The Mighty Diamonds

Reggae Street

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The Mighty Diamonds remain one of the most influential of the many harmony trios that appeared on the reggae scene in the late '60s and early '70s. Although their lyrics have generally focused on sociopolitical and religious themes, their vocal sound is smooth and soft, unlike the raw, open harmonies favored by some of their similarly inclined contemporaries. Lead singer Donald "Tabby" Shaw has an especially silken voice, one which sometimes sounds curiously out of place delivering dread messages like those contained in "Illiteracy" and "Survival." Reggae Street collects ten tracks from their days at the Channel One studio, backed by the Revolutionaries (led by Sly & Robbie). The rhythms are strictly rockers, the singing strictly roots. "Stay far from me," coos Shaw gently, "You suck the eyes out of my head, don't even care if I drop dead." Elsewhere he warns Babylon about the "Unseen Eyes" of Jah and compares a "big con man" to King Kong, vowing to defeat him with music. Wonderful.

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