* * *1979 - Virgin - studio - discs: 1
Twinkle Brothers was formed by the Grant brothers: Norman on vocals and Ralston on guitar. They started to play in the hotels of the north coast of Jamaica at the beginning of the 70's. Later they would develop their own style and recorded "Rasta Pon Top" in 1975 as their debut. They always stayed on the pure Roots side and the result is no more no less than this. This album follows "Love" (1978) and precedes the far stronger "Countryman" from 1980. I do not find particular peaks here with the exception of "Jahoviah" which can be considered a classic. This is that kind of album that you can play endlessly during one evening without getting bored because it flows cool and calm. Well, this is an overlooked group that should be checked more in deep. Old style simple and direct Roots Reggae. And simple stands for pure.
* * * /1979-1980 - Frontline - studio - discs: 1
I know that I should be polite but I must say what follows. I am starting to get really bored from Virgin/Frontline label's attiude. Very bored. I buy (not copying from somebody else record or downloading illegaly from the web... I wrote that I buy, right?) their CDs and what do I find inside? A booklet that most of the times contains only the titles of their catalogue and if I am lucky some notes written by someboby that seems to have surfed fifteen seconds on the web just to grab a few lines to paste and copy. In this case there are both: titles with cover pictures and a couple of lines about the Artists but anything about the source of the material featured. Them blood claat! Well, I am relaxed now so let's say something about this great compilation. Twinke Brothers were one of the classic overlooked Roots bands of the 70's and their music was perfecty sung and played. Twinkle Brothers maybe sometimes miss the force of a hit and the result could sound monotonous but I think that this is their power and strength: never going under some quality level. This compilation contains a couple of marvellous songs. "I Love You So" is one of the greatest love songs that I ever heared so far. More than this I must say that the version here seems to be taken from a vintage vinyl record and the sound is so dirty and pure! "Patoo" I am sure is able to conquer even the most skeptical ear about Reggae music. Are you searching for some real tough 70's bass leading on the frontrow? Get this, play it very loudly and be sure before you play dat tune that your speakers were made by some skilled technician from Jamaica! "Never Get Burn" is an hypnotic song: see how with two notes somebody is able to build up a Roots tune. "Jahoviah" comes from the "Praise Jah" set and it is a classic. "Since I Threw The Comb Away" is structured on the "Patoo" rhythm. Again: play it as loudly as your speakers are able to. This tune rises the dead. "One Head" is a straight Twinke Brothers song: a confident bass line to set the rythm and perfect harmonies. "Free Us" closes this great compilation with another pure Roots song. Bless Twinkle Brothers.
* * * *1980 - Virgin - studio - discs: 1
This set was produced by Terry Barham and Paul Smykle. Some of their classics are present here: "I Don't Want To Be Lonely Any More", "Patoo", "Never Get Burn", "Since I Threw The Comb Away". All those songs are strong but actually the best vibes stand elsewhere: listen to the meditative "Free Us" and the Stepper style calling of "Jah Kingdom Come". This CD edition has a hidden track: the Dub version of "Free Us". Twinkle Brothers started as a quite commercial (crossover) group, but here those manners and sounds are far away and forgotten. "Countrymen" is for sure a highly cohesive Roots set that deserves the right attention.