1995's LIVE IT UP is pretty typical of this long-running and much-beloved reggae band's '90s repertoire. It's at least as much a pop collection as it is a reggae album.
Most of the set consists of extended versions of Third World hits like the anthemic "Open Up Your Eyes," but there are also a good-sized handful of reggae-fied pop covers, like versions of Eric Clapton's "Layla"--closer to its '90s acoustic remake than the electric '70s original--and the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." The latter works exceptionally well, with its loose, ominous groove given an infusion of good old-fashioned Rasta dread. The originals range from relatively early roots material to the more R&B-influenced pop tracks that became Third World's stock in trade in the '80s and '90s. Reggae purists occasionally scoff at Third World's pop leanings, but LIVE IT UP proves that they're a more than worthy band.