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1980 - Island - live - discs: 1

This concert was recorded at London's Hammersmith Palais on September 29, 1980, but Toots and the Maytals started to perform almost twenty years earlier. In 1961 Frederick "Toots" Hibbert was quite young when he joined Nathaniel "Jerry McCarthy" Matthias and Ralphus "Raleigh" Gordon to form the Maytals. He had already cut some songs but it was with the Maytals that his career really started. Since the beginning his influences were Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett and James Brown. One of the first cuts that they made was the gospel influenced "Hallelujah" for Coxsone Dodd in 1962. After this first hit they recorded "Fever", "Six And Seven Books Of Moses" and "Never Grow Old", all recorded at Studio One. After two years they moved to Prince Buster to record further hits as "Dog War", "I Got A Pain" and "I Love You So". After Buster it was the time for Byron Lee who produced "Daddy", "It's You" and "Bam Bam" (a huge hit in 1964). Toots spent some time in jail during the second half of the 60's but as soon as he was released in 1968 Leslie Kong produced four super hits: "54-46 That's My Number" (Toot's actual jail number as prisoner), "Monkey Man", "Sweet And Dandy" and "Pressure Drop". As the 70's came they kept performing as well. Anything from the Maytals was proper Ska, Rocksteady or Reggae. There was always some other influence. Sometimes it was a Church choir touch, other times it was gospel or Soul. This concert delivers all these sounds together and one of the way to describe their sound and mood is to imagine a Jamaican version of Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and James Brown all mixed together. The energy is never missing but we are quite far away from the classic Jamaican mood. Note: this CD release adds two tracks to the original.

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yardie-reggae.com - 2007