In 1966, the Jamaican government launched the Independence Festival Song Competition, a showcase for the island's top talents. This was a new addition to the annual Independence Festival, which itself was inaugurated with the island's independence in 1962. The Maytals grabbed the crown the first year with their superb "Bam Bam," and the Jamaicans would win the following year with this scorcher.
The group wrote this song specifically for the competition and aimed to please, with the lyrics celebrating the festival itself, while playing to the crowds with an invitation to "come do the rocksteady." With the lyrics wrapped in a sultry melody, and the group's phenomenal harmonies, the song was a shoo-in. The song was then cut for Duke Reid and backed by the sensational Supersonics. The Supersonics built on the number's strengths, playing to its intensity, heightening the excitement with liberal use of subtle percussion, bold brass, and an unforgettable guitar riff. A rocksteady masterpiece, "Ba-Ba Boom Time" remains the group's most popular, and best remembered, song, and deservedly so.