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Right Time Come

The Mighty Diamonds

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Album Review

As members of the Channel One stable, the Mighty Diamonds were arguably the finest roots group recording under the Hookim brothers during the mid- to late '70s (excellent sides were also cut by the Wailing Souls and Earth & Stone). With a harmony style rooted in American soft soul and a lyrical voice informed by the teachings of Marcus Garvey and an unwavering faith in Rastafari, the trio recorded a series of exceptional full-lengths and 45 sides for the label beginning in 1975. Their debut album, 1976's Right Time, was built around the group's early singles: songs like "Have Mercy," "Them Never Love," "I Need a Roof," and "The Right Time." Not to be confused with that set, NYC Music's Right Time Come doubles the length of the original release by adding material from 1978's Stand up to Your Judgment along with a few more obscure cuts. Listeners looking for the debut in its original form (with bonus tracks appended), however, will be disappointed. Right Time Come shuffles the music together, breaking up the Mighty Diamonds' classics in the process. All things considered, a minor complaint considering Stand up to Your Judgment had long been unavailable outside of Jamaica (or on CD). Songs like "Back Weh" and "I Want to Know" revealed how deep the group's repertoire was at the time, while a pair of covers (the Stylistics' "Country Living" and the Chi-Lites' "Stoned out of My Mind") paid homage to a pair of early influences. Combined with the material from Right Time, the result is a satisfying introduction to the earliest and finest music of this excellent roots outfit.

Biography

Formed: 1969 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

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

Vocal trio the Mighty Diamonds were one of the most internationally popular reggae groups to emerge from the '70s roots era. More accessible than many other roots outfits, the Diamonds boasted soulful, gorgeously pure harmonies and tight, catchy songwriting, much of it from within the group itself. They were devout Rastafarians, but balanced their spiritual and political messages with sweet romantic material, which gave them a more universal appeal than militant groups like Culture or Black Uhuru....
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Right Time Come, The Mighty Diamonds
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