(4 / 5)
First time on CD for one of the Trojan label’s most sought after albums. Features the full original album and another – new to CD – dozen bonus tracks.
One of Jamaica’s most celebrated vocal groups, at the end of 1968, the best of their Tramp recordings were committed to a vinyl LP, “Absolutely”, but within months of its issue, the trio had disbanded. The three members all going on to achieve substantial solo success on the Jamaican music scene.
In 1967, when the lilting rhythms of rock steady ruled Jamaica’s airwaves, the island boasted an array of popular vocal trios and quartets, such as The Maytals, The Heptones, The Pioneers, The Ethiopians, and a group who over a period spanning less than two years, recorded some of the most popular and enduring music ever to see issue in Jamaica: The Uniques.
Keith ‘Slim’ Smith, Lloyd ‘Charmers’ Tyrell and Martin ‘Jimmy’ Riley, The Uniques enjoyed a run of hits on Jamaica’s national charts, initially recording with celebrated producer, Bunny Lee, before launching their own Tramp label with the assistance of a local businessman, Winston Lowe.
Almost 50 years after its original issue, this ultra-rare album is re-presented, with its 12 tracks augmented by the remainder of the group’s hugely sought-after Tramp recordings.
Try as you might to find a dodgy cut here, or anything that seems a filler and not a killer and you’ll die trying! All 24 cuts are steaming, sizzling, smouldering, beautiful and timeless reggae music at its finest and put you right slap bang on “the rock”, and under the blazing sunshine with a long, tall cold one to chill out with.
Big up Doctor Bird for this one – an essential addition to any serious reggae collection and one to play if you own the original vinyl and want to keep it in tact!
By JJ Bell
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’