Blackstones

The Blackstones were a UK-based vocal trio featuring Leon Leiffer alongside his brothers Byron and Neville. The singers began performing in the mid-70s, releasing their debut, ‘We Nah Go Suffer’, for Daddy Kool, which topped the reggae charts and led to sessions with producer Phil Pratt. The rhythms were initially recorded at Channel One and the master tapes were shipped to the UK; the group added their vocals at Chalk Farm studios, followed by an eventual remix in Jamaica. These sessions resulted in the eagerly awaited Insight, which met with critical acclaim when it was eventually released. Inspired by Bob Marley, in 1978 the group released ‘Punk Rockers’, through Phil Pratt’s Channan Jah, a pairing of reggae and punk that proved unable to match the superstar’s success. The talented trio continued to release excellent tracks, including the popular ‘Sweet Feeling’. By 1983, their fortunes improved with a new line-up of Leiffer alongside Tony Douglas (brother of Keith Douglas) and Ken Kendricks. The band topped the reggae album chart with Take Another Look At Love, which took its title from the trio’s chart-topping single. During the mid-80s the group enjoyed a high profile in the charts with the hits ‘Aint She Looking Fine’, ‘Created By One’, ‘Jealousy’, ‘Revolution Time’, ‘Fighting To The Top’ and Leon’s solo, ‘Rockers Medley’. However, this success was marred by the 1985 release of a somewhat misguided disco collaboration, ‘Nothing You Can Do About Love’. The group were enrolled to perform as the Blackstones featuring Lance Ellington, and enjoyed major label promotion; however, despite the new formula, they again failed to secure crossover success. Nevertheless, the band continued to maintain a flourishing career solely within the reggae market and are highly popular in Jamaica.

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