Malcolm McLaren and the Ebonettes – Double Dutch (New Dance Mix)

In the outro of this extended version, Malcolm McLaren thanks the American Double Dutch League for their help in making the record, and for their work in “furthering the international sport of Double Dutch”.

Malcolm had watched Double Dutch teams on the streets of New York in the early 80s and decided the sport should be represented on his internationally influenced Duck Rock album.

Double Dutch was big in New York at the time and the all-girl teams used the sport to show off not only their skipping routines but also elements of breakdancing and other improvisations.

The song’s chorus references Malcolm’s favourite team, The Ebonettes, and the centre-label of the 12” vinyl credits the track as being by Malcolm McLaren and The Ebonettes.

But actually, this is very much a Trevor Horn production.

Trevor was the master-producer of 80s pop, and pushed the 12” format to its limits, in particular with Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

McLaren, in post-Sex Pistols exile has persuaded Charisma Records that they should fund his idea for an internationally-themed pop album, and the record label had in turn enlisted Horn to deliver a commercially viable product.

Accounts of the process that followed are remarkable, with the Horn and McLaren continent-hopping making recordings to bring back to London, which Horn then fashioned into a remarkably eclectic yet coherent record.

The lead track ‘Buffalo Gals’ was the first time many British music fans had heard scratching, or in fact, any elements of hip hop.

‘Double Dutch’ was the follow up single, and was the highest charting single from ‘Duck Rock’ reaching number 3 in the UK, and being successful both sides of the Atlantic, which in turn, made the whole ‘Duck Rock’ album a commercial success.

This extended version is odd in its structure, as it descends into a spoken-word breakdown which then just ends suddenly.

The front of the sleeve explains that this is an “8 min 40 sec New Dance Mix” whilst the reverse provides instructions and illustrations on how to perform Double Dutch tricks.

A classic piece of pop then from McLaren and Horn, and one which still sounds great today, especially in this extended reworking.

Label: Charisma
Cat No: MALC312
Year: 1983


  1. Thanks Ben, hadn’t seen that – would be great to catch it, hopefully it will migrate north for the summer 🙂

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