Song of the Day: Jonathan Richman, “Egyptian Reggae”

Jonathan Richman rose to prominence as the leader of seminal proto-punk band The Modern Lovers, which he founded in 1970. A few years later, his work became increasingly acoustic as he embarked on a more personal journey, distant from pop-chart trends and often eluding simple genre categorization.

The all-acoustic Rock ‘n’ Roll with the Modern Lovers, released in 1977, embraced a vintage acoustic rock and roll style and revealed surprising ethnic influences. “Egyptian Reggae” is certainly a highlight from the record. While all credit for the track was originally given to Richman, the song is an upbeat instrumental adaptation of Earl Zero’s 1973 song “None Shall Escape the Judgment.” Meanwhile, Richman’s version found new life within the soundtrack of the 2017 film, Baby Driver.

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