The Ethiopians

Train to Skaville

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During their 1966-1975 tenure, the Ethiopians racked up an impressive line of hits spanning the ska, rocksteady, and reggae periods. Unlike many of their early contemporaries, though, the band focused on a rootsy, Rasta-inspired style that lyrically emphasized their Jamaican homeland and social issues. While others were taking cues from U.S. soul, lead Ethiopian Leonard Dillon was directly laying the building blocks for the spiritually minded reggae sound later popularized by the Wailers and Burning Spear. This Charly disc takes in some but not all the hits, including their breakthrough title track single, "Engine 54," and "Train to Glory" (locomotives were definitely the thing for this harmony trio). The disc also sports several dub versions of the original songs, rounding out a fine if non-essential Ethiopians title.

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