Time Unlimited

Time Unlimited were a Jamaican vocal group assembled in the early 70s by Orville Smith. The line-up featured Smith alongside Junior Delgado, Glasford Manning and Hugh Marshall. In 1973 the group recorded sessions with Lee Perry at the Black Ark, although only ‘Reaction’ and ‘The Twenty Third Psalm’ were released. Following the Perry sessions the group recorded with Tommy Cowan and Warrick Lyn’s Talent Corporation, as well as the Total Sounds studios, which released ‘Give Me Love’. Disenchanted with their experiences in the recording industry, the quartet disbanded in 1975. The individual members pursued successful careers: Junior Delgado began a prolific career as a soloist; Smith recorded with Dennis Brown the assertive hit ‘Won’t Give Up’; and Manning joined the underrated vocal group the Jewels, who recorded the classic ‘Love And Livity’. Time Unlimited re-emerged as a trio when Smith recruited Hugh Blackwood and Donovan Joseph to complete the line-up. Both performers were considered well qualified for the roles: Blackwood’s debut recording, ‘Pick Your Choice’, had been produced by the veteran DJ Sir Lord Comic, proving a sizeable hit in 1973, while Joseph had worked alongside Gregory Isaacs and the Congos. By 1980 the new line-up recorded ‘Living Inna Jamdown’, produced by Sly And Robbie. Their negligible releases resulted in periods of obscurity, but in 1982 they returned to the spotlight, working with Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith and the High Times Band. With Smith the group toured Jamaica promoting their hits ‘Nature In Love’, ‘One Road’ and ‘Backfire’. The group also inaugurated their own short-lived label, Africa Productions, which collapsed after only two releases. In 1983 they released the memorable ‘2000 Years’ and were also recruited to provide backing vocals for dub poet Mutabaruka’s release, ‘Johnny Drughead’. The band eventually released their debut, Devils Angel, in 1985, featuring the conscientious ‘Live Upright’ and the analytical ‘African Woman’. Although the group’s output was considered to be inconsistent, their long-term influence on the industry is widely acknowledged.

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