64. THE SPECIALS FEATURING RICO: A Message To You Rudy/ Nite Klub (1979)
Their debut albun would include cover tributes to Jamaican heroes The Maytals and Prince Buster, but this cut was originally made in England by Robert Livingstone Thompson, aka Dandy Livingstone, in 1967. The Specials' version was more low-slung, showing off trombonist Rico Rodriguez, another Kingstonian relocated to Blighty. A monster double-A-side with the stomping Nite Klub, which received less radio airplay,because of its, "beer tastes just like piss" reference.
Availability: The Specials Chrysalis CD 
63. NINA SIMONE: I Love You Porgy/ Love Me Or Leave Me (1959)
The A-side, a sublime reading of the Gershwin standard from Porgy & Bess, was Nina Simone's debut hit, displaying her ability to nail unexpected emotion to the most familiar canvas. But the flip introduced an entirely different performer, a daredevil jazz stylist who dared to capture a 1930s ballad from the repertoires of Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne. In place of their yearning sensitivity, she substituted a swaggering self confidence that transformed the lyric, making her the real mistress of the affair.
Availability: Blue For You: The Very Best Of Nina Simone Global TV CD


Nina Simone is one everybody should own.

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