Taxi reggae music CD album mp3

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Sly and Robbie Present Taxi (Island, 1981)

A showcase for the enormous, innovative talent of the Riddim Twins.  A couple of their best productions are included, namely The Viceroys' "Heart Made of Stone" and Dennis Brown's "Sitting and Watching."  Alongside the great buttery melodies provided by the singers, the classic rhythms push these songs into the stratosphere.  With inventive digital "hiccups" and other such sounds, it's easy to see why Sly & Robbie are dub masters.  The rhythms from "Sitting and Watching," "Heart Made of Stone," and Jimmy Riley's cover of Curtis Mayfield's "My Woman's Love" could easily stand on their own.  Also solid are Sly's largely instrumental "Hot You're Hot," The Wailing Souls' rootsy, old-fashioned "Old Broom," and Sheila Hylton's bass-driven remake of The Police's "The Bed's Too Big Without You."  Other tracks, like Junior Delgado's "Fort Augustus," General Echo's "Drunken Master," and The Wailing Souls' "Sweet Sugar Plum," were fairly popular, but seem to me largely overrated.  The rest is similarly unspectacular.

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Track Listing
1. My Woman's Love -- Jimmy Riley
2. Smiling Faces Sometimes -- The Tamlins
3. Merry Go Round -- Junior Delgado
4. Sitting and Watching -- Dennis Brown
5. Hot You're Hot -- Sly Dunbar
6. Sweet Sugar Plum -- The Wailing Souls
7. The Bed's Too Big Without You -- Sheila Hylton
8. Drunken Master -- General Echo
9. Old Broom -- Wailing Souls
10. Oh What a Feeling -- Gregory Isaacs
11. Heart Made of Stone -- The Viceroys
12. Fort Augustus -- Junior Delgado
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Crucial Reggae Driven by Sly & Robbie reggae music CD album mp3

Crucial Reggae Driven By Sly & Robbie (Island, 1982)

An odd collection of Sly & Robbie tunes, in that not all are Sly & Robbie tunes.  Four of the 12 tracks are indeed not produced by the duo, including two of the best ones, "Johnny Dollar" by The Rolands and the classic "Pass the Kouchie" by The Mighty Diamonds.  I don't know much about The Rolands, but I believe the name refers to Roland Burrell, who I suppose led the group (Maybe they were a bunch of guys named Roland, perhaps even clones, like the Stepford Wives.).   Regardless, the song is great, featuring a strong roots melody and a driving beat.  "Pass the Kouchie" needs little introduction; those unfamiliar with it need only be told that it was the basis for Musical Youth's "Pass the Dutchie" (Both tunes borrowed the classic Studio One rhythm "Full Up.")  The Mighty Diamond's version is slower and more rootsy, and the "kouchie" refers, of course, to a spliff, as opposed to Musical Youth's reference to a "dutchie," a pot of food (a different kind of pot altogether).  The best Sly & Robbie-produced track here is "Chalice in Mind," a great horn-filled ditty by the sorely underexposed Carlton Livingston(e).  Junior Tamlins' sultry "Real Love" and Sly's oft-sampled instrumental "Unmetered Taxi" are the best of the rest.   A select few from this album combined with a select few from Taxi would make a darn good set, but between the two, there is too much filler.

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Track Listing
1. Danger Zone -- Errol "Flabba" Holt
2. Johnny Dollar -- The Rolands
3. Peek a Boo -- Derrick Lara
4. Love Without Feeling -- Bobby Floyd
5. Chalice in Mind -- Carlton Livingstone
6. Real Love -- Junior Tamlins
7. Pass the Kouchie -- The Mighty Diamonds
8. Hold on to What You Got -- Dennis Brown
9. Sexual Healing -- Jimmy Riley
10. Unmetered Taxi -- Sly Dunbar
11. We're in This Love Together -- George Nooks
12. Soldier Take Over -- Yellowman
Crucial Reggae
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A Dub Experience reggae music CD album mp3

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A Dub Experience (Reggae Greats) (Island, 1984)

At least a portion of this duo's musical genius is on display in this short dub compilation.  Most songs will be familiar to the seasoned reggae listener -- there are dubs of The Tamlins' "Baltimore" (a personal favorite of mine), Black Uhuru's "Chill Out," and Dennis Brown's "Revolution."  Needless to say, all of the rhythms are solid and are an especially good introduction to the dub genre.  Another standout for me was "Computer Malfunctions," a dub of Junior Tamlins' "Real Love," which is probably better than the original.  Incorporating jittery digital chirping blips, its otherworldly sounds help transport the listener to another place -- what all good dub music should do.

Track Listing
1. Destination Unknown
2. Assault on Station 5
3. Joy Ride
4. Demolition City
5. Computer Malfunction
6. Jailbreak
7. Skull & Crossbones
8. Back to Base
A Dub Experience
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DJ Riot reggae music CD album mp3

DJ Riot (Island, 1990)

Sly & Robbie strive to prove that they can make dancehall beats as generic as the next guy.  And they succeed.  While these songs aren't horrible (although you could make a case for the flaccid-voiced Dominic on "Nothing Like That"), they aren't very special.  Certainly the time period has something to do with it, but even back in 1990, these definitely weren't "killer" rhythms.  Sly & Robbie provide only 4 or 5 rhythms on this collection, with two of them running through about 8 or 9 of the songs, so don't say I didn't warn you.  The best tracks are provided by veterans Red Dragon and Tiger in "Wine & Go Down" and "Raggamuffin," respectively, but even they can't lift these songs above the level of run-of-the-mill.

Track Listing
1. Minimum Wages -- Flourgon
2. Wine & Go Down -- Red Dragon
3. One Burner -- Daddy Lizzard
4. Hey Girl -- Commando Shad
5. Look Like Me -- Tiger
6. SRD -- Taxi Gang
7. Who Test -- Shaka Demus
8. Judgement Day -- Trinity
9. Love Motion -- Commando Shad
10. Raggamuffin -- Tiger
11. Nothing Like That -- Dominic
12. Wanna Party -- Flourgon/Red Rose/Daddy Lizzard
DJ Riot
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The Speeding Taxi reggae music CD album mp3

The Speeding Taxi (Sonic Sounds, 1993)

A compilation of 20 Sly & Robbie-produced songs that would be better suited as a 15-song compilation.  You get a good idea of the range of the duo through this collection, but that range unfortunately includes some filler material.  You get everything from instrumentals like "Red Hot" to lover's rock like Jimmy Riley's "My Woman's Love" to dancehall like Mackie Ranks' "Leave Me Business."  It is in this latter subgenre that Sly & Robbie suffer the most, as their usually imaginative rhythms feel very generic.  There is a series of 5 or 6 dancehall and reggae songs in the middle of this collection -- including the Mackie Ranks tune, as well as "Love Fire" by E.T. Webster and Dollar Fifty and a horrible rendition of Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin'" by the usually reliable Leroy Sibbles -- that weighs the album down.  Still, getting The Viceroys' rare gem "Heart Made of Stone" is almost worth the price of the collection itself.  Also good are two cuts from Island's Strictly for Lovers compilation: Ken Boothe's version of "Show and Tell" and The Tamlins' "Go Away Dream."

Track Listing
1. Red Hot -- Sly & Robbie & The Taxi Gang
2. Call the Police -- Ini Kamoze
3. Tricksters -- Carlton Livingston
4. Heart Made of Stone -- The Viceroys
5. My Whole World -- The Tamlins
6. You Have Caught Me -- Sly & Robbie
7. We're in This Love Together -- George Nooks
8. Party Next Door -- Black Uhuru
9. My Woman's Love -- Jimmy Riley
10. Fort Augustus -- Junior Delgado
11. Love Fire -- E.T. Webster & Dollar Fifty
12. Cruising -- Leroy Sibbles
13. Monkey -- Mykal Rose
14. True True -- Karen Smith
15. Leave Me Business -- Mackie Ranks
16. Taste of My Love -- Jack Radics
17. Show and Tell -- Ken Boothe
18. Go Away Dream -- The Tamlins
19. Smooth Sailing -- Kotch
20. Zion Gate -- Horace Andy

The Speeding Taxi
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Friends reggae music CD album mp3

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Friends (EastWest, 1998)

This album won the Grammy for best reggae album in 1999, so that may give an indication of the mainstream appeal of Friends.  R&B and pop permeate the album, the worst instances of which are the sappy "Shoulder to Cry On" and the rock-ish remake of The Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction," featuring Keith Richards himself on guitar.  The instrumental "Friday" (of which there are two unnecessary versions) meanwhile is pedestrian jazzy R&B, also not reggae.  The best of these non-reggae tracks is the sultry "Candy Girl," a sumptuous bump 'n grind R&B tune.  The other songs are primarily reggae, but they are all remakes of well-known songs.  This annoying lack of originality aside, the banal, half-hearted quality of many of these covers is startling.  Maxi Priest does John Holt's "Only a Smile," UB40's Ali Campbell does Dobby Dobson's "Seems to Me I'm Losing," One Plus One takes on Debarge's "All This Love," and Simply Red's Mick Hucknall dares to do not only Dennis Brown's "Ghetto Girl," but also Gregory Isaacs' immortal "Night Nurse."  All of these attempts are bland and uninspired, adding nothing to the originals, and possibly even taking something away.   The only remakes that do anything interesting are the dancehall mixes of Lionel Richie's "Penny Lover" and the fun "Mission Impossible."  Of course, these latter two cuts are available on VP Records' Strictly the Best 18 and Reggae Gold 97, respectively, which are much better options to buy than Friends.   This album seems to be a statement by Sly & Robbie to the effect of "Look who I know!"  Well, look who doesn't give a damn.

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Track Listing
1. Friday
2. Night Nurse featuring Simply Red
3. Seems to Me I'm Losing featuring Ali Campbell
4. Only a Smile featuring Maxi Priest
5. You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To featuring Liba
6. Penny Lover featuring Ambilique
7. Theme From 'Mission Impossible'
8. Candy Girl featuring Danny Madden
9. Ghetto Girl featuring Simply Red
10. All This Love featuring One Plus One
11. Shoulder to Cry On featuring Liba
12. Satisfaction featuring Ambilique
13. Night Nurse [Jah Wobble Radio Mix] featuring Simply Red
14. Friday [Street Mix]
15. Candy Girl [Street Mix] featuring Danny Madden
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Drum & Bass Strip to the Bone by Howie B reggae music CD album mp3

Drum & Bass Strip to the Bone By Howie B (Palm Pictures, 1999)

I'm including this album only because it's Sly & Robbie, not because it's truly reggae.  The closest thing the music here could be equated with is dub -- modern '90s dub, that is, rather than the more roots-oriented '70s and early '80s dub.  Only a couple of the tracks on Drum & Bass, however, can really be called dub or even dub-like: "Ballistic Squeeze" and perhaps "Drilling for Oil."  I don't think it's really even drum and bass.  This is generic electronica more than it is dub or anything else.  Now, I'm not into this sort of music very much, but I don't think that this set is a good album even within the electronica sub-genres.  The beats are derivative, the digital effects are dull, and the songs are repetitive and long.  I have to fast forward a minute or two into many songs just to hear any music whatsoever, since they take so long to build up.  How pretentious can you get?  (Speaking of such, do these titles sound contrived or what?  "Zen Concrete?"  "Fatigue Chic?"  Gimme a break.)   By dragging the songs out, they might be heightening the anticipation. . . if the tracks were good.  Since they're not, its' merely annoying.  The sound of Drum & Bass ranges from the hip-hop beats and rock guitars of "Superthruster" to the aforementioned repetitive dub-like style of "Ballistic Squeeze" to the dancehall-ish sound of "Exodub Implosion" to the mellow, airy keyboards of "High Voltage Syndrome" to the Latin-esque drums and piano of "Softcore Surge," the latter two songs being the only ones I found tolerable.   I wish Sly & Robbie would stick to strict reggae and dub.  Experimentation is OK, but how many times do you have to create Frankenstein's monster before it kills you?

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Track Listing
1. Superthruster
2. Fatigue Chic
3. Into Battle
4. Ballistic Squeeze
5. Drilling for Oil
6. High Voltage Syndrome
7. Psionce Merge
8. Exodub Implosion
9. Major Magic
10. Softcore Surge
11. Zen Concrete
12. Stripped to the Bone
Drum & Bass Strip to the Bone
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Massive reggae music CD album mp3

Massive (NYCMusic, 1999)

If you're looking for a showcase for Sly & Robbie's production skills, you might want to look elsewhere, since they don't appear to produce the tracks on Massive.Rather, this cheaply packaged set gathers songs from the '70s (maybe some early '80s) that seem to just feature the Riddim Twins playing (Sly on drums and Robbie on bass), not producing.  Thus, there's none of their innovative '80s synth dub sound that marked their Black Uhuru productions or their Reggae Greats collection.  Instead, Massive largely has an up-tempo '70s rockers sound with the hyper "flying cymbal" sound characteristic of Bunny Lee's productions.  This is certainly a viable sound, of course, but not necessarily what you'd expect from an album labeled Sly & Robbie.  Some of the tracks are quite nice and may be recognizable to some listeners - most notably "Eyes in the Dark," a dub of Horace Andy's "You Are My Angel."  Other somewhat recognizable tunes include "Head for Home," (a dub of Cornell Campbell's cover of "Wherever I Lay My Hat"), "Happening Dub" (a dub of "Watch This Sound," either Slim Smith's version or Campbell's) and "Get Ready" (a reggae version of the Temptations' hit).  Still, while some tunes may strike a familiar chord early on, Massive quickly becomes tiresome and repetitive, with weaker dubs of weaker songs dragging down the latter half of the album.  A better selection of Sly & Robbie's roots rockers work can be found on Good Dubs

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Track Listing
1. Coming of Jah
2. Head for Home
3. Forgive Me Jah
4. Eyes in the Dark
5. Happening Dub
6. Get Ready
7. Gone and Dub
8. Side Steppin'
9. Hurtin' Dub
10. Love to You
11. Up and Out
12. Oversized
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Good Dubs: The Prime of Sly & Robbie reggae music CD album mp3

Good Dubs: The Prime of Sly & Robbie (Music Club, 2001)

Although Sly & Robbie became internationally renowned in the '80s due to their productions of songs like The Mighty Diamonds' "Pass the Kouchie," The Tamlins' "Baltimore," and Dennis Brown's "Sitting & Watching," as well as numerous albums from Black Uhuru, they honed their craft performing and producing more traditional, less digital roots tracks throughout the '70s.  Good Dubs focuses largely on this aggressive "rockers"-styled '70s material (mostly mid- to late-'70s), providing listeners with an alternate view of the Riddim Twins that is arguably as enjoyable as their '80s sound.  Dubs of tunes by Cornell Campbell, Johnny Clarke, Rita Marley, The Heptones' Leroy Sibbles, and John Holt can be found here, as well as original dubs like the bass-heavy "Disgraceful" and the celebratory "Taxi Connection" (one of the only cuts with an electro-'80s sound).  Other excellent tracks include "War," "Playful," the funky "Eden Dub," and the wicked "Dread Dread."  Fans of traditional rootsy dub may not have appreciated the electronic, experimental style that Sly & Robbie explored in the '80s and '90s, but Good Dubs should give them plenty to smile about.

Track Listing
1. It's True (AKA I Love You)
2. African Roots
3. Disgraceful
4. Forever
5. Fancy Make Up
6. One My Love
7. War (AKA Please Be True)
8. Peace
9. Eden Dub
10. Pumping Dub
11. Jah Jah Man
12. Dread Dread
13. Conference
14. Playful (AKA Play Play)
15. Taxi Connection
Good Dubs
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Sly & Robbie's Taxi Sound (Auralux, 2005 [orig. released 198?])

At a recent Blood & Fire sound system gig, I could easily identify each Sly & Robbie track. They just have a signature sound that even Damian Marley has been borrowing of late. He took a beat or two from "World a Music" for his "Jamrock" single. Taxi Sound does what is says on the tin and showcases material from their Taxi label. Fourteen tracks get a look in here, with contributions from The Tamlins, Junior Delgado, Sugar Minott, and General Echo. Sly & Robbie dubs make me choke on my porridge, but the tracks hear warm me up. Their material has been compiled on a semi-regular basis, so perhaps this is not one of the essential Auralux releases. Nonetheless, this is still a fun introduction to the world of the Rhythm Twins.

- ragudave

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Track Listing
1. Devil's Pickney -- Sugar Minott
2. World a Music -- Ini Kamoze
3. Rub a  Dub -- Sugar Minott
4. Smiling Faces Sometimes [Extended Mix] -- The Tamlins
5. Billie Jean -- Sly & Robbie & The Taxi Gang
6. My Woman's Love -- Jimmy Riley
7. Let Him Go -- Black Uhuru
8. Revolution [Extended Mix] -- Dennis Brown
9. Motherless Children -- Gregory Isaacs
10. Heart Made of Stone -- The Viceroys
11. Drunken Master -- General Echo
12. Fort Augustus -- Junior Delgado
13. Going Down Town -- Gregory Isaacs
14. Baltimore [Extended Mix] -- The Tamlins
Taxi Sound
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