Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mighty Diamonds Set To Release Compilation Album "Pass the Knowledge: Reggae Anthology" on August, 30th

Mighty Diamonds Set To Release Compilation Album "Pass the Knowledge: Reggae Anthology" on August, 30th

Finally the long awaited Mighty Diamonds compilation in the Reggae Anthology serie. This will be a total treat for reggae fans and maybe one of the best reggae release of 2013. Believe it or not, this is the 24th compilation for The Mighty Diamonds, but apart from Virgin's 'Go Seek Your Rights' issued in 1990 that is worth to mention (but covers only three albums), there wasn't any compilations that was doing justice to their career until this release.

The tracks included here were recorded between 1975 and 1986. Many make their debute on CD, such as JAILHOUSE (Joseph Hoo Kim, 1975), CAT-O-NINE (Joseph Hoo Kim, 1976), KEEP ON MOVING (Joe Gibbs, 1977), LET JAH SUN SHINE (Bunny Diamond, 1978), PARTY TIME (Joe Gibbs & Errol Thompson, 1981), LET THE DOLLAR CIRCULATE (Ossie Hibbert, 1981) and THE LAST DANCE (Junior Boothe, 1982). It will also offer hard-to-find tracks such as TAMARIND FARM (Radcliffe Bryan, 1979), GATES OF ZION (Dubmasta, 1980) (a track that surfaced for the first time on CD in June, on a VP compilation), PRAY TO THEE (Bunny Diamond, 1985 – A song recorded in 1981 but that only surfaced officially in 1985) and MR CHIN SLIPPERS (Bunny Diamond, 1986).

The song JAH WILL WORK IT OUT (Joseph Hoo Kim, 1976) finally appear with a clear sound (compare to the poor sounding quality on the HitBound CD release). The five dubplates should be something that might have been circulating among a handful of collectors and might end up being true gems. The third disc seems to be a DVD that contains five live songs.

Other tracks worth to mention are the beautiful JUST CAN'T FIGURE OUT (Bunny Diamond, 1975), the original recording of the song that later appeared on the album 'Planet Earth' (Virgin, 1978). JAH JAH BLESS THE DREADLOCKS (Bunny Lee, 1975) probably surface on a dozen compilations but is one of their best early tracks. The song COUNTRY LIVING is most likely the first recording they made in 1975 for Joseph Hoo Kim. This song was easily available on 'Stand Up To Your Judgement' (HitBound, 1977), but like JAH WILL WORK IT OUT, greatly needed to be remastered. Such a version surfaced in the past on JetStar's Reggae Hits series, but it's nice that they included it here.

The songs GHETTO LIVING (1978), GYPSY WOMAN (1978), JUST LIKE A RIVER (1978), IDENTITY (1979) and LOVELY LADY (1979) are five tracks produced by Joe Gibbs that were previously available on several compilations. They perfectly fit this package. Just as PRAY TO THEE, the song FIGHT IT OUT THERE (Errol Thompson, 1984) was already available on the vinyl compilation 'Pass The Kouchie' (Bad Gong, 1985) and the limited edition French CD Pass The Kouchie (Musidisc, 1994). The song PASS THE KNOWLEDGE (Augustus Clarke, 1982) was previously available the 2000 Music Club compilation 'The Classic Recordings Of Jamaica Finest Vocal Trio'. The song EYE OF AFRICA(Bunny Lee & Roderick Sinclair, 1980) was in fact a solo song by Tabby Diamond.

This review was written a month before the release of the compilation, so it will need to be adjusted. For instance, the song STRUGGLE is most likely the 1978 recording produced by Bunny Diamond issued on Bad Gong. This track may or may not be identical to the one featured on 'Planet Earth' (Virgin, 1978).

I recently noticed that the song HEADS OF GOVERNMENT received a remastered treatment for Penthouse 2012 compilation '5 Decades of Jamaican's Musical Heritage', so it may well be that version that is featured here. Maybe the song BROTHER MAN (Bunny Diamond & Donovan Germain, 1983) has a different editing than the one included on the 1996 compilation 'Head Of Government'. Let's hop that VP will eventually release remastered versions of 'Stand Up To Your Judgement' and 'Tell Me What's Wrong'. For more information on the Mighty Diamonds, you can visit the webpage I created by making a search in Google with Soulrebels and Mighty Diamonds.

Written by Christian Lacoste from

"Pass The Knowledge: Reggae Anthology" 2013
Track List:
Cd 1:
01) Back Weh (You No Mafia)
02) Have Mercy
03) Just Can't Figure Out
04) I Need A Roof
05) Shame & Pride
06) Country Living
07) Africa
08) Right Time
09) Jah Jah Bless The Dreadlocks
10) Jail House
11) Cat-O-Nine
12) Where Is Garvey
13) Rocky Road
14) Swell Headed
15) Identity
16) Gypsy Woman
17) Keep On Moving
18) Ghetto Living
19) Just Like A River
20) Let Jah Sun Shine

Cd 2:
01) Hypocrites
02) Survival
03) Struggling
04) Lovely Lady
05) Bodyguard
06) Eyes On Africa
07) Gates Of Zion
08) Fight It Out There
09) Party Time
10) Pass The Kouchie
11) Pass The Knowledge
12) Heads Of Government
13) Tamarind Farm
14) Brother Man
15) The Last Dance
16) Morgan The Pirate
17) Let The Dollar Circulate
18) Pray To Thee
19) Mr Chin Slippers
20) Tonight I'm Gonna Take It Easy

DVD: (Live recorded at Reggae Sunsplash 1989)
01) Right Time
02) Have Mercy
03) Natural Natty
04) Pass The Kutchie
05) There Is No Me Without You

Label: 17 North Parade/VP Records (2Cd+DVD: 2013)


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