Duck Rock
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 1983
GenreWorld music, hip hop, novelty
LabelCharisma, Island, Atco, Atlantic
ProducerTrevor Horn, Malcolm McLaren
Malcolm McLaren chronology
Duck Rock
Singles from Duck Rock
  1. "Buffalo Gals"
    Released: 1982
  2. "Soweto"
    Released: 1983
  3. "Double Dutch"
    Released: 1983
  4. "Duck for the Oyster"
    Released: December 1983

Duck Rock is an album released by British impresario Malcolm McLaren. It was originally issued in 1983 by Charisma Records, Virgin Records, and Chrysalis Records, and later re-released on CD in 1987. The album mixes up styles from South Africa, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the United States, including hip hop. The album proved to be highly influential in bringing hip hop to a wider audience in the United Kingdom. Two of the singles from the album, "Buffalo Gals" and "Double Dutch", became major chart hits on both sides of the Atlantic. Duck Rock was dedicated to Harry McClintock, better known as Haywire Mac. The album artwork was designed by Dondi White and Nick Egan, with the illustration by Keith Haring.

Guest musicians featured on this album include Trevor Horn, Anne Dudley, J. J. Jeczalik, and Thomas Dolby. Side recordings that Horn, Dudley and Jeczalik made in between takes of Duck Rock would eventually become the first album of the Art of Noise, Into Battle with the Art of Noise. Clips of the World's Famous Supreme Team radio show appear between songs, which made the album one of the earliest recordings on which members of the Nation of Gods and Earths appear.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
The Village VoiceB+[3]

In a contemporary review of the album, The Village Voice's Robert Christgau found that "McLaren knows how to record African music for Western ears, and the ebullient tunes he's collected here more than make up for his annoyance quotient", but also criticised McLaren and Horn for failing to give credit to the South African musicians involved in the recording,[3] such as Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens. The Mbaqanga group the Boyoyo Boys took legal action against McLaren over the similarity of "Double Dutch" with its own hit "Puleng". After a lengthy legal battle in the UK, the matter was settled out of court, with payment made to the South African copyright holders, songwriter Petrus Maneli and publisher Gallo Music, but Horn and McLaren retained their songwriting credits.[4]

Duck Rock was ranked at number 9 among the "Albums of the Year" for 1983 by NME,[5] and it ultimately became a critical favourite, garnering accolades from various other publications in the years following its release.[6] William Ruhlmann of AllMusic retrospectively reviewed it as "an amazingly eclectic collection of world music mixed with urban hip-hop".[1] In 2013, NME ranked Duck Rock at 298 in its list of greatest albums of all time.[7] The album also received BBC Two's Critical Music label.[8] In 2018, Pitchfork ranked Duck Rock at number 200 in its list of the 200 best albums of the 1980s.[9]

Track listing

Side one
1."Obatala (La Republica Dominicana)"Horn, McLaren4:17
2."Buffalo Gals"Dudley, Horn, McLaren4:22
3."Double Dutch"Horn, McLaren5:53
4."El San Juanera"Horn, McLaren1:56
5."Merengue"Horn, McLaren3:52
6."Punk It Up"Horn, McLaren4:11
Side two
7."Legba"Horn, McLaren4:03
8."Jive My Baby"Horn, McLaren5:35
9."Song for Chango"Horn, McLaren2:49
10."(Living on the Road In) Soweto"Horn, McLaren3:53
11."World's Famous"Dudley, McLaren1:41
12."Duck for the Oyster"Horn, McLaren2:57

More tracks

  1. "Buffalo Gals – Special Stereo Scratch Mix" (Horn, Dudley, McLaren)
  2. "Zulus on a Time Bomb" (Horn, McLaren)
  3. "She's Looking Like a Hobo" (Horn, McLaren)
  4. "Double Dutch – New Dance Mix" (Horn, McLaren)
  5. "Roly Poly" (Horn, McLaren)
  6. "D'ya Like Scratchin'? – with the Red River Gals" (Horn, Dudley, McLaren)
  7. "World's Famous – Radio ID" (Horn, Dudley, McLaren)
  8. "Buffalo Gals - Trad. Square" (Horn, McLaren)
  9. "Hobo Scratch" (Horn, McLaren)
  10. "Hobo Scratch (Long Edit.)" (Horn, McLaren)
  11. "D'ya Like Scratchin'? - Special Version" (Horn, Dudley, McLaren)



  1. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "Duck Rock – Malcolm McLaren". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  2. ^ Book, John (23 November 2004). "Malcolm McLaren :: Duck Rock :: Island Records". RapReviews. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  3. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (30 August 1983). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  4. ^ Jackson, Leon. "The Boyoyo Boys – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Duck Rock". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
  7. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 300–201". NME. 24 October 2013. Archived from the original on 4 May 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "The 200 Best Albums of the 1980s | Pitchfork". Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  10. ^ Zuckerman, Ethan (17 June 2013). Digital Cosmopolitans: Why We Think the Internet Connects Us, Why It Doesn't. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0393240622. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  11. ^ Zuckerman, Ethan (17 June 2013). Digital Cosmopolitans: Why We Think the Internet Connects Us, Why It Doesn't. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0393240622. Retrieved 13 February 2021.