Video: Watch the Jolly Boys Cover Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”

Words by Kieran K. Meadows
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Lou Reed, the iconic singer, songwriter, guitarist and leader of the late 1960s New York rock n’ roll band the Velvet Underground, passed away on Sunday from complications with liver disease. Reed was a hugely influential force in music for almost five decades. His songwriting, and lyrical content in particular, first with Velvet Underground and later during a lively solo career, influenced generations of musicians.

Many of the so-called “punk poet”‘s songs have been covered by rock acts like Nirvana, R.E.M., Patti Smith and countless others. But he also influenced, and has been covered by, artists from other genres, including the Jamaican mento group the Jolly Boys. So as our own LargeUp tribute to Lou Reed, here are the Jolly Boys covering Reed’s 1972 single “Perfect Day,” from the group’s 2011 album of rock covers, Great Expectations. While Albert Minott’s lead singing maintains just enough of the Reed persona to make the song remain true to the original, he adds a uniquely Caribbean flair.

For more on the late Lou Reed, read punk author Legs McNeil’s tribute over at the Daily Beast. And for more of the Jolly Boys’ new-wave mento, watch our webisode starring the long-running group here.