Year of Release: 1971
Oft sold as a "reggae rarity" online, this sounds more like a calypso record to my admittedly easily confused ears, but I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong. Whatever you want to classify it as, "A Ra Chicera" is a rum proposition, sounding like an upbeat meditation on the failings of human nature accompanied by the kettle drummers and trumpeters from the "Grandstand" theme. "Well, there's nothin' wrong with the world/ it's just the people living in it" The Delmonts inform us seriously, before clarifying "And there'd be nothing wrong with the people/ if they'd stop to think a minute". They're not far wrong, are they? "A ra chicera, chicca racca roney", they add. Nope, lost me there.
The Delmonts didn't seem to release many other records or evidence of their existence, but I can tell you that this was the first in a small line of releases on Spiral Records, who were owned by the British jukebox company Ditchburn. Like their later releases, "A Ra Chicera" did not chart, but it turns up in quantities which suggest that either they manufactured loads in the hope of a hit, or it came close to success. Certainly there seem to be suggestions online that The Delmonts did some television promotional work for this single, which would have given it an inside shot. As it stands, their thoughtful meditations on charity and neighbourliness were lost on the British public, and that may account for the present decline in living standards. You tried, the Delmonts, you tried.