The Taxi Gang

Hail Up the Taxi

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Bassist Robbie Shakespeare and drummer Sly Dunbar, the most prolific and best-known rhythm section in '80s reggae, spent the decade producing other artists, often for their own production company and label, Taxi Records. Several compilations of Taxi singles have been released, including 1995's excellent 12-track collection Hail Up the Taxi. Working mostly with young singers little-known outside of their native Jamaica, Sly and Robbie created a Phil Spector-like element of interchangeability with the Taxi singles. As fine as singers like Ambelique and Chaka Demus are, their Taxi singles are first and foremost Sly & Robbie records, defined by the pair's trademark intermingling of forward-looking electronics and heavy roots influences. The opening track, "Crazy Baldheads" by Beenie Man & Luciano, is possibly Taxi's highest point, but Hail Up the Taxi in its entirety is a near-flawless collection of '80s and '90s reggae greats.

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