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Friends
Friends
Genre: World Music
 
Bassist Robbie Shakespeare and drummer Sly Dunbar met in 1973, when Shakespeare was playing with producer Bunny Lee's studio band, the Aggrovators, at Kingston's Evil People, and Dunbar was gigging at Tit for Tat, the club...  more »

      
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Title: Friends
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Genre: World Music
Style: Reggae
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 639842060028

Synopsis

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Bassist Robbie Shakespeare and drummer Sly Dunbar met in 1973, when Shakespeare was playing with producer Bunny Lee's studio band, the Aggrovators, at Kingston's Evil People, and Dunbar was gigging at Tit for Tat, the club next door. During breaks they caught each other's act, and they formed a partnership that has produced 500-plus hits and still counting. Though most listeners identify Jamaica's legendary "riddim twins" with seminal reggae artists like Peter Tosh and Black Uhuru, the pair of mutating chameleons has also arranged, produced, and laid down nonpareil rhythm foundations for, among many others, James Brown, Bob Dylan, KRS-1, the Rolling Stones, Carly Simon, and Bootsy Collins. That eagerness to try something new, work with the best artists in any music style, and adapt whatever they've absorbed to reggae is what keeps the dynamic duo at the top of their form and every reggae producer and artist's wish list. Needless to say, everyone sounds better in the hands of Sly and Robbie, especially on these tracks, reinterpretations of classic compositions from both reggae and international pop. The riddim twins keep it solid and swinging beyond the capabilities of everyone else, and it's fitting that this set jumps off with their supercharged instrumental "Friday." Simply Red turns in sweet renderings of Gregory Isaacs's "Night Nurse" and Dennis Brown's "Ghetto Girl," but lacking the former's nasal edge and the latter's heart, Red would never have scored without Sly and Robbie giving him extra bounce to the ounce to work with. Likewise for female vocalist Liba's cover of "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To." UB40's Ali Campbell has already imprinted his distinctive vocal mannerisms on listeners; in this context, though, he outdoes himself on "Seems to Me I'm Losing." But Sly and Robbie, on their own again for their taut, driving rendition of the Mission Impossible theme, make you wish even the finest of these fine singers would just shut up. --Elena Oumano

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