My Xperience is a reggae album by Jamaican dancehall performer Bounty Killer, released in 1996 It’s an abrasive, rhythmic disc that has little use for melody. Those who aren’t big dancehall fans may find the hip-hop-influenced CD hard to get into; those who are heavily into it will find a lot to admire on My Xperience, which contains major dancehall hits like “Living Dangerously” and “Virgin Island.” A variety of guests join Bounty — everyone from the Fugees on “Hip-Hopera” to reggae singer Barrington Levy on “Living Dangerously” to hardcore rapper Jeru the Damaja on “Suicide or Murder.”
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Bob Andy (b. Keith Anderson, 1944, Kingston, Jamaica) and Marcia Griffiths (b. Kingston, Jamaica) were locally successful reggae solo singers before they were teamed up by producer Harry J on a string-filled reggae version of Nina Simone’s “Young, Gifted and Black.” The song became a Top Ten U.K. hit for them as Bob & Marcia in 1970. They followed it in 1971 with a cover of Crispian St. Peters’ “Pied Piper,” but were unable to maintain their European career and returned to Jamaica to perform again as solo singers. Griffiths joined Bob Marley’s female backup trio, the I-Threes, but went back to solo work after Marley’s death.
Red, the second album by Black Uhuru, was released May 1981 by Mango Records. The third and most successful incarnation of Black Uhuru (singers Don Carlos, Erroll “Jay” Wilson, and Rudolph “Garth” Dennis had come before), Red spotlights the singing talents of then rising star Michael Rose, American-born Sandra “Puma” Jones, and original member Derrick “Duckie” Simpson. Backed by the tight and dancehall-era defining Sly & Robbie band, the trio reels off eight high-quality reggae cuts here, including classics like “Youth of Eglington” and “Sponji Reggae.”
Filled with Rose's astute lyrics, the album provides an engaging blend of steppers rhythms and social commentary. Sly & Robbie's ingenious mix of sophisticated roots reggae and a variety of modern touches (synthesizers, electronic drums) not only brought Black Uhuru widespread fame but, along with Henry “Junjo” Lawes and Prince Jammy's contemporary productions, also helped define the slicked-up last stand of roots rhythms in the first half of the ’80s, while foreshadowing reggae's coming digital age.
In 1989, Red was ranked #23 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 greatest albums of the 1980s.”
Shining Time is the 2005 album released by Marcia Griffiths. For legendary reggae singer Marcia Griffiths, this album constituted a look back on a career that had spanned over 40 years — a career during which she had served as a backup singer for reggae music’s most legendary figures as well as achieving significant success as a solo artist and (with Bob Andy) as half of a popular vocal duo. But Shining Time isn’t a compilation of vintage Marcia Griffiths recordings — instead, it’s a collection of new songs, some of which look back in time explicitly either in theme (“Back in the Days,” “Shining Time”) or by implication (her cover version of Bob Marley's “Crazy Baldhead,” for example). The rhythms are provided by a variety of producers and mostly hark back to the glory days of roots reggae (note, for example, how “Back in the Days” makes brilliant use of the “Tune In” rhythm), but the album's sound has a crisp and modern sheen throughout. Several A-list guest vocalists join her for duets — they include the bouncy “Harmony” (featuring Shaggy) and the lovely “Live Life to the Fullest” (featuring Hopeton Lindo, who also produces several tracks).
a very very yellow christmas
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