A legend of Jamaican music, Desmond Dekker paved the way for Bob Marley with hits across the 60s, at first in Jamaica and then across the world. Initially recording under his real name, Desmond Dacres found local fame with his fourth single, King of Ska on which he was backed by The Cherrypies, a/k/a The Maytals. In the late 60s he embraced rude boy culture, most notably with the song 007 (Shanty Town), which was adopted as a mod anthem in the UK where it reached number 15.
By the late 70s, Dekker was touring regularly in the UK where he was now living. Having had only sporadic hits, he was looking for a new direction when Dave Robinson and the Stiff team came into the picture. Although Stiff was initially known as a punk label they had their finger on the pulse of the mod scene and knew what Dekker meant to a major part of British youth.
The first thing Robinson did was hook Desmond up with The Rumour and other Jamaican musicians who backed him on new recordings of various old hits to create the 1980 album Black & Dekker, from which Please Don’t Bend is taken. They then moved on to a far more ambitious project. The following year’s Compass Point album – produced by Robert Palmer at the reknowned Nassau studios – was supposed to put the great man back on the world stage but failed to capture the public imagination. Desmond passed away at home in London from a heart attack in May 2006.