On My Radio

The Selecter

1997: Snapper Music/Recall SMD CD 138

    Disc One

  1. Madness [Single Mix]
  2. On My Radio [91 Single]
  3. The Selecter
  4. Missing Words
  5. Three Minute Hero
  6. Sweet and Dandy
  7. Sugar Town
  8. Too Much Pressure ’96
  9. Coming Up
  10. I Can See Clearly Now
  11. Die Happy [Live]
  12. Hairspray [Live]
  13. On My Radio [Rad Mix]
  14. Madness [Tuff Mix]

    Disc Two

  1. Madness (Feat. Prince Buster) [Live]
  2. Rough Rider (feat. Prince Buster) [Live]
  3. James Bond [Live]
  4. Train to Skaville [Live]
  5. Orange Street [Live]
  6. Sweet Dreams [Live]
  7. Celebrate the Bullet [Live]
  8. Washed Up & Left for Dead [Live]
  9. Out on the Streets [Live]
  10. Carry Go Bring Come [Live]
  11. Murder [Live]
  12. My Collie Not a Dog [Live]
  13. I Want Justice [Live]
  14. Copasetic [Live]
  15. Reggae Beat [Live]

That “On My Radio” didn’t reach my ears until 2006 was bad enough, but that I missed its reincarnation in 1991 (and this CD’s release in 1997) is exasperating. The Selecter have been active and creative, and I’d no clue of their existence.

I only found out about the 1991 version of “On My Radio” (which is essentially the same arrangement and tempo as the original, but more robustly equipped and therefore punchier) when I was doing searches on YouTube.com for long-lost music videos from decades past (it’s the only part of YouTube that interests me). The video for the latter version was there, and it was FUN—and I’d have to concur with the viewer who commented that Pauline Black is “sex on a stick” in this video, as she was indeed lookin’ FINE.

She also delivers a nice range of vocal styles arrayed across an equally diverse assortment of songs, not all of which are ska. Their cover of “I Can See Clearly Now” is completely unlike anything else on the album, and it’s damned catchy. Disc Two is all live performances, and these are faster and more frantic than the studio stuff, which makes for a completely different listening experience…you don’t just swan from the first disc to the second, you need to take them in separate doses.

My one gripe about the CD is that it has no credits or information about the recordings! No personnel lists, no context, just song titles and songwriters’ last names. Unfortunate.