The Heptones

Heptones & Friends, Vol. 1-2

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Heptones & Friends, Vol. 1-2 combines two original LPs of early-'70s Joe Gibbs productions in one single-disc package. Heptones & Friends originally appeared in 1971, followed a year later by a second volume. Taken together, the two albums work as a Heptones-led demonstration of Gibbs' simple and unassuming production techniques, as well as making a wonderful roots reggae anthology. A little over half the tracks are by the Heptones, including one of their classic hits, "Hypocrite," while the rest of the cuts are by other Gibbs-produced artists of the era. Peter Tosh's "Maga Dog" is here, along with an early Ethiopians cut, "The Ring," and the wonderful "Warricka Hill" by the Versatiles (who were actually led by a young Junior Byles). Alton Ellis' soulful cover of Eddie Floyd's "Knock on Wood" is another clear highlight. The two LPs are simply presented back to back in their original sequences, and the second volume, which was the weaker of the two, gains considerably by not having to carry all the weight on its own.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:10
2 2:56
3
feat: Julie Anne
2:24
4 3:24
5
feat: Nicky Thomas
3:33
6 3:38
7
2:35
8
feat: Peter Tosh
2:48
9 3:51
10
3:14
11 3:29
12
feat: Nicky Thomas
3:44
13
feat: Ken Parker
3:33
14
feat: Peter Tosh
1:57
15 3:17
16
feat: Jackie Brown
2:08
17 2:01
18
feat: Uriel Aldrel
2:47
19
feat: Dennis Brown
2:42
20
feat: Alton Ellis
2:39
21 2:21
22
2:39
23 2:34
24
feat: Big Youth
2:43
blue highlight denotes track pick