Judgement Day

Bull & the Matadors The Funky Judge 45 (Toddlin' Town, 1968)
Finky Fuzz Here Come the Judge 45 (Epic, 1968)
Peter Tosh Here Comes the Judge 45 (Gibbs, 1972)

The Judge song! One of the best song subject genres ever! My first encounter with the Judge wasn't through song but rather Flip Wilson's Here Comes the Judge skit on the TV show Laugh-In, a show I used to watch with my parents as a kid. Flip copped the phrase from Pigmeat Markham, a comedian who recorded a musical version of his joke for Chess in 1968. I didn't know of Markham until much later in life and after I had heard my first Judge song, Shorty Long's great Here Comes the Judge. Shorty's was one of the first funky 45s I ever bought, so that version will always remain a favorite.

Today I am giving you three Judge songs, each one radically different. Bull & the Matador's version of the Andre Williams penned The Funky Judge is a funk classic. A second into the groove and you know that this is a dance floor filler.

I have no idea who Finky Fuzz is or anything about their version. What is strange about it is that it takes two African American R&B staples - the Judge song and the one-liner song - and drops them into a country western frame. Very strange.

My favorite Judge song is Peter Tosh's devastating Here Comes the Judge. Tosh starts off with a roll call of Great Explorers/Blood Thirsty Imperialists - Columbus, Stanley, Drake, etc. Then they are put on trial, but not before some of the coolest backing vocals ever chime in. And, to a ground shaking beat, Tosh condemns them to death for crimes against Native People everywhere. As my brother would say, "Righteous, mon."

i found that BULL & THE MATADORS 45 in a junkshop in Indiana a few years ago...A CLASSIC!! your label scan is totally different which indicates a pressing variation...ho-hum...its the GROOVE that counts!! its a KILLER!! the other 2 are just the icing on the cake!! killer soul vibes...WOW!!
Best version of "Judge" I've heard (besides Pigmeat Markhams's) belongs to The Magistrates. It's a funker, but stylistically has alot in common with the Finky Fuzz version.

Do you know if the ryhtm on the Peter Tosh version was his own? I've heard dubs with that rhythm but I can't imagine it's from this song originally.
Well, the Tosh is a Joe Gibbs record and Gibbs recycled a lot. It is really impossible to say who came up witht the rhythm. Tosh could have and Gibbs could have recycled it. Gibbs could have and plugged it into all his artists at the time. Or some other Gibbs artist or one off could have and Gibbs thrust it on everyone else recording for him. You know how these things work.
Great blog you have here that i'm just catching uo with. No wonder Bazookajoe recognises the rhythm to the Peter Tosh version, it's Satta Massa Gana originally a vocal cut from The Abyssinians in '69 recorded at Coxsone. Check the righteous Blood & Fire comp Tree Of Satta (2004)with 20 versions. Still waiting for volume 2
Finky reminds me of 'Laugh In' meets Louie Nye. The Tosh is amazing. I'll grab the other one, too...for the hat trick! Thanks!
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?