The Heptones

Dub Dictionary

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One of Jamaica's greatest vocal groups, the Heptones had their initial success working with Clement Dodd at Studio One, and thanks in no small part to Leroy Sibbles' loping basslines and some solid three-part harmonies, the trio turned out several classic hits for Dodd between 1968 and 1975. This set features several of those tracks revisited in dub fashion, and while the Heptones were always about the vocals first and foremost, it's nice to hear the classic rhythms that those vocals were built on and it's a pretty sturdy base. It helps to know the originals, though, since little here stands on its own, and the tracks that are the most successful, like "Pretty Looks Version" and "Sea of Dub" ("Sea of Love"), feature ghostly snippets of the original vocal tracks, but all in all, Dub Dictionary makes a nice -- if hardly essential -- addendum to the Heptones story.

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