Jah Wobble and the Invaders of the Heart - The Usual Suspects

by Rob Jones Rating:8 Release Date:2017-06-30

Jah Wobble and the Invaders of the Heart delivers The Usual Suspects and that means 23 tracks across a 2 CD set. A collection of re-works are soldered together under the Wobble banner from his days as the bass guru of Public Image Limited, solo stuff, collaborations and his investments with the aforementioned Invaders. 

Starting off with the anthemic Public Image (the single from this set) Wobble and his workforce turn tempos, alter angles and break barriers. Songs are taken in to new environments as one would expect. Wobble unites all of those world music tricks and more filtering in to the likes of blues, dub, jazz, psychedelia, ska and post punk on an ambitious project.

The troops do not disappoint as the beats adopt fresh identities and we are taken on a remarkable ride with umpteen sonic stations between departure and arrival. PIL tunes such as the above, Socialist and Fodderstompf get a twist, while the perfection of Poptones is afforded a live makeover. The subtle covers of Midnight Cowboy, Get Carter, Liquidator and the Dawn Penn hit You don't love Me (No, No, No) go on a gentle trip. The dub of the latter carries on with Java - and, there is just so much going on here - and there cannot be many genres that Wobble has not flittered with at one time or another. Norwegian Death Metal can be ruled out but that is more an exception than a pattern. However, the likes of the demented drive of Doctrine of drum and bass is full on and the guitar heavy early 70's feel of The Chain could be taken off a ramped up Carlos Santana project. Then there there is the global groove gallivanting - of which Wobble is a pioneer - and there is a mix of that style as well e.g. Becoming more like God and Everyman's an Island.

The epic Wobble hit - Visions of You does not need to be tampered with and is one offering that stays close to its origins with some six string skills surfacing - and what a magnificent moment in pop history we have here. There is also the monumental How much are They? which was originally recorded with Can glitterati Jaki Liebezeit (RIP) and Holgar Czukay. If I had a pound for every time this one has been played by yours truly over the years then my dream Monaco Castle would be paid for in full!  This version has a busy reggae override - but it still kicks!

There are then the many diverse aspects of an Invaders led back catalogue that has more colour on its contents than a kaleidoscope - and, it would be impossible to be a popular music fan without finding something on this set to tickle your fancy. Anything but Usual Suspects, these tunes are unusual successes.

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