Eddie Skuller is coming in hot this new year with the release of his reggae/dub cover of David Essex’s 1973 classic “Rock On”. The two-song set was released on January 1st and is now available on all streaming platforms. The track was produced by Latin GRAMMY Award-winning engineer, musician, producer and dub master Victor Rice; what ended up being created by the duo is a surreal daydream, absolutely drenched in dub.
Conjuring up the teen spirit of rock and roll, while taking the listener on a mystical, ethereal dub adventure, “Rock On” stays true to its roots.
Skuller says, “The major challenge for any artist doing a cover is to produce an exciting and genuine interpretation within the comfort and familiarity of the song. I had been writing a dark pre-election original song when the idea struck to cover ‘Rock On’ instead. We need a positive and hopeful anthem to move forward through this time in our lives and ‘rock on’ into the future.” Skuller continues, “The past several years have been chaotic and troubling for everyone and I’m particularly concerned about the youth — having three kids of my own. I felt this song could somehow inspire us to see a brighter future and keep us moving forward.”
Producer Victor Rice adds, “I remember where I was when I heard David Essex’s ‘Rock On’ for the first time. In the back of the family station wagon, I was five and would lay my head against the back speaker on long trips. When Eddie Skuller asked me to produce a reggae version, I could already hear the result in my head. I’d worked with Skuller before and knew it was a perfect fit.” It did, in fact, turn out to be the perfect pairing.
Skuller has historically focused on his local scene, yet says, “with this track, I’ve taken it to a wider playing field, starting with Victor Rice’s production in Brazil, guitar from Jay Nugent (The Slackers) recorded in Brooklyn, New York and my vocals recorded in Weehawken, New Jersey in my son Jack Skuller’s studio.” This time around, Skuller is marketing the single globally.
The cover turned out perfectly.
It sounds just enough like the original to be recognized, yet is totally and completely different that it could be its own stand-alone jam. The dub cover is a simplified version of the original cover, yet is still, somehow, just as complex and diverse. While lacking the majority of the lyrics, the dub vibes make up for it plenty of times over. The way the horns and bass groove together almost form lyrics of their own. It has a gorgeous reggae feel that meshes so harmoniously with the original song from 1973, it’s almost as if this song was meant to be done as a reggae cover. Eddie Skuller’s vocals have such a psychedelic feel to them that your brain sort of melts along with the seemingly melting sound of the music. Skuller and Victor Rice have really put together an outstanding version of a timeless song that now carries a powerful message of charging through and pressing forward with hope. Choosing to boldly “rock on into the future”.