Nightdoctor Menelik (original 1981 mix)

  • 1. Menelik (original 1981 mix)
  • 2. Menelik (Original 1981 Unreleased Alternative Mix)
  • 3. Menelik (Original Dubplate Mix)
  • 4. Return Of Menelik

Nightdoctor's instrumental "Menelik" is a track that was originally recorded almost as an afterthought but in the years since, has become recognised as a sound system classic. Its re-release is long overdue and as a bonus we've included an unreleased alternative mix from Chris Lane, an early dubplate only mix and "Return of Menelik" Nick Manasseh's later updated take on the track.

In 1981 Nightdoctor met with Chris Lane who had recently started Fashion Records, and it was decided that the band should record a lovers rock tune as that style was doing particularly well at the time. The band set about writing what was to become original A side "Romancin'" and Chris suggested a militant instrumental would be a good choice for the B side and that's how "Menelik" came to be chosen. With some financial backing from The Specials drummer John "Brad" Bradbury and help from The Specials manager Rick Rogers, the band set up a brand-new label Race Records to handle this and similar releases.

On release, A side "Romancin'" did well for an independent reggae release receiving plenty of airplay. Meanwhile the B side started to find its own following in dancehalls being taken up by Jah Shaka and becoming a sound system staple. Nearly forty years after its release copies of the original 12" are highly sought after and can fetch over £100.

This four-track release not only makes the original version of "Menelik" available at a reasonable price, but also includes two sound system friendly unreleased mixes and as an extra bonus Nick Manasseh's 1989 update "Return of Menelik" featuring Danny Red and Lidj Ishu.



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