Release Date: July 95
Chart Position: 5
In the words of Donovan, ‘The area of Surrey was a County, Which lay before the great flood, In the area we now call the Thames’, basically I’m on a bit of a downer as it’s been raining for 3 months non-stop. This has resulted in me playing football once this year and has meant I’ve spent my weekends doing DIY, which I’m terrible at, although with the amount of practice I’m getting I should be able to knock up an Ark in the next month. Fortunately this week’s entry is shining sunshine into my life as the negfather Shaggy returns with a cover of the Mungo Jerry classic ‘In the Summertime’ and is ably supported by the puntastically named Rayvon (shame on you Peter Kaye, you chubby plagiarising Boltonite). As an interesting side-note Rayvon went on to have solo success with his own CBBC series which was basically an updated ‘Knightmare’.
We start off with a typical bit of bombast from Shaggy with his trademark cry of ‘SHAGGY HAH, oh and that ray bloke as well’ with the production being pretty faithful to the original version just with some added Neg beats. The most distinctive timbre in Neggae compliment Rayvon’s soulful vocals perfectly and the combination of Mungo Jerry and Neg is a great Anglo-Jamaican fusion which paved the way for greats such as Gin and Lilt and ‘Death in Paradise’.*
*Gone downhill a bit since Ben Miller was replaced by that goon from ‘My Family’ and BT ads.
Lyrically it’s the usual Neg story of ‘Sun’s out, got my American sportswear on, time to go and bag a raving sort’. Not overly sure about ‘If her daddy’s rich take her out for a meal, if her daddy’s poor, just do what you feel’, seems to be condoning raping people based on the amount of money they have, did George Osborne write this song? I can see it now, him, BOJO and Dave the rave cooking up bare lyrics under the influence of Taittinger and bugle on a Bullingdon beano. Shaggy then gives a warning of the risk of too much free love, STDs, she might be sweet like honey but if you’re not careful your japs eye will be stinging like a bee, pretty sure that’s what he means anyway.
The video pretty much adheres to the B formula of neg videos;
- Blue Sky;
- Big House;
- Bad Boys;
- Bloke rollerskating.
Like the song there’s nothing original about it but that doesn’t matter as it looks like a good laugh and is certainly getting rid of my SADS.
The sun has come out since I’ve been playing this, Spurs won convincingly last night, even Vince making up a meeting so I have to come into the office and haven’t wanked worked from home is failing to dampen my spirits – 7/10
Let’s start with the best bit: the video. If want to know what should be in a neggae video, this one sums it up. Sun, sea, the beach, a big white house,
Shaggy looking dapper in braces, Shaggy looking casual in a T-shirt, Rayvon flashing a nipple in the car, lots of lovely ladies and handsome men dancing about and having a good time. A few local characters doing their thing. Rayvon’s hat.
If, like me, you’re a fan of pairs of men doing formation dance moves, you’ll particularly enjoy this one. 2000s hip hop was brilliant for this – think Puff Daddy and Usher in the I Need A Girl vid, or Nelly and Akon in Body On Me – but once again we find that neggae blazed the trail for everyone else to follow.
As for the song, it ticks all the boxes without doing anything especially spectacular. It’s not fireworks – or if it is, it’s one of those tins of assorted small ones designed for back gardens. The groove chugs along nicely, wisely conserving the ‘ch, ch-ch’ noises from the original. The vocals are pretty good, and Shaggy’s winning personality can’t help but come through and raise a smile. But it ends up being a bit repetitive, giving the feeling of going round and round like you’re trapped in a one way system – haven’t we had that verse before? Yes, and I definitely remember that chorus… we’re lost! Should we ask for directions? No, it’s fine, the song’s finished and Supercat’s coming on. Good.
Score: 6 out of 10. Fine on a compilation but not one of the artist or genre’s shining lights.
Shaggy, it’s been a while mate. Good to have you back on the Hot 90 with this Malibu worthy stunner! This tropical beauty starts off nicely with a rustic drum intro then unloads quickly with some island beats. If there was any question about who was responsible for this one, that was answered 6 seconds in when Shaggy announces that “It’s a summer time affair, Shaggy, HA, Rayvon!” Boom, here we are, head bobbing and dancing right from the off. Shaggy’s unique, sub-baritone voice delivers the lyrics in typical Shaggy fashion and is complimented by Rayvon’s light hearted vocals. These two have similar chemistry to Chaka Demus and Pliers in my opinion, simply a joy to listen to. As Shaggy pick up in pace, the word seem to roll of his tongue with ease. Oh, by the way, it’s not that easy. I’ve been trying to sing along to Shaggy for decades now and can’t get anywhere near. Maybe it’s my West Byfleet accent that doesn’t lend itself to copying one of Neggae’s superstars. On to the video. Brilliant, absolutely worth a watch. It keeps you entertained from start to finish. Again, this has all the ingredients for a successful Neg video. Sun, women, open top jeep/buggy packed with people, beach scenes and a mansion with Shaggy looking suave, a la Don Johnson in Miami Vice. In conclusion, I’ve really enjoyed this one. Whether you have the video or not, it doesn’t matter. This song will put you in a good place on it’s own. Trust me, it’s now snowing here in Va Beach for the third time in 3 weeks and I’m drifting away to happier, sunnier places. And that happier, sunny place has me on a beach, sipping my Malibu giving this beauty a whopping 9.5/10! Thanks Shaggy for making my day and briefly ending this polar vortex the east coast of the USA is stuck in.
Mungo Jerry’s all time classic has been covered more times than the noon deadline has been missed, but very few covers will stand up to Shaggy’s epic rendition turning it into a neg masterpiece. The original is great but when you add Shaggy waxing lyrical with his gruff delivery over the top it takes it to a new level that is hard not to appreciate. Very few tunes sum up neggae quite so well as this and very few tracks make you feel as happy as this when it comes on the radio, or when played on loop repeatedly when chilling out drinking tropical fruit punch in the garden. Following drink driving lobbyist protests Shaggy has quite shrewdly played with the lyrics a little to ensure it does not cause offence and make it more commercially acceptable for the 90’s. But apart from that he has left the heart and soul of the track intact. We can however forgive the Mungo’s for this as I think drink driving was big in early 1970’s Britain with cars being designed to be less sensitive to booze than they are today. They should bring those designs back, they might have guzzled a bit more fuel but look at the bigger picture people! My favourite bit is when Shaggy recommends that if your new girlfriends dad is quite wealthy, you should wine and dine her, but if not do what every you want. Just take her to Spoons or something? Who cares, she is fair game! This instantly makes you feel good and there are only a handful of tracks that you can really say that about, it is almost as if nothing else matters and for 3mins 44secs everything is cool. Maybe if James Prest had listened to this Sunday morning a few times it would have helped him out a bit? The video is up there with some of the best video footage we have reviewed to date. It is not that original, but just does the basics so well. Chicks, beaches, summer house, pool and lilo action, it’s all there in all its glory for you to enjoy. Unfortunately however the reality is that the song does in fact have to end after those magical almost 4mins and I still have 4 angry elders that are pissed at me for not doing my review on time. Think I’m going to play this on loop over and over again until they forget about it, which I don’t think will be long. They are not normally the sorts to hold grudges and make a meal of things. Well done Shaggy 10/10!
The Impact of the Anomalous Weather of 1995 on the U.K. Economy – And how Shaggy and Rayvon benefitted from it.
The summers of ’94 and ’95 are noted as some of the sunniest on record. 1995 in London in particular – no rain for both July and August. If I wasn’t working on a fruit and veg stall (awaiting my GCSE results) – I was spending money on :
- Chips at Guildford Lido
- Kronenbourg at The Litten Tree in Woking (RIP)
- Neggae vinyl at HMV in Guildford
- Tartan Trousers at Bluebird Garage Kings Road
The whole country went a bit bonkers basically. “It’s hot and sunny, earn money then spend it on something” was the national mantra. And with that Shaggy and Rayvon took this pile of pooclaart to number 5. What were we thinking?
Perhaps it’s because I’ve never been a fan of the Mungo Jerry DUI anthem; that deep south banjo Great Gatsby vibe just doesn’t rock my boat. Never has. No amount of Neggaefying is going to rectify it unfortunately.
Shaggy and Rayvon give it a go, but their toaster-singer combo just comes off as a poor man’s Chakademus and Pliers. Ropey lyrics, half-arsed delivery. It all sounds rather distracted, like it was recorded in 90˚ heat with 100 tidy birds in thongs gyrating nearby.
Great video mind.
Score: Come on Shaggy you can do better than this (what’s that? He will do in the next few Neggae entries? Oh good.) 6/10.
NEGGAE SCORE: 7.7