Duck Rock is an album released by British impresario Malcolm McLaren. It was originally issued in 1983 by Charisma Records, Virgin Records, and Chrysalis Records, and later re-released on CD in 1987. The album mixes up styles from South Africa, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the United States, including hip hop. The album proved to be highly influential in bringing hip hop to a wider audience in the United Kingdom. Two of the singles from the album, "Buffalo Gals" and "Double Dutch", became major chart hits on both sides of the Atlantic. Duck Rock was dedicated to Harry McClintock, better known as Haywire Mac. The album artwork was designed by Dondi White and Nick Egan, with the illustration by Keith Haring.

Duck Rock
Studio album by
Released27 May 1983 [1]
GenreWorld music, hip hop, novelty
LabelCharisma, Island, Atco, Atlantic
ProducerTrevor Horn, Malcolm McLaren
Malcolm McLaren chronology
Duck Rock
Singles from Duck Rock
  1. "Buffalo Gals"
    Released: 19 November 1982 [2]
  2. "Soweto"
    Released: 21 February 1983 [3]
  3. "Double Dutch"
    Released: 24 June 1983 [4]
  4. "Duck for the Oyster"
    Released: December 1983

Guest musicians featured on this album include Trevor Horn, Anne Dudley, J. J. Jeczalik, and Thomas Dolby. Side recordings that Horn, Dudley and Jeczalik made in between takes of Duck Rock would eventually become the first album of the Art of Noise, Into Battle with the Art of Noise. Clips of the World's Famous Supreme Team radio show appear between songs, which made the album one of the earliest recordings on which members of the Nation of Gods and Earths appear.

Reception edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [5]
The Village VoiceB+[7]

In a contemporary review of the album, The Village Voice's Robert Christgau found that "McLaren knows how to record African music for Western ears, and the ebullient tunes he's collected here more than make up for his annoyance quotient", but also criticised McLaren and Horn for failing to give credit to the South African musicians involved in the recording,[7] such as Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens. The mbaqanga group the Boyoyo Boys took legal action against McLaren over the similarity of "Double Dutch" with its own hit "Puleng". After a lengthy legal battle in the UK, the matter was settled out of court, with payment made to the South African copyright holders, songwriter Petrus Maneli and publisher Gallo Music, but Horn and McLaren retained their songwriting credits.[8]

Duck Rock was ranked at number nine among the "Albums of the Year" for 1983 by NME.[9] The album garnered accolades from other publications in the years following its release. William Ruhlmann of AllMusic retrospectively reviewed it as "an amazingly eclectic collection of world music mixed with urban hip-hop".[5] In 2013, NME ranked Duck Rock at number 298 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[10] In 2018, Pitchfork ranked Duck Rock at number 200 on its list of the 200 best albums of the 1980s.[11] The album also received BBC Two's Critical Music label.[12]

Track listing edit

Side one
1."Obatala"Horn, McLaren4:17
2."Buffalo Gals"Dudley, Horn, McLaren4:22
3."Double Dutch"Horn, McLaren5:53
4."Merengue"Horn, McLaren3:52
5."Punk It Up"Horn, McLaren4:11
Side two
6."Legba"Horn, McLaren4:03
7."Jive My Baby"Horn, McLaren5:35
8."Song for Chango"Horn, McLaren2:49
9."Soweto"Horn, McLaren3:53
10."World's Famous"Dudley, McLaren1:41
11."Duck for the Oyster"Horn, McLaren2:57

More tracks edit

  1. "Buffalo Gals – Special Stereo Scratch Mix" (Horn, Dudley, McLaren)
  2. "Zulus on a Time Bomb" (Horn, McLaren)
  3. "She's Looking Like a Hobo" (Horn, McLaren)
  4. "Double Dutch – New Dance Mix" (Horn, McLaren)
  5. "Roly Poly" (Horn, McLaren)
  6. "D'ya Like Scratchin'? – with the Red River Gals" (Horn, Dudley, McLaren)
  7. "World's Famous – Radio ID" (Horn, Dudley, McLaren)
  8. "Buffalo Gals (Trad. Square)" (Horn, McLaren)
  9. "Hobo Scratch" (Horn, McLaren)
  10. "Hobo Scratch (Long Edit.)" (Horn, McLaren)
  11. "D'ya Like Scratchin'? - Special Version" (Horn, Dudley, McLaren)
  12. "Collaguas" (Horn, McLaren)
  13. "Hobo Scratch (She's looking like a Hobo)" (Horn, McLaren)
  14. "Radio Show (D'Ya Like Scratchin')" (Horn, Dudley, McLaren)

Personnel edit

Dream team
  • Malcolm McLaren – figure caller, singer (known as Talcy Malcy)
  • Sedivine the Mastermind – DJ, rapper (known as Divine, Se')
  • Just Allah the Superstar – DJ, rapper (known as Justice, JazzyJust)

Production team
  • Trevor Horn – producer, beats, mixing - (Art of Noise)
  • Anne Dudley – arranger, keyboards, string arrangements - (Art of Noise)
  • Gary Langan – Jew's harp, engineer - (Art of Noise)
  • J.J. Jeczalik – synthesizer - (Art of Noise)

  • David Birch – guitar
  • Thomas Dolby – keyboards
  • Luís Jardim – percussion
  • Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens — vocals, uncredited[13]
  • Boyoyo Boys — musicians, uncredited[13]
  • The Roan Mountain Hilltoppers - musicians, uncredited
  • The Mclarenettes - background singers
  • The Ebbonettes - background singers
  • additional musicians uncredited - bass guitar, backing vocals

  • Keith Haring – illustration
  • Dondi White – graffiti
  • Nick Egan – cover design
  • Ron West – created Ghetto Blaster for Album Cover design
  • Mastered At – The Town House

Record companies
  • The Fanmous Charisma Label
  • Virgin
  • Island records

Fashion designer
  • Vivienne Westwood
  • Malcolm Mclaren

Fashion stores
  • Nostalgia of Mud
  • World's End

Fashion collections
  • Punkature (Buffalo, Hobo)

  • Dedicated to Harry K. McLintock, better known as "Haywire Mac"

Charts edit

Certifications edit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[19] Silver 60,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References edit

  1. ^ "BPI certifications".
  2. ^ "BPI certifications".
  3. ^ "Malcolm McLaren singles".
  4. ^ "News". Record Mirror: 6. 18 June 1983. Retrieved 15 December 2020 – via
  5. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "Duck Rock – Malcolm McLaren". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  6. ^ Book, John (23 November 2004). "Malcolm McLaren :: Duck Rock :: Island Records". RapReviews. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  7. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (30 August 1983). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  8. ^ Jackson, Leon. "The Boyoyo Boys". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  9. ^ "NME's best albums and tracks of 1983". NME. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  10. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time: 300–201". NME. 24 October 2013. Archived from the original on 25 October 2021. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  11. ^ "The 200 Best Albums of the 1980s". Pitchfork. 10 September 2018. p. 1. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  12. ^ "BBC - Music - FAQs". Archived from the original on 21 July 2012.
  13. ^ a b Zuckerman, Ethan (17 June 2013). Digital Cosmopolitans: Why We Think the Internet Connects Us, Why It Doesn't. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0393240627. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  14. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 186. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  15. ^ " – Malcolm McLaren – Duck Rock" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  16. ^ " – Malcolm McLaren – Duck Rock". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  17. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1983 — The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Recorded Music New Zealand. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  19. ^ "British album certifications – Malcolm McLaren – Duck Rock". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2 February 2022.

External links edit