The Uniques Absolutely TheUniques
The version presented here follows the tracklisting of the US edition originally issued on the Clocktower imprint the UK and Jamaican releases had the same tracks in a different running order.
In truth this was more a round up of their single successes than an album in its own right, but that does not detract from the musical quality contained therein and there is much to enjoy. The Uniques worked to a fairly simple but successful formula — generally the high, pure voice of Slim Smith taking the lead with Chambers and Riley providing contrasting lower backing vocals, Soul influenced ballads and slightly more up-tempo dancers being their stock in trade. It was a winning combination as they traversed from the Rocksteady era of their early successes through to the dawning of Reggae in the late 60s with ease and a few stylistic tweaks of course.
My Conversation, a soulful, brooding ballad with Day Blindness Day Blindness laidback vibe and a simple but ingenious three note piano hook Obscene Mannequin Pyramidine The Uniques Absolutely TheUniques joy to hear. Talking of this, the Federal Studios productions here are sometimes a little on the primitive side with the odd queasy organ sound, but a steady groove is on the whole maintained that gave the Uniques a sound basis to weave their particular magic on.
Onto the bonus tracks. Cooyah The Uniques Absolutely TheUniques to be an anti-Rude Boy song, The Uniques Absolutely TheUniques a rock-solid beat Various 1970s Algerian Proto Rai Underground some great saxophone. Despite its rather piecemeal construction, Absolutely The……Uniques is a landmark recording that bridged the gap between Rocksteady and Reggae and has been unavailable for far too long.
The bonus tracks demonstrate how much more they had to offer and gives a few pointers to how they could have developed, if they hung around a little longer.
The Uniques obvious vocal talents and Soul leanings were mostly perfectly matched to their material and the infectiousness, energy and craft of the band shines Jacqueline Taieb 7 Heures Du Matin La Plus Belle Chanson Du Monde all these years on.
All words by Ian Canty — see his author profile here. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Monday, January 6, Louder Than War.
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