September 23, 2014

Track list
  1. Love And Understanding
  2. Trial And Crosses (Baba Dread)
  3. Version
  4. Little Candle
  5. Ladder Of Progress (Baba Dread)
  6. Version
  7. Love Is Gone (Discomix)
  8. May Be For Long
  9. How Long (Baba Dread)
  10. Version
  11. I.N.R.I
  12. Version
  13. Peculiar Man (Discomix)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 4
The original trio the Gaylads was formed in 1963 by vocalists BB Seaton, Delano Stewart and Maurice Roberts, and became one of the top vocal groups between 1963 and 1973. With Delano Stewart leaving to trio late 1968 to mount a solo career, and then BB Seaton who began his solo career in 1973, there were several line-up changes throughout the Gaylads' history. Maurice Roberts, the lone remaining original member, selected brothers Randell and Hopeton Thaxter to carry on the Gaylads name, but the new line-up never matched the success of its predecessor. For producer Roy Cousins, they recorded the album "Understanding" as the Gayladds, but after the release of that album in 1979 Maurice Roberts dropped any reference to the moniker whatsoever and renamed the trio the Psalms, landing as backing vocalists for Bunny Wailer.

The original vinyl LP on the Ballistic label contained six tracks recorded at Channel One and King Tubby's, but when it was re-released on cd in 1998 it appeared that Roy Cousins had added four versions and also three tracks by deejay Baba Dread aka Zimbabwe Dread. It's great to have the versions included on this release and also the Baba Dread tracks spice it up nicely. Altough vocally they may not fully match the original Gaylads, the three vocalists make a real good impression. Underpinned by appealing riddims laid by The Revolutionaires, their classic harmonies and solid conscious songs are truly a joy to listen to. Although all Gayladds' tracks are worth hearing, it's in particular the wicked "Love And Understanding", the beautiful "Love Is Gone" and the do-over of "Peculiar Man" (done by the original Gaylads for Studio One in 1968) that are above par efforts. The three additional tracks of Baba Dread, at the time of the recordings the top sound deejay from Clarendon JA, are real good deejay pieces delivered across the same riddim as the Gaylads' vocal cut that preceeds them.

This album, with tracks that were all recorded towards the end of the 1970s, shouldn't be overlooked by any fan of classic reggae music.

The Gayladds' "Understanding" can be purchased via the Muzik Tree website.