Words by Jesse Serwer—
Beres Hammond hasn’t made very many music videos during his storied, four-decade-plus career. He’s just not that kind of artist. One of the first, and most memorable, videos he did make, though, was for “No Disturb Sign,” from his major-label debut, 1994′s In Control. The tune itself is the ultimate working class love song, told from the point of view of a 9-to-5-er trying everything he can to squeeze in a little bedroom time with his lady. The memorable line “I think I’m gonna have to call in sick-can’t leave my woman like this” says it all.
The sepia-toned, vaguely story-driven video (following a mechanic working in what appears to be the hot California desert) was an effort to cross Beres over into the US R&B market. While this didn’t necessarily happen on the scale that was hoped for— Beres would leave Elektra Records several years later, U.S. household name status still eluding him—”No Disturb Sign” gave worldwide audiences their first proper introduction to the phenomenon Jamaican music fans had known about since the ’70s.
With Beres, fresh off the release of his superb new album One Love, One Life, set to have one of the biggest weeks of his career—within the next seven days he’ll appear on NPR and Tonight with Jimmy Fallon, and headline the first reggae concert at Brooklyn’s new arena, the Barclays Center—we couldn’t think of a better clip to flash back to.
NOTE: Tonight’s Beres Hammond appearance at Miss Lily’s has been cancelled. Stay tuned for a new date.