Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Scandal Ska [Mango, 1989]
The excuse for the label's very belated fourth ska compilation is the Christine Keeler movie that lends it a title and a rather generic lead Don Drummond instrumental. Cut in '60 and '61--and thus predating rather than duplicating Intensified!, More Intensified!, and Club Ska '67, all still in print--these 16 cuts are ska as imitation r&b, their chugalong a kissing cousin to a New Orleans shuffle, and sometimes they really don't require an excuse. In addition to early Cliff and Marley and Dekker, there are songs here that feel as impossible as any obscurely wondrous '50s novelty--Skitter's "Mr. Kruschev," or Lloyd Clark's "Japanese Girl." But sometimes unknown r&b songs are curiosities, nothing more. B+