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Fire and Rain

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Album Review

The Gaylads' story begins in the ska age, when duo Winston Delano Stewart and Harris "B.B." Seaton enlisted Maurice Roberts, and began cutting a steady stream of stellar ska hits for Coxsone Dodd. With the advent of rocksteady, the Lads left Dodd and joined forces with Sonia Pottinger, and the classics just kept coming, before Stewart left the trio at the end of the decade. His loss barely slowed the Lads down, making the studio rounds, and finally hooking up with Leslie Kong in 1969, where they remained until the producer's untimely death in 1971. With ex-Paragon Howard Barrett and Ricky Grant filling in over time for the absent Stewart, the Lads' star continued soaring ever higher. As always, the talented Seaton penned most of the trio's compositions, including the sizzling "There's a Fire," a huge hit that cemented their partnership with Kong. A slew more followed, including the jaunty message "Tell the Children the Truth," the funky "Soul Sister," and the gorgeous sufferer's "Something Is Wrong." Inevitably there were covers cut as well, a less than spectacular "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," but a quite stunning version of the perennial "It's All in the Game," and a terrific take on James Taylor's "Fire & Rain." That latter number would title the Lads' third album, which bundled up ten of their recent 45s, with this reissue adding a further trio of Kong-era numbers. These three are indeed a bonus, and include the group's smash homage to "My Jamaican Girl," the rousing sufferer's song "People Crying," and the giddy "Last Time." In recent years, the Gaylads' rocksteady canon has become particularly revered, but, in truth, there was never a period when the group was less than exceptional. This superb album brings together much of their best from the reggae age, a heady reminder that the group was more than the sum of its parts, and that Stewart's departure was far from the end of the Gaylads story.

Fire and Rain, Gaylads
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: World, Music, Reggae
  • Released: 05 November 1996

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