Toots & the Maytals

Sweet and Dandy: The Best of Toots & the Maytals

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Although the original incarnation of Toots & the Maytals (Toots Hibbert, Nathaniel "Jerry" McCarthy, and Raleigh Gordon) parted ways in 1981, between the years 1964 and 1974 they managed to assemble one of the most highly charged and distinctive bodies of work in the history of Jamaican music. Led by Toots' Kingston-by-way-of-Memphis lead vocals and the ragged call-and-response background singing of McCarthy and Gordon, the trio created gospel-fueled reggae classics like "Bam Bam," "54-46 Was My Number," "Monkey Man," "Sweet and Dandy," "Pomps and Pride," "Funky Kingston," "Time Tough," and the immortal "Pressure Drop," all of which carried the stomp and wallop of the best and most enduring soul music of the day. Sweet and Dandy brings together the best tracks from those crucial years, including several sides produced by the great Leslie Kong, arguably the most sympathetic to the Maytals' sound. Island's two-disc Time Tough anthology adds more early ska sides along with some post-1974 material to give a better portrait of the Maytals' complete history, but the heart and soul of their reputation is still based on what you'll hear in this set.

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