The debut album by the Stubborn All-Stars is head and shoulders above most American ska, thanks to the band's solid grasp of old-fashioned Jamaican ska and bandleader Jeff "King Django" Baker's ability to write great new songs and instrumentals in that old vein ("Laffinatcha," "Rich Morrissey").
There's an unfortunate nasty streak apparent on tracks like "Foolish You" ("I don't need you/I'm using you/I don't love you") and "Laffinatcha," but "Rise to Find You" is genuinely tender, and the instrumentals are all absolutely first-rate. Best of all is "Judge Knotte," a hilarious takeoff on the spoken-word courtroom sketches favored in the old days by Prince Buster and Lee Perry. There's a historical significance to this album, as well: on the title track, a classic lyrical throwdown in the tradition of the great deejay rivalries of late-1960s Kingston, Django issues a blanket challenge to all of his peers. The California-based ska band Hepcat answered later in the year with "Open Season...Is Closed," to which Django subsequently responded with "Hepcat Season." The Stubborn All-Stars' second album (Back with a New Batch) is better, but this one's very good.
|Tin Spam / J. Baker||Stubborn All-Stars||3:56|
|Rich Morrissey / J. Baker||Stubborn All-Stars||3:59|
|Rise to Find You / J. Baker||Stubborn All-Stars||4:28|
|Foolish You / J. Baker / El Husey||Stubborn All-Stars||4:10|
|Look Away / Jeff Baker||Stubborn All-Stars||3:16|
|Open Season / J. Baker||Stubborn All-Stars||5:09|
|Friend / J. Baker / Erkin Husey||Stubborn All-Stars||3:44|
|Laffinatcha / J. Baker||Stubborn All-Stars||4:05|
|Catch That Train / J. Baker / John Mayall||Stubborn All-Stars||2:25|
|Judge Knotte (Lets Ye Be Judged) / J. Baker||Stubborn All-Stars||5:05|
|Roland Meets Richie / J. Baker||Stubborn All-Stars||3:59|
|Lieutenant / J. Baker||Stubborn All-Stars||6:47|