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1975-1978 - Makasound - studio - discs:1
Ansel Cridland (born in 1951 in Westmoreland) started his career by the late 60's (around 1969) singing with The Linkers. They cut some singles as "Hyah Man Story", "Bongo Man", "I Want Love Forever" and "Send Bway A School", among the others, but in 1972 the band split. During the same time Danny Clarke also began singing, the group was Alton Ellis' The Righteous Flames, later the Winston Jarrett's group from 1967. Soon after he started to sing with Winston Watson and in 1973 Danny met Ansel. Danny and Ansel released some singles under their own names: Danny Clarke or Ansel Cridland & The Meditations. At the end of 1974 they were joyned by Winston Watson and in November 1976 they started to call themselfs The Meditations, right before releasing their hit "Woman Is Like A Shadow" (cut at Channel One with The Revolutionaries as backing band in 1974). The Meditations were officially an harmony trio. In early 1977 they cut their debut set called "Message From The Meditations". Three songs were recorded at the legendary Lee "Scratch" Perry's Black Ark: "Rastaman Prayer", "There Must Be A First Time" (present in this re-release from Makasound as a bonus track) and "Running From Jamaica". At Perry's premises they also contributed on the chorus of Augustus Pablo's instrumental "Vibrate On". In 1978, again at the Black Ark, they cut some tunes. The songs included "Think So"(aka "Much Smarter"), "No Peace" and "House Of Parliament". As an affirmed vocal group The Mediations have recorded on seminal set as The Congos "Heart Of The Congos", Junior Murvin's "Police & Thieves" and Lee "Scratch" Perry own "Roast Fish Collie Weed & Corn Bread". They also sang back vocals for three Bob Marley & The Wailers singles: "Punky Reggae Party" (mixed by Lee Perry), "Blackman Redemption" and "Rastaman Live Up". They also opened the legendary One Love Peace Concert in 1978. In the same year a contract was almost signed with Island to release the present set: "Giudance". Unfortunately the set only appeared briefly on the U.S. market under the TAD label, and in Jamaica under Gorgon Records. This release on CD presents the original set plus five bonus tracks. The original track list was as follows: "Something Looking Good", "Play I", "Senorita" (fast, tough and strong, maybe the best song here), "Marrige", "Life Is Not Easy", "War Mongers", "Hard Life", "Miracles" and "Jungle Feeling". With five stellar songs on a nine piece set, "Guidance" is a great Roots music harmony set. The album was self produced and some of the strongest players were employed to provide the base for this highly confident and engaging music. The players were: Carlton Barrett, Sly Dunbar, Mikey Boo Richards and Santa Davis (drums); Tony Allen, Ranchie, Robbie Shakespeare and Val Douglas (bass); Junior Marvin, Al Anderson, Rad Bryan, Michael Chung and Lennox Gordon (lead guitar); Willie Lindo and Ansel Cridland (rhythm guitar); Winston Wright, Tyrone Downie, Dennis Ferron, Harold Butler, Robert Lynn and Ansel Collins (keyboards); Dean Fraser, Nambo Robinson, Clive Hunt, Chico Hamilton, Herman Marquis, Headley Benett, Tommy McCook and Vin Gordon (horns); Alvin Haughton, Scully Simms, Winston Watson and Danny Clarke (percussions). The tracks were recorded in different Studios: Black Ark, Channel One, Harry J and Treasure Isle. The engineer were Sylvan Morris, Mervyn Williams, Errol Thompson, Errol Brown, Lee Perry, Ruddy Thomas and Maxie. This re-release from Makasound offers five bonus tracks: "Justice", "Woman Piabba", "There Must Be A First Time", "Changing Of The Time" and "Rome". The last four are taken from the 1977 "Message From The Meditations" set. The Meditations belong to the golden harmony section of the 70's Roots Reggae. They stand, with their own strong and distinctive personality, on the same hights where stand for different reasons and each with different qualities, The Abyssinians, The Mighty Diamonds, Earth & Stone, Israel Vibrations, Knowledge, The Congos, The Gladiators, The Mighty Threes, The Heptones, The Melodians, The Pioneers, The Royals, The Viceroys, Wailing Souls, and some others not yet filed in Yardie-Reggae. All these groups contributed to the harmony side of Reggae music. Some of them are for sure more important and interesting than others, but The Meditations must be remembered among them.
NO MORE FRIEND
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1983 - Greensleeves - studio - discs: 1"No More Friend" (1983) is the fourth album from this great harmony group: The Meditations. Their previous efforts were "Message From The Meditations" (1977), "Wake Up" (1977) and "Guidance" (1978). After five years they were back with "No More Friend". In 1983 classic Roots sounds were gone, but The Meditations felt completely confident with the established Dancehall sounds. This album produced by Linval Thompson clearly demonstates it. Here we have ten straight (with some quite deep) tracks cut at Channel One and mixed by "Soldgie" Hamilton. As expected the music is provided by the Roots Radics. The ten tracks are: "No More Friend", "Forcing Me", "Jack On Top", "Mother Love", "Book Of History", "Carpenter Rebuild" (a strong hit at the time), "Fuss And Fight", "Slick Chick", "Talk Of The Town" and "Big City". This re-release presents a bonus track: "No More Friend" (here presented in its 12" Mix version). The Meditations Dancehall side: harmony approach adapted to the beginnings of the 80's. It works well!