Album review
05 - 04 - 2003

Tracking list

  1. Justice
  2. Jungle Feeling
  3. Hard Life
  4. Warmongers
  5. Senorita
  6. Something Looking Good
  7. Life Is Not Easy
  8. Play I
  9. Marriage
  10. Miracles
  11. Woman Piabba
  12. There Must Be A First Time
  13. Changing Of The Time
  14. Rome (Longest Liver)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5

Founded at the end of 1974 by Ansel Cridland (The Linkers), Danny Clarke (The Righteous Flames) and Winston Watson, Jamaican vocal group The Meditations are part of the great reggae family of vocal trios, alongside groups such as the Original Wailers, the Gladiators, Israel Vibration, the Abyssinians and the underrated Chantells. The trio, who could also sound like a less-sophisticated version of the Mighty Diamonds, actually chose their name in November 1976, just before the release of their biggest hit "Woman Is Like A Shadow" on JoJo Hoo Kim's "Channel One" imprint. Until then their singles just carried their names: Danny Clarke or Ansel Cridland & The Meditations. The Meditations' specificity is that they share the vocal lead. Their first album "Message From The Meditations" - more or less a package of their greatest hits up to the point of its release in 1977 - is still regarded a minor classic.
"Guidance", which should have been released on Island Records, is the second album of the group. It was released in the US in 1978 on Tad Dawkin's New York based label TAD (however the group had it banned very soon) and in Jamaica, on Gorgon Records. It is therefore an album of which few copies exist and that has never been reissued on cd in its entity up to now. Makasound have chosen to add other songs of the group to the nine titles that originally composed "Guidance". Thus we're treated to the excellent "Justice" and four tracks from their first album "Message From The Meditations" namely the nice sounding "Woman Piabba", the impressive "There Must Be A First Time", "Changing Of Time" and the Danny Clarke penned "Rome (Longest Liver)". The album opens strong with "Justice", a tune that sets the tone for the rest of this collection. With furthermore highlights such as "Jungle Feeling", "Hard Life", the outstanding "Warmongers", "Life Is not Easy", "Marriage" and "There Must Be A First Time" the unique quality of the group's compositions, lyrics and arrangements comes to full expression. Also the tunes not mentioned here are above par efforts and worth of hearing. All in all this entertaining set is well worth checking for the great lead vocals, strong harmonies and impeccable riddims, laid by some of the best players of instruments from Jamaica.
All tracks on this set were recorded between 1975 and 1978 in Channel One, Harry J, Treasure Isle & Black Ark Studios. Musicians involved include Carlton "Familyman" Barrett, Boris Gardiner, Willie Lindo, Sly & Robbie, Junior Marvin, Tyrone Downie, Robbie Lyn, Scully, Dean Fraser, Tommy McCook and more. The CD comes in a jewel case containing a beautifully designed full-colour booklet with some nice photos, extensive linernotes in French and English and the lyrics to all the songs.

Teacher & Mr. T.