Album review
Rivers Of Babylon
The Melodians
Trojan Records

Tracking list

  1. You don't need me
  2. I'll get along without you
  3. You have caught me
  4. Let's join hands
  5. Come on little girl
  6. Little nut tree
  7. You are my only love
  8. Swing and dine
  9. I could be a king
  10. Sweet rose
  11. It comes and goes
  12. Ring of gold
  13. You've got it
  14. Personally speaking
  15. When there is you
  16. Everybody's bawling
  17. Sweet sensation
  18. It's my delight
  19. A day seems so lomg
  20. Say darling say
  21. Rivers of babylon
  22. It took a miracle
  23. Your destiny
  24. Lock love away
  25. Passion love
  26. Black man kingdom come
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 3/4 Sleeve : 4

In 1965 Brent Dowe, Tony Brevette and Trevor McNaughton (later replaced by Robert Coggle) assembled as The Melodians. In April 1966 the group started recording for Coxsone Dodd at Studio One, but only two out of four tracks were released. The following years the group enjoyed a string of hits for top " rocksteady" producer Duke Reid : "You don't need me" , "Come on little girl" , "You caught me" and "I will get along". These songs showcase the trio's cool, precise harmonies. In 1968 they scored with "Little nut tree" and the immortal "Swing and dine" for female producer Sonia Pottinger. In 1969 they teamed up with producer Leslie Kong. Their first and biggest hit outside Jamaican came in that year when they cut "Rivers of babylon", reputedly selling 75,000 copies in the UK alone. The relationship between Kong an The Melodians proved succesful with titles like " Sweet sensation", b/w "It's my delight" and "Rock it with me". After Kong's untimely death in 1971 they recorded for a number of producers (Lee Perry, mrs. Sonia Pottinger, Duke Reid, Harry J.). In 1975 the group split up, but they re-formed in 1976 recording many of their old hits for Harry J. with backing of the Soul Syndicate band. In the mid eighties the trio re-formed once again, however with little succes. This set comprises most of the group's best recordings for several producers, covering the period 1967-1973. It's a splendid collection of one of the best vocal harmony groups coming out of Jamaica, being one of the founders for today's Jamaican music.

Teacher & Mr. T.