Riding a version of Verne & Son's (aka The Maytones) "Little Boy Blue" rhythm, "Big Six" picked up on a theme launched with Prince Buster's late '60s innuendo "Big Five." "Six" debuted on the UK charts on August 26, 1972, and stayed for a staggering 26 weeks, peaking just outside the Top Ten at 11. Dread would revisit the formula three months later, spicing up old childrens' rhymes atop a cut of The Uniques' "My Conversation" rhythm. The next installment, "Big Seven," would become Hughes' signature, peaking at No. 8 on the chart. Though Hughes' march through salacity with "Big Eight," "Nine" and "Ten" secured his working class 'ero status, Dread's sound eventually fell from favor, but not before earning him, between 1972 and 1978, 11 chart singles totaling 95 weeks on the chart, all without airplay. Not bad for a club bouncer from Snodland.
- DANA SMART