U-Roy – “Man Next Door” (Feat. Santigold) (The Paragons Cover)

Andrzej Liguz

U-Roy – “Man Next Door” (Feat. Santigold) (The Paragons Cover)

Andrzej Liguz

In February, the pioneering reggae toaster U-Roy died at the age of 78. Before his death, U-Roy was working on an album called Solid Gold U-Roy. The album was originally set to come out in 2020, with a big tour behind it. It features collaborations with a lot of prominent reggae and reggae-adjacent artists, including Sly & Robbie, Ziggy Marley, Shaggy, Big Youth, Richie Spice, and the Clash’s Mick Jones. The album is now set for release this summer, and the first single has just come out.

For our first taste of Solid Gold U-Roy, we get to hear a new version of the reggae classic “Man Next Door” from U-Roy and Santigold. The reggae legend John Holt wrote that song, originally titled “I’ve Got To Get Away,” for his group the Paragons in 1968, and it’s become a standard in genre. Artists like Dennis Brown, Horace Andy, and the Slits have covered it, and Massive Attack included a version of the song, with Horace Andy on vocals, on their album Mezzanine. U-Roy himself toasted over “Man Next Door” on his 1982 track “Peace And Love In The Ghetto.” For the new version, U-Roy toasts, while Santigold handles the ghostly, sinuous melody. They sound cool together.

In a press release, Santigold says:

It was such an honor to get to work on this project with U-Roy, a true creator. He was a major pioneer in a genre that influenced me so deeply. And it just so happened that the song I was asked to sing, “Man Next Door,” has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. It felt so special to get to sing that song in particular — I knew the harmonies in my body without having to think for a second — and to hear his voice cutting through, driving the rhythm, drawing us all into his world. What a gift that I got a chance to sing on this track with him. He was one of the greats.

Listen to “Man Next Door” and check out the Solid Gold U-Roy tracklist below.

01 “Trenchtown Rock” (Feat. Ziggy Marley)
02 “Man Next Door” (Feat. Santigold)
03 “Rule The Nation” (Feat. Shaggy)
04 “Tom Drunk” (Feat. Tarrus Riley)
05 “Wake The Town”
06 “Stop That Train” (Feat. Rygin King)
07 “Natty Rebel (Natty Rebel)” (Feat. David Hinds)
08 “Queen Majesty (Chalice In The Palace)” (Feat. Robbie Shakespeare)
09 “Small Axe” (Feat. Jesse Royal)
10 “Wear You To The Ball” (Feat. Richie Spice)
11 “Every Knee Shall Bow (Miseducation)” (Feat. Big Youth & Mick Jones)
12 “Miseducation Every Knee Shall Bow (Scientist Dub)”

Solid Gold U-Roy is out 7/16 on Trojan Jamaica/BMG.

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