Some old school reggae today the Maytals basically invented the term reggay, The Abyssinians were a serious bunch of rastafari that unfortunately didn't succeed in the big league as money, status and religion is a toxic mix for any ensemble.
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Toots and the Maytals, originally called simply The Maytals, are one of the best known ska and reggae vocal groups. Formed in the early 1960s when ska was hot, the Maytals had a reputation for having strong, well-blended voices and a seldom-rivaled passion for their music. Frontman Hibbert's soulful style led him to be compared to Otis Redding".
Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, the frontman of the group, was born in May Pen, Clarendon, Jamaica in 1945, the youngest of seven children. He grew up singing gospel music in a church choir, and moved to Kingston in 1958 at the age of thirteen. In Kingston, Hibbert met Henry "Raleigh" Gordon and Nathaniel "Jerry" Mathias, forming in 1961. The Maytals first had chart success recording for producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd at Studio One. With musical backing from Dodd's house band, The Skatalites, the Maytals' close-harmony gospel singing ensured success, overshadowing Dodd's other up-and-coming vocal group, The Wailers.
After staying at Studio One for about two years, the group moved on to do sessions for Prince Buster before recording with Byron Lee in 1966. With Lee, the Maytals won the first-ever Jamaican Independence Festival Popular Song Competition with their original song "Bam Bam" However, the group's musical career was interrupted in late 1966 when Hibbert was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months.He stated that he was not arrested for ganja, but whilst bailing a friend. He also stated that he made up the number 54-46 when writing "54-46 That's My Number" about his time in jail.
Following Hibbert's release from jail towards the end of 1967, the Maytals began working with the Chinese Jamaican producer Leslie Kong, a collaboration which yielded a string of hits throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s.These included "Do the Reggay", one of several songs released in 1968 to first use the word 'reggae' (spelled 'reggay') in a Jamaican recording. "Pressure Drop"; "54-46 That's My Number" the 1969 Jamaica festival's popular song winner; "Sweet and Dandy"; and "Monkey Man", the group's first international hit in 1970. By 1971, they had not only become the biggest act on the island, they were also (thanks to signing a recording contract with Chris Blackwell's Island Records) international stars.In 1972 they won their third Jamaica festival popular song with "Pomps and Pride".The group was also featured twice in the soundtrack to The Harder They Come, the 1972 film starring Jimmy Cliff, named as one of Vanity Fair's Top 10 soundtracks of all time.
After Kong's death in 1971, the group continued to record with Kong's former sound engineer, Warrick Lyn. Their re-instated producer Byron Lee renamed them Toots & the Maytals. The group released three best-selling albums produced by Lyn and Blackwell of Island Records, and enjoyed international hits with Funky Kingston in 1973 and Reggae Got Soul in 1975.
Toots and the Maytals' compositions would be given a second airing in 1978-80 during the reggae punk and ska revival period in the UK, In 1982, Toots & the Maytals' "Beautiful Woman", reached number one in New Zealand, but the group had already broken up. They reformed in the early 1990s to continue touring and recording successfully.
In 2005, the group released True Love, an album consisting of re-recorded versions of their earlier hits, it won the Grammy Award that year for best reggae album. In 2006, they recorded a reggae/ska version of Radiohead's "Let Down" for the tribute album, Radiodread, by the Easy Star All-Stars. The album was a song for song makeover of the English rock band's album OK Computer into reggae, dub and ska. In August 2007 Toots & the Maytals released Light Your Light, which featured re-workings of older songs again", as well as new material. Toots & the Maytals hold the current record of number one hits in Jamaica, with a total of thirty one.
In March 2009 it was announced that Toots & the Maytals would be performing alongside Amy Winehouse, for their shared record label, Island Records' 50th anniversary. Winehouse had covered the band's "Monkey Man", and the act were supposed to support her at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London on 31 May 2009. However, Winehouse had succumbed again, leaving the Maytals to play at the more intimate Bush Hall, round the corner from the Empire, to a sell-out crowd.
Toots & The Maytals - In The Dark (flac 177mb)
01 Got To Be There 3:10
02 In The Dark 2:51
03 Having A Party 2:54
04 Time Tough 4:28
05 I See You 3:20
06 Take A Look In The Mirror 3:22
07 Take Me Home Country Roads 3:26
08 Fever 2:33
09 Love Gonna Walk Out On Me 3:19
10 Revolution 3:37
11 54-36 3:31
12 Sailing On 3:36
Toots & The Maytals - In The Dark (ogg 87mb)
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The vocal trio was originally formed in 1968 by Bernard Collins and Donald Manning. Their first song was "Satta Massagana", it's a Rastafarian hymn sung partly in the ancient Ethiopian Amharic language. They recruited a third vocalist, who was still at school and often unable to attend rehearsals; He was soon replaced by Donald's brother Lynford Manning.
"Satta Massagana" was first recorded for producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd in March 1969, but he decided against releasing it, seeing no commercial potential for what he saw as a song constituting cultural subversion.In 1971, the group purchased the master tapes from Dodd for 90 pounds and released it on their own Clinch label, the single becoming a massive success, prompting Dodd to release his own instrumental and deejay versions. The group released further takes on the song on Clinch by Tommy McCook, Big Youth, and Dillinger, as well as their own "Mabrak", featuring the group reciting passages from the Old Testament. The group's second release, "Declaration of Rights", featured Leroy Sibbles on backing vocals, and like their first was a huge hit in Jamaica, (and subsequently in the international market) .
The group continued to record throughout the 1970s for producers including Lloyd Daley, Tommy Cowan, and Geoffrey Chung and their debut album, Forward on to Zion was produced by Clive Hunt and released in 1976. The follow-up, Arise (1978) was recorded under stressful conditions with internal rivalries threatening to break up the group, and after the album's release, Collins left the band, to be eventually replaced by Carlton Manning.This line-up performed at the 1979 Reggae Sunsplash festival, but split up the following year.
The original line-up reunited in 1998 and went on to record new material, including the singles "African Princess" and "Swing Low" and the album Reunion, although Collins was not involved in songwriting at this time.
The Abyssinians debut album has had a very complex release history. The first unofficial editions, very limited in quantity, were released by Clive Hunt in 1975. The first official release occurred in Jamaica in 1976 on Pentrate Label, and shortly after in the United States on Jam Sounds. The following years, 1977 and 1978, saw the album released by three labels under the title Forward On To Zion. The album would see numerous re-releases over the next decade, in 1993 the album was released on compact disc for the first time by Heartbeat Records. This edition included four previously unreleased bonus tracks.And once again in 2007 as a deluxe edition which included four additional bonus tracks.
The Abyssinians - Satta Massagana (flac 368mb)
01 Declaration Of Rights 3:26
02 The Good Lord 3:25
03 Forward Unto Zion 3:46
04 Know Jah Today 2:56
05 Abendigo 3:33
06 Y Mas Gan 3:49
07 Black Man's Strain 2:45
08 Satta Massagana 3:29
09 I And I 3:34
10 African Race 2:53
11 Leggo Beast 3:10
12 Peculiar Number 4:00
13 Reason Time 2:55
14 There Is No End 3:22
15 Jerusalem 2:17
16 Leggo Beast Dub 2:58
17 Abendigo (Extended Mix) 5:57
18 Poor Jason Whyte (Extended Mix) 4:18
The Abyssinians - Satta Massagana (ogg 140mb)
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