Have You Heard? – (22) How the Clash and the SOS Band, via Beats International, led to Professor Green

A journey through sound…

Still on that Clash reggae trip  – another of the great tracks off “London Calling” is The Guns of Brixton.

A bit of Clash bravado, but Paul Simenon contributes a menacing vocal and the bass line is just one of the best. So good it led to….

But not just yet.

First, in the 80s soul/dance sphere, one of the great tracks was Just Be Good to Me by the SOS Band. From 1983, produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, no less.

The twelve inch single version ran to nearly ten minutes.  I’ve included a shorter version here.  It’s almost rock, with the strident rhythms, the chorus – and the cover! But the voice – Mary Davis – is pure soul. It was a disco anthem.

Norman Cook, ace DJ, Fat Boy Slim, took the bass line from “Guns Of Brixton”, the melody from “Just be Good To Me”, threw in a bit of his own dub and rap, and some Ennio Morricone western sounds and came up with the brilliant single Dub Be Good to Me, in 1990, under the name of Beats International. Lindy Layton on vocals. I bought the twelve inch and loved it then, and I love it now!

And then, twenty-odd years later, London rapper and soulboy, Professor Green, took inspiration from “Dub Be Good To Me”, and maybe all three songs, and gave us Just Be Good to Green. Lily Allen on vocals.

The culmination of our journey and a recent hit, so let’s watch the video too.

Four fantastic tunes, one symphony of reggae, rap, soul, dance and pop, spanning 32 years.


About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. I’ve written a novel called “The Decision”, a futuristic political thriller, and first of a trilogy. I’m also the author of a book on music since the 1970s called “ I Was There - A Musical Journey” and a volume of poetry about youth, “Growin’ Up - Snapshots/ Fragments”. All available on Amazon and Kindle.
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6 Responses to Have You Heard? – (22) How the Clash and the SOS Band, via Beats International, led to Professor Green

  1. surroundedbyimbeciles says:

    This is good stuff.

  2. javaj240 says:

    What a great journey! Fusion is right!

    • John S says:

      Thanks! I guess it’s Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim who desreves the credit for spotting how Guns Of Brixton and Just be Good To Me worked so well together.

  3. starlaschat says:

    I enjoyed the first music link. I tried the larger video link the one called Just be good, but it said it was unavailble in my country. I think I can listen to it over at YouTube.

    • John S says:

      Sorry you couldn’t access the video. It’s just a link to YouTube so I’m surprised. But I hope you could hear all four songs by clicking on the titles. Thank you for visiting!

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