(This post is bound to make my brother happy, I’m sure.)
Summer time is the perfect time to listen to reggae, and Toots and the Maytals’ “Pressure Drop” is one of my all-time favorite reggae songs. What sets Toots and the Maytals apart from many reggae artists is their emphasis on melody and harmony, and “Pressure Drop” is no exception. While the groove is clearly reggae, the singing is more akin to American Soul and R&B. Toots Hibbert himself has often been referred to a reggae version of Otis Redding, and this song clearly shows why.
Lyrically the song isn’t too deep (there are very few words) but it hardly matters. Toots’ declaration of “a pressure drop on you” is smooth like silk, and is anchored by the rest of the bands’ singing in “oooh yeah” in succession after him. It’s not until the end, that Toots’ really lets go and belts out the word “pressure!” with a fiery passion that takes the song to another level.
Since its release “Pressure Drop” has become something of a reggae standard and has been covered by many artists including the Clash – who give the song their signature punk spin on the genre – and Keith Richards (with the Maytals), but none of them beat the original.