#funkyfriday — Shadow / "D'Hardest"

Trinidad's Shadow (or Mighty Shadow, as he's also known) emerged in the ’70’s as a leading light on the Caribbean calypso/soca scene. In 1984, he recorded Sweet Sweet Dreams, an album whose themes of love and longing diverged from his typically more political content, and wound up as a commercial and critical flop.

Fast forward 30 or so years, and now the record is a collectors item. It turns out Shadow’s maverick, rules-be-damned approach to music making was decades ahead of its time. Eschewing formulas in favor of experimenting with synths, strings and other styles, Shadow introduced calypso to the international dance music scene.

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Fortunately, the time travelers at Analog Africa rescued Sweet Sweet Dreams from the cutout bin of history and restored it to its rightful place in the Caribbean dance floor pantheon. The 12” version of “D’Hardest” is the bonus track, and today’s selection. Tropical rhythms, crazy strings, positive lyrics and Shadow’s sonorous voice’ll have you dancing all weekend long.

It may have taken three decades for music to catch up to Shadow, but we think it was worth the wait.