X-O-DUS - English Black Boys

(LTM2568: 5024545634822)
Release date: 04/03/2012
Genre: Reggae

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LTM presents the first CD by Manchester reggae band X-O-Dus, best known for their Dennis Bovell produced single ‘English Black Boys’ on Factory Records in February 1980.

Formed by Moss Side teenagers Honey and Leddy Ricketts in the late 1970s, X-O-Dus elected to play a more political/progressive style of reggae, free from the religious dogma typical of other reggae bands at the time. Talent spotted by Joy Division/New Order manager Rob Gretton, the group were invited to record for fledgling indie Factory Records, with leading producer Dennis ‘Blackbeard’ Bovell (Matumbi, Slits, Pop Group) hired to mix down ‘English Black Boys’ and ‘See Them A Come’ as an extended dub single. In true Factory style the 12” was released a year late, and stands as the only reggae record sleeved by feted designer Peter Saville.

Though X-O-Dus performed at live events such as ‘Zoo Meets Factory Halfway’ and ‘Factory By Moonlight’, the group found it hard to make headway on an experimental art label, and disbanded in 1981 without releasing an album. Digitally remastered, this archive collection includes both sides of the lengthy Fac 11 single along with seven album demos recorded in 1980.

‘Factory and Rob were always obsessed with the black music scene in Manchester,’ Tony Wilson explained later. ‘As we all know, black music is the heart of rock n’ roll. But we put out English Black Boys and X-O-Dus then broke up – typical!’

1. See Them A' Come, 2. English Black Boys, 3. If You Want My Lovin, 4. Take It From Me, 5. Society, 6. Leaders, 7. Imagine, 8. We Can Feel It, 9. Dance, 10. Underwater Dance, 11. Narrow Road

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