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Sweet and Dandy

Toots & The Maytals

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Album Review

Although the original incarnation of Toots & the Maytals (Toots Hibbert, Nathaniel "Jerry" McCarthy, and Raleigh Gordon) parted ways in 1981, between the years 1964 and 1974 they managed to assemble one of the most highly charged and distinctive bodies of work in the history of Jamaican music. Led by Toots' Kingston-by-way-of-Memphis lead vocals and the ragged call-and-response background singing of McCarthy and Gordon, the trio created gospel-fueled reggae classics like "Bam Bam," "54-46 Was My Number," "Monkey Man," "Sweet and Dandy," "Pomps and Pride," "Funky Kingston," "Time Tough," and the immortal "Pressure Drop," all of which carried the stomp and wallop of the best and most enduring soul music of the day. Sweet and Dandy brings together the best tracks from those crucial years, including several sides produced by the great Leslie Kong, arguably the most sympathetic to the Maytals' sound. Island's two-disc Time Tough anthology adds more early ska sides along with some post-1974 material to give a better portrait of the Maytals' complete history, but the heart and soul of their reputation is still based on what you'll hear in this set.

Biography

Formed: 1966

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While they never achieved the commercial success or cultural impact of the Wailers, Toots & the Maytals were nearly as important in the history of Jamaican music; like the Wailers, the Maytals thrived as ska gave way to rocksteady and then evolved into reggae, they boasted one of the island's finest singers and most charismatic frontmen in the great Toots Hibbert, and they worked with many of the most important producers and sidemen on the island. The Maytals were also the band that most clearly...
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Sweet and Dandy, Toots & The Maytals
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