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
Released 29 January 1990
Format CD single, 12" single, 7" single
Recorded 1989
Genre Dub, Hip Hop
Length 3:59
Label Go! Beat
Songwriter(s) Norman Cook, James Harris III, Terry Lewis
Producer(s) Norman Cook
Beats International singles chronology
"Dub Be Good to Me"
"Won't Talk About It"
"Dub Be Good to Me"
"Won't Talk About It"

"Dub Be Good to Me" is a 1990 single by British dub group Beats International, 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 interpolates The SOS Band's "Just Be Good to Me" (1983), which it is named after. It also samples the songs "Guns of Brixton" by The Clash and the Once Upon a Time in the West theme by Ennio Morricone, and includes an interpolation of the song "Jam Hot" by Johnny Dynell.

Song information[edit]

Written by Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim), "Dub Be Good to Me" was the sole number one single for Cook's genre-hopping 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.[1] 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]

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".

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.

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"


Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinead O'Connor
UK Singles Chart number-one single
March 3, 1990 - March 24, 1990
Succeeded by
"The Power" by Snap!
Preceded by
"The Power" by Snap!
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
June 9, 1990
Succeeded by
"Pump That Body" by Mr. Lee

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Beats International's Dub Be Good To Me sample of Johnny Dynell's Jam Hot". whosampled.com. Retrieved 5 July 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. ^ a b c d e f g h "Dub Be Good to Me", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved March 28, 2008)
  7. ^ a b "Single top 100 over 1990" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  8. ^ Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie Archived 2009-06-03 at WebCite (Retrieved March 28, 2008)
  9. ^ "Dub Be Good to Me", UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved March 28, 2008)
  10. ^ a b c d Billboard Allmusic.com (Retrieved August 1, 2008)
  11. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  12. ^ 1990 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at (Retrieved August 1, 2008)