspired by the iconic footwear brand’s role in Jamaican culture and chronicles the celebrated status of Clarks shoes in Jamaica.
Founded in the 19th century by a pair of Quaker brothers and long considered a symbol of working class Englishmen, the status that Clarks represented was viewed much differently just an ocean away, as they became an icon of luxury for Jamaican youth in the 1960s. Odds are that compilation albums and footwear aren’t something you’d think of as belonging together, but that’s exactly what DJ Al Fingers has done with his Clarks in Jamaica project.
“Growing up in England I’ve always been fascinated by the Jamaican love of Clarks shoes and the way the brand is referenced within reggae and dancehall music,” says Fingers. “Vybz Kartel’s tune ‘Clarks’ brought the phenomenon to many people’s attention in 2010, but the relationship goes back a lot longer, and I wanted to bring attention to that, highlighting the work of artists such as Dillinger and Little John who sang about Clarks many years before.”
Oddly enough, Clarks stopped selling on the island in 1973 after Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley imposed a ban on foreign shoe imports. Despite the ban, Clarks remained in high demand, which led musicians who traveled to Britain to become distributors when they returned home with containers full of the beloved shoes. The fascination with Clarks stems from the ban, and continues to this day.
The compilation, which is available on CD, Vinyl and Digital Download, contains over twenty-one songs that either reference or pay homage to the iconic shoe brand. Click HERE to purchase the compilation that’s been wearing out the soles of Clarks shoes in dance floors all over Jamaica.
CD Track List:
1.) Little John – Clarks Booty
2.) Richie Davis – Lean Boot
3.) Trinity – Clarks Booty Skank
4.) Dillinger – CB 200
5.) Laurel Hardy – Dangerous Shoes
6.) Ranking Joe – Clarks Booty Style
7.) Super Cat – Trash Ready
8.) Little John – Brandy
9.) Scorcher – Put On Me Clarks
10.) Early B – Pedestrian
11.) Culture – She Want Money
12.) Robert French – Rebel Girl
13.) Josey Wales – Love I Want
14.) Papa Dimes – Thru Me
15.) Little John – Joycie Gone
16.) Billy Boyo – Going Back To School
17.) Eek-A-Mouse – Wa-Do-Dem
18.) Little Harry – Leggo Mi Queen
19.) Papa Michigan General Smiley – The Ghetto Man
20.) Nicodemus – Tubby’s Daddy
21.) Michael Palmer – No More Lean Boot
Article By: Andrew Aroche
Watch: Major Stitch the Rudeboys – The story of the Clarks Desert Boot
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Article source: http://www.thepier.org/clarks-in-jamaica-reggae-compilation/