Chaka Demus & Pliers – She Don’t Let Nobody

Release Date: June 93
Chart Position: 3

The opening lines to this song solve one of the great pop mysteries; it’s up there with;

  • Paul McCartney dying;
  • Marilyn Manson starring in the Wonder Years and
  • The continuing success of Will I Am.

The line is ‘All day a gwan and I run round the world Like I can’t get my girl’, clearly it was Chaka Demus that Lisa Stansfield was searching for, yet due to unpredictability of global travel in the nineties it appears the two star struck lovers were destined to continually pass each other like ships in the night.
On to the song, the production isn’t my favourite by them but it’s a pleasant enough Lover’s Rock sound and reminds me of early school discos in North London. Towards the end of the night after driving the crowd wild with favourites by Musical Youth, Junior and Smiley Culture (plus a bit of Madness for the special needs kids), the tempo would drop and you’d approach the girl of your dreams who’d take one look at your hand knitted (by Grandma) blue jumper with Spurs scrawled across the front, laugh, then go off with the bloke sporting a Le Shark jumper twinned with a Fila polo. I’ve had the last laugh though, I’m sitting here sporting a Pringle jumper as I type, true fact.
Lyrically I have a bit of a problem with the phrasing, it might be me not understanding the patois but I’ve watched loads of episodes of Desmond’s so it’s doubtful. It’s the ‘let’ bit that bothers me, not ‘want’ but ‘let’, which doesn’t seem to be the most stable basis for a relationship and to me it looks like the whole thing’s been built on a house of cards. Maybe she’s a good cook?
The video is standard neggae, blue sea, white beach, neggae chicks, the lot. Whilst Chaka Demus has dressed appropriately for the occasion I’m less sure of Pliers attempting his ‘Clockwork Orange’ homage, it’s messing with my gulliver. This man’s fishing technique is also confusing, as it seems to be simply tying a fishing net to your genitalia and then wandering about, I haven’t seen this happening in Grimsby.
It’s a pleasant enough song overall, nothing earth shattering and probably appealed to the hormonally challenged section of the neggae fanbase.
Score: 6.5/10 – quite harsh but these boys are capable of better.

Now, that’s what I call Neggae! The smooth and silky Chaka Demus and Pliers are back at it with this tropical delight. We’ve had some pretty dreary weather here recently so listening to this put me in a much better mood instantly. Pliers has some seriously pure vocals that are complemented beautifully by Chaka Demus’ change of pace island rap.
This isn’t a complicated song, just our Jamaican friends pinging out a Top of The Pops fave! Great video, not over the top (*cough* *cough* Shabba) and not too boring (*cough* *cough* UB40) – I think that this one deserved to reach a little higher in the charts to be honest. This never gets old – easy island listening encapsulated!
Score: Put me down for 8 Chaka’s and half a Plier (8.5)

After the dizzy heights of Tease me, Demus and Pliers knew they were onto something. There was no way they were going to top their debut smash hit so instead they opted to calm down the frenzy with a second more melancholic single.
I think if they were going to choose any ballad it had to be this one. Curtis Mayfield’s original oozed soul. Released in 1981, he swooned his loved one yet had the tongue in cheek swagger to mention how he liked to kiss her explicitly. The lyrics see the protagonists paying homage to their ladies for the fact that she continually turns down the advances of other would be partners in favour of our boys. The song is reproduced tastfuly, no dutty grinding lyrics, no crotch grabbing, no bragging about sexual prowess or degrading of women. Just as you would expect from the standard bearers of Neggae.
The Video sticks to the plan. The boys are smiling and admiring the objects of thier affection whilst donning some suitably Caribbean attire. Again, nothing bolshy, just a laid back half groove and some deftly delivered lyrics from Pliers.
On the downside, its a short number, there’s actually less of a song than the original and some verses have been removed. To be honest its not such a bad thing, the original does get boring half way through.
This song was a Steady Eddie follow up to Tease Me from the Neggae Champions. Nothing more, nothing less. The good thing is they didn’t follow up with “Please me (basically Tease Me but with a slight key and melody change and some slightly different lyrics). You cant really ask for much more than that, as we all know that there was still good stuff to come from Chaka Demus and Pliers.
Score: There are better, there’s also many worse. 7 out of 10 from me.

In the Neggae realm, Chaka Demus and Pliers are like the Beatles, Manyoo and TeenWolf all rolled into one. They’re just too good. When we complete this biblical journey, I will be very surprised if they’re not in the final top 10 at least three times. As current league leaders of Neggae, their sophomore release had a lot to live up to. And, while there’s no denying it’s a pleasant and lovely little ditty, for me it just doesn’t quite cut the Levi Roots Reggae Reggae Relish. I’ll tell you for why.
It’s too long for starters – four minutes of verse/chorus/toast feels like eight. Much of reggae’s charm is its simplicity – so I wasn’t expecting a middle eight or a coda. However, a furious dancehall breakdown would have been nice. And when you’ve got the vocal guns of Chaka Demus on your team, I would say it should be mandatory. It’s a very limited perfomance from the big man, with him seemingly sidelined to the role of Shakespearean Neggae narrator, translating Pliers’ wordy romantic plight into the native island tongue for the common man to understand . Or somesuch shit.
You get the feeling this slushy, romantic direction is Pliers’ idea, and Chaka’s given him too much leeway. There’s barely any riddim in it, and its bereft of the clever sampling and crazy cat meows that dazzled us on Tease Me. Continuing the Beatles theme mentioned earlier, this is like one of the latter songs in the Lennon-McCartney canon when John couldn’t be arsed to rein Paul’s sacharine sweet tendencies. OK, so it’s not quite bad enough to be their Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, it’s more like their Honey Pie. I hope Chaka had a little team-talk with Pliers after this.
The video’s OK – a lot of soft-focus holiday brochure shots of beautiul girls and sweeping landscapes. The rustic set reminds me of the BBC, El-Dorado-meets-Desmonds  comedy crime caper Death in Paradise. I kept imagining Ben Miller will crop up and perform some sort of pratfall into the sea, which, if I’m being honest, spoilt it all a little.
Score: I dunno, a 6? Yeah, 6 seems fair I guess.

I have mixed feelings on this one.
It all starts so nicely with some strong intro toasting, roasting and boasting and leads you to believe you’re in for a great track. It even fills you with that nice warm, nostalgic feeling when you recognise a tune and reminisce all the great times you had when it was out. Unfortunately, this feeling soon fades and after about 90 seconds it starts to get pretty repetitive.
It’s the type of song that when it gets played in a club you get the immediate urge to hit the D-Floor, but you’re soon left in an awkward state as you realise that there is actually not much to it. There is only so far the head bobbing and miming of the lyrics will carry you,  leaving you with no option but to retreat to the safety of the bar area. Don’t get me wrong the chorus is beautifully delivered, but even that gets pretty dull after realising there is not much else to it apart from the occasional rap to break it up.
The video is nice, but that’s about it. It’s bit like a Thomas Cook or Sandals advert for an all-inclusive holiday. I am almost half-expecting the Redknapps to appear with a horse out of the surf. Finally thrown in the video mix is some fishing ‘island style’, which unfortunately I find all too manufactured.
Score: 6/10 for me 



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