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X-O-Dus \ English Black Boys [FBN 101]


Manchester reggae band X-O-Dus are best known for their 12" single English Black Boys, produced by Dennis Bovell and released on Factory Records (Fac 11) in February 1980.

Talent-spotted by Joy Division manager Rob Gretton, X-O-Dus performed at live events such as Zoo Meets Factory Halfway (August 1979) and Factory By Moonlight (April 1980). In time-honoured Factory fashion Fac 11 was released a year late, the only reggae record to appear in a sleeve designed by Peter Saville.

Digitally remastered by Peter Beckmann in 2021, this 7 track vinyl edition includes both sides of the Factory single as well as 5 album demos recorded in 1980. The 180 gsm black vinyl pressing is limited to 500 copies.

Cover design by Peter Saville. Vinyl inner bag contains sleevenotes by former manager Martin Dunlop along with archive X-O-Dus images, including previously unseen shots from the Moonlight Club show by Peter Anderson.

Vinyl tracklist:

A1. English Black Boys
A2. See Them A'Come
B1. Take It From Me
B2. Society
B3. Leaders
B4. Imagine
B5. If You Want My Lovin'

CD + MP3 tracklist:

1. See Them A'Come
2. English Black Boys
3. If You Want My Lovin'
4. Take It From Me
5. Society
6. Leaders
7. Imagine
8. We can Feel It
9. Dance
10. Underwater Dance
11. Narrow Road

Available on 180 gsm vinyl, CD and digital (MP3). To order any format please select correct shipping option (UK, Europe or Rest of World) and click on Add To Cart button below cover image, or contact FBN by email for other payment options (including tracked/signed for).

English Black Boys [FBN 101]
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Reviews:

"Now, at long last, we get this great music on 180g vinyl headlined by the Factory single along with 5 other of those lost Lp cuts, such as the funky Take It From Me, Society, Leaders and Imagination. This really is a lost gem - 4 stars" (Record Collector, 10/2021)

"The story of Manchester reggae band X-O-Dus is an inevitably sad one, lasting a few short years until 1981 when they had to change their name due to there being a similarly monikered London band. They were a community-rooted band taking a strong political stance in their lyrics, as opposed to any faux Rasta leanings, and their first single on Factory Records was well supported by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus. It's a stunning piece of work, although sadly its release was swept to the side by the success of Joy Division, and the promised album remained on the shelf" (Steve Barker The Wire, 09/2021)

"One of the most remarkable chapters in British reggae history" (The Wire, 06/2012)

"A wonderful mix of lovers rock, soul and jazz" (Record Collector, 06/2012)

"The whole package reveals that X-O-Dus could have easily ranked up there amongst the heavy hitters of UK reggae like Matumbi and Steel Pulse" (Other Music, 12/2012)

"Militant reggae - bleak, cold and hard" (Sounds, 1980)

"A poignant slow-burner" (Melody Maker, 1980)

"Subtly understated rock-orientated guitar beneath the languid vocals" (NME, 1980)