“Roots Reggae” by Toots and The Maytals - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1974Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

Recorded at Dynamic Studios in Kingston with Warwick Lyn, Neville Hinds and Carlton Lee on co-production duties. There’s little doubt that they have half-an-eye on the international market here, although I do think they manage to strike a nice balance for the demanding home audience as well as the more casual listeners from the rest of the world. On this one there are 7 Toots originals and 3 covers, including “Country Road” (John Denver, 1971), “I Can’t Believe” (Jimmy & Jean with Ike Turner’s Orchestra, 1961) and “I See You” (The Inner Circle Band featuring 'Funky' Brown, 1972). None of these covers electrify, although they’re decent enough. Album highlight is “Time Tough”“ – no money, can’t find a job, Toots feels the pain of the man on the street. His backing girls wail in sympathy and the band plunge deep into roots reggae wells for a suitably inspired performance. Cut from the same cloth, “Revolution” is another good ‘un on side 1, a plea for religious unity, yep, good luck with that one Toots. Best on side 2 is “In The Dark”, which unashamedly revels in a gospel-tinged production, universally appealing. All in all, this set is a bit too soft for my tastes – tracks like “Love’s Gonna Walk Out On Me” and “Sailing On” are just a bit on the sickly side, the former sits in the lovers rock camp, whilst the latter is a fairly average attempt to capture some of that Memphis soul power.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:22] 5.5.png Toots and The Maytals - Country Road (John Denver, Mary Catherine Danoff, William Danoff) Reggae
A2 [04:24] 7.4.png Toots and The Maytals - Time Tough (Frederick Hibbert) Reggae
A3 [02:28] 5.2.png Toots and The Maytals - Fever (Frederick Hibbert) Reggae
A4 [03:32] 6.6.png Toots and The Maytals - Revolution (Frederick Hibbert) Reggae
A5 [03:06] 6.2.png Toots and The Maytals - I Can’t Believe (Ike Turner) Reggae
B1 [02:46] 7.3.png Toots and The Maytals - In The Dark (Frederick Hibbert, Earl Chin) Reggae
B2 [03:16] 6.2.png Toots and The Maytals - I See You (Louis Davidson) Reggae
B3 [03:17] 5.0.png Toots and The Maytals - Love’s Gonna Walk Out On Me (Frederick Hibbert) Reggae
B4 [03:35] 5.8.png Toots and The Maytals - Sailing On (Frederick Hibbert) Soul
B5 [03:17] 6.4.png Toots and The Maytals - Take A Look In The Mirror (Frederick Hibbert) Soul
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