Dub Be Good to Me

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"Dub Be Good to Me"
Single by Beats International
from the album Let Them Eat Bingo
Released29 January 1990
LabelGo! Beat
Producer(s)Norman Cook
Beats International singles chronology
"Dub Be Good to Me"
"Won't Talk About It"
Music video
"Dub Be Good to Me" on YouTube

"Dub Be Good to Me" is a 1990 single by British dub group Beats International featuring singer Lindy Layton, released on 29 January 1990. It was a #1 hit in the United Kingdom, and hit #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play in the United States. It is generally considered the band's signature song.

"Dub Be Good to Me" was written by Beats International frontman Norman Cook. It interprets The SOS Band's "Just Be Good to Me" (1983), which it is named after. It also samples the songs "The Guns of Brixton" by The Clash, the Once Upon a Time in the West theme by Ennio Morricone, and the song "Jam Hot" by Johnny Dynell.

In November 2011 MTV Dance ranked "Dub Be Good to Me" at No. 59 in their list of "The 100 Biggest 90's Dance Anthems Of All Time".[1]

Song information[edit]

Written by Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim), "Dub Be Good to Me" was the sole number one single for Cook's outfit Beats International.

The track started out as an instrumental with the title "The Invasion of the Estate Agents". While also included as the B-side to this single, it originally appeared as the B-side to Cook's 1989 single "For Spacious Lies". This instrumental track is heavily based on the bassline from The Clash's "Guns of Brixton", with a sample of the distinctive "harmonica" theme from the epic western film Once Upon a Time in the West, written by Ennio Morricone. This instrumental, in slightly remixed form, had vocals added from The SOS Band's "Just Be Good to Me" (as re-recorded by Lindy Layton) to form "Dub Be Good to Me".

The track also features the distinctive vocals of David John-Baptiste, more commonly known as DJ Deejay or just DJ. The opening and closing line "tank fly boss walk jam nitty gritty you're listening to the boy from the big bad city, this is jam hot, this is jam hot" was from Johnny Dynell's 1983 hit "Jam Hot" and became an instant classic and was repeated often, being used as the most common reference to the song.[citation needed] The song was a hit, spending four weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart in March 1990.[2] It was the seventh best-selling single of 1990 in the UK.[3] In the U.S., the song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart and #76 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Smith & Mighty Remix was included in Pitchfork Media's 2010 list of "twenty-five great remixes" of the 1990s.[4] Tom Ewing of Freaky Trigger ranked the song as the 97th best single of the 1990s, and described it as "the Wild Bunch/Massive Attack dub-dance Bristol sound, commercialised before it had even come close to breaking through."[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Billboard wrote about the song: "Reggae-fled, Soul II Soul-tinged reworking of the S.O.S. Band classic. Big on import, stateside release sports the new remixes. Only misgiving is absence of fab original."[6]

The Gavin Report wrote: "Chef Norman Cook from The Housemartins takes this 1983 SOS Band track, beats and mixes well, and what emerges is a fresh delicacy for now tastes. Charts #1 in England and there's no reason to doubt it'll have a real good run in the States, too."[7]

Cash Box wrote: "This brainchild of Norman Cook, erstwhile Housemartin, revamps the old S.O.S. Band hit into a shoulderswaying, hip-swinging groove that never lets up."[8]

Music & Media wrote: "An appealing mixture of house and reggae from the band led by ex-Housemartins' bass player Norman Cook. Good vocals by Lindy and some tasteful blues harmonica."[9]

Track listings[edit]

7" single
  1. "Dub Be Good to Me" (edit)
  2. "Invasion of the Estate Agents"
12" single
  1. "Dub Be Good to Me" (featuring Lindy Layton) (full length)
  2. "Just Be Good To Me (acapella)"
  3. "Invasion of the Freestyle: Discuss" (featuring RPM)
  4. "Invasion of the Estate Agents"


Cover versions[edit]

"Dub Be Good to Me" was covered in 2002 by Faithless and Dido for the album NME & Warchild Presents 1 Love.

Jack Peñate covered "Dub Be Good to Me" as a B-side to his re-released single "Second, Minute or Hour" in September 2007.

Rapper Professor Green and Lily Allen released their version of the song, titled "Just Be Good to Green".[24]

British band The Ting Tings covered "Dub Be Good to Me" on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge.

British Urban duo MK1 performed the song during the judges' houses stage of the ninth series of The X Factor.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ MTV Dance - Tuesday 27.12.2011
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 511–2. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ a b "1990s Singles Chart Archive". everyHit.com. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  4. ^ "Staff Lists". Pitchfork.
  5. ^ Ewing, Tom (20 August 1999). "97. BEATS INTERNATIONAL – "Dub Be Good To Me"". FreakyTrigger. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Billboard: Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard magazine (March 31, 1990, page 78). Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  7. ^ Sholin, Dave (March 16, 1990). "Gavin Picks > Singles" (PDF). Gavin Report. No. 1798. p. 56. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "On the dancefloor" (PDF). Cash Box (April 7, 1990, page 14). Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  9. ^ "Music & Media: Previews" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h "Dub Be Good to Me", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved March 28, 2008)
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Beats International – Dub Be Good to Me" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  12. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. March 3, 1990. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  13. ^ "Top 3 Greece" (PDF). Music & Media. May 12, 1990. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  14. ^ Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie Archived 2009-06-03 at WebCite (Retrieved March 28, 2008)
  15. ^ "Indice per Interprete: B". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Single top 100 over 1990" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
  17. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Beats International – Dub Be Good to Me" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  18. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  19. ^ "Dub Be Good to Me", UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved March 28, 2008)
  20. ^ a b c d Billboard Allmusic.com (Retrieved August 1, 2008)
  21. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  22. ^ 1990 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at (Retrieved August 1, 2008)
  23. ^ "End of Year Charts 1990". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  24. ^ "Professor Green releasing single with Lily Allen after 'Facebook chat' - NME". NME. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2018-06-27.