The Maytones

Boat to Zion

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The Maytones (Vern Buckley and Gladstone "Son" Grant) are a solid Jamaican roots duo with an easy high/low harmony sound. A meeting with producer Alvin Ranglin was pivotal, since Ranglin's uncluttered, rural-sounding production style and Buckley's unassuming songwriting made an ideal combination. The Maytones had their first hit on the island with the goofy, mento-sounding "Billy Goat" (included on this collection) in 1968. "Funny Man" (also included here) was a huge hit in 1970, as was the conscious "Bongo Man Rise" a year later. The title track, "Boat to Zion," is a particular delight, sounding like some great, lost Justin Hinds song. A few too many Jamaican hits are missing from this compilation to make it truly essential, but it works fine as an introduction to this interesting duo.

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