The Vinyl Vault: UB40 – Little Baggariddim

UB4o was a favorite of mine back in the rented room off campus days. Tom, one of the other upstairs renters turned me on to them, along with Steel Pulse and Bob Marley. “UB40 – Labour Of Love” was played loud and often upstairs and I dug it. Tom did look at me dully each time I told him that “Red Red Wine” was actually a Neil Diamond song.

At any rate, I came across the EP “Little Baggariddim” at the local record store. It was priced $6.98 and I hesitated when I saw it was only 6 songs, but I was all high on “Labour Of Love”… and so I bought it.

The plastic sleeve allowed the record itself to be seen. I had never seen anything like it before, so it had an air of coolness to it. The front label had a shot of the band and the back label had the track listing.

Yeah, you are seeing that right. “I Got You Babe”, the Sonny and Cher track. It is a duet with Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. So MANY things could go wrong with that. So many. However, it’s fantastic. The other tracks are also fantastic.

“Don’t Break My Heart” is a slow dreamy thumper that leads into “One In Ten” a  bit of social commentary that made me dream of playing bass. Side 2 (or This Side) has “Mi Spliff” an bouncy ode to ganga followed by “Hip Hop Lyrical Robot” which is a rap by Pato Banton who later did a track for The English Beat and then went on to a solo career. Then a dub version of “I Got You Babe”. A great little set of music.

However… the plastic sleeve was a bit of a hassle. In the end, trying carefully to get it back under the back flap and into the plastic sleeve lead to some drops and scratches. Sigh. And… ultimately I ended up getting rid of it with all my other records vowing to re-buy them all on CD.

That was many many years ago.

I came across the album “Baggariddim” digitally, but it had a bunch of other songs on it. ??

Turns out THIS is what was released in the UK, and “Little Baggariddim” was the U.S. release. The extra songs were okay, but it threw off the whole vibe of the EP that I loved so much. I was bummed that I never seemed to come across the “Little Baggariddim” CD. Turns out it was only ever release via Record Club. Too bad.

Then one day not so long ago, I came across in the used vinyl a copy of “Little Baggariddim”! However, it was a bit different? Gone was the annoying plastic sleeve and now it was housed in your traditional cardboard with just a picture of the inner vinyl, simulating the packaging of long ago.

Witness what looks like grooves on the front, between the 0 in 40 and RIDDIM, but just an illusion. Same thing on the back, just a hint of grooves. Lettering is backwards too, made to look like you are seeing through the plastic. The plastic flap you see here on the back is just a picture.

Even on the front you can see the representation of the back flap as if you are seeing through the plastic on each side.

A nice simulation, but vastly different from the real thing.

I’ve come across 2 of these, cheap, and bought them both. A little piece of memory for me. Just a little more user friendly now, which is better. Uh… right?

A few weeks ago, for a paltry $4.99 I came across, finally, an original. It was a joy to behold. P.S. That’s new carpet. Had to get that in.

and with the Hype sticker still on it.

The previous owner had put the record in a Diskeeper sleeve inside the original outter sleeve, which I removed just for the photo. So you know it was well cared for and in a rare (these days) case… I got it for LESS than the original price. Score.

I still need to play “Hip Hop Lyrical Robot” for Cindy who is aware of Flight Of The Conchords “Hiphopopatamus vs Rhymenoceros” which I can imagine being a spoof of this song.

I’m pretty sure that this is only the third (if you are a statistician) record I ever bought with a dub version on it. The first being on The Clash “Black Market Clash” and The Clash “Sandinista”.

So, it’s nice to have the original back in the fold, but after one playing for old times sake, I will probably play the knock off versions for everyday. While I agree this makes this vinyl completely a nostalgia buy, it is just NOT the same in cardboard.

Can you dig it, alright I can dig it
Cause I’m your hip hop lyrical robot and a real cool cat
Yes I’m your hip hop lyrical robot and a real cool cat
I want the girls to hear me rap
Cause this mc has got the nack
I’m your body-popping shell shocking
Girls hocking eye popping lick me all over like a lollipop
I’m your juicy fruit
Alright, alright, alright
You go Pato!

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