The Pioneers

Give and Take: The Best of the Pioneers

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Though they remain well-known only to reggae fanatics, the Pioneers were, without doubt, one of the three or four most important and influential of the late rocksteady and early reggae vocal trios. Their two songs about the ill-fated racehorse Long Shot (titled "Long Shot Bus' Me Bet" and "Long Shot Kick de Bucket") are acknowledged classics of the genre, and "Time Hard" has been covered by just about every second and third wave ska band in existence. The Beat (known in the U.S. as the English Beat) ended their debut album with a fine version of the Pioneers' "Jackpot." But the Pioneers really hit their stride with later material, much of which was quite poppy and soul-influenced. Their version of Jimmy Cliff's "Let Your Yeah Be Yeah," which leads off this program, is one of the most thrilling reggae recordings ever committed to vinyl, and their rockish arrangement (complete with horns and strings) of Sam & Dave's "You Don't Know Like I Know" is almost as good. Their adaptations of "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)" and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" are less inspired, but still worth hearing. Give and Take is an excellent place to start your exploration of this band's catalog.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:08 Amazon
2 2:44 Amazon
3 2:48 Amazon
4 2:24 Amazon
5 2:31 Amazon
6 3:06 Amazon
7 1:57 Amazon
8 2:58 Amazon
9 3:03 Amazon
10 2:44 Amazon
11 2:42 Amazon
12 2:36 Amazon
13 2:34 Amazon
14 2:16 Amazon
15 2:51 Amazon
16 2:42 Amazon
17 2:46 Amazon
18 4:49 Amazon
19 2:32 Amazon
20 2:45 Amazon
21 2:20 Amazon
22 1:47 Amazon
23 3:09 Amazon
24 2:12 Amazon
25 2:20 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick