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Album Review

The Mighty Diamonds (Donald "Tabby" Shaw, Fitzroy "Bunny" Simpson, Lloyd "Judge" Ferguson) have recorded with most of the major Jamaican producers in their long career as one of the island's greatest harmony trios, and their body of work has shown a remarkable consistency. Bust Out, recorded in 1993, teams the Diamonds with producer Junior Reid, whose sparse, airy backing tracks allow the trio's vocal talents to take center stage. While it doesn't quite measure up to the benchmark material the Mighty Diamonds recorded in the mid-'70s at Channel One (and which led to their classic Right Time album from 1976), there is still a lot to like here, including a wonderfully smooth remake of the group's classic "I Need a Roof" and a sleek, infectious "Cool It." Bust Out might not be the best place for listeners new to the Diamonds to start, since Reid's production approach results in a thin sound at times, but longtime fans of the trio will definitely want to check out this one.

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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Bust Out, The Mighty Diamonds
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