Staggering Heights
Singers & Players
February 14, 2010

Track list
  1. African Blood feat. Roydel Johnson aka Congo Ashanti Roy
  2. Bedward The Flying Preacher feat. Prince Far I
  3. Snipers In The Streets feat. Roydel Johnson aka Congo Ashanti Roy
  4. A Matter Of Time feat. Bim Sherman
  5. School Days feat. Mikey Dread
  6. Sacco feat. Bim Sherman
  7. Autobiography feat. Prince Far I
  8. This Assembly
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
After having worked for UK distributor Carl Palmer in the mid-70s, 1958 born Adrian Sherwood started running the Hitrun label in 1978 on which he released Jamaican-recorded music by the likes of Bobby Melody, Carol Kalphat, Prince Far I to name three. Two years later, in 1980, the young record producer formed his own On-U Sound label which enabled him to put out production works of his own. By fusing elements of reggae with rock, dance and funk influences he soon achieved a coherent and individual production style. One of his first projects was Singers & Players, which intended to bring together a loose collective of vocalists, deejays, musicians and engineers. Part of this collective were people like Bim Sherman, Prince Far I, Jah Woosh, Mikey Dread, Roydel Johnson aka Congo Ashanti Roy, Tony Phillips, Clifton "Bigga" Morrison, Carlton "Bubblers" Ogilvie, and Style Scott.

After the release of the rather disappointing "Revenge Of The Underdog" set, Adrian Sherwood and the Singers & Players largely return to form with their third album, "Staggering Heights". The latter features an all star line-up, with Mikey Dread and Roydel Johnson aka Congo Ashanti Roy joining On-U-Sound stalwarts Prince Far I and Bim Sherman. It's original Congos member Congo Ashanti Roy whose killer "African Blood" opens this album in a 'wicked and wild' style. A truly great way to start off an album. Prince Far I's narrative style on "Bedward The Flying Preacher" works very well across the hard-hitting riddim and turns this tune into a classic. Then it's time for Congo Ashanti Roy to deliver his second great effort, the very enjoyable "Snipers In The Streets" with its beautiful harmony singing. Bim Sherman hardly ever fails to deliver a good tune and the wonderful "Matter Of Time" is further evidence. Michael Campbell aka Mikey Dread comes up with the entertaining "School Days", a solid tune delivered in his well known style. One of the strangest riddims Bim Sherman has ever voiced, and it must be said he has done it very well, underpins "Sacco". "Autobiography" tells Prince Far I's musical history on top of the "Kunte Kinte" riddim. Interesting track to say the least. A nice Pablo-esque instrumental piece, "This Assembly", rounds off this album in a satisfying way.

"Staggering Heights" is a far better album than its predecessor "Revenge Of The Underdog" and it's nearly as good as the Singers & Players' debut set "War Of Words".