The Junkyard Band was Def Jam’s only go-go signing that I personally know about (there might have been others, but I have too much going on today to properly sit down and research it). The 12″ they dropped way back in 1986 of “The Word” b/w “Sardines” is a blisteringly crunchy track you’ll hear pop up from time to time in mixtapes, random live DJ sets or that you might just stumble over. It’s funky, progressive, and extremely political; this is music that was meant to talk shit about the quality of life poor people experienced in D.C. during the Reagan years.
Listen carefully to the lyrics: “The Word” was never a huge record maybe because it got its groove on while lodging a complaint against the Reagan administration, but it demonstrated Rick Rubin’s awareness of other music scenes bubbling up outside of NYC.. As you might have heard alluded to earlier in the week, that administration had a habit of cutting programs to the poor while spending money on making bombs. More than once you’ll hear that refrain, “Reagan makin’ bombs, Reagan makin’ bombs”.
Turn the clock back & let’s get on down.