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Heptones started to record for Studio One and Coxone as early as the mid sixties, producing hit after hit as a rocksteady trio. They might not have been the first harmony group, but they formed a pattern which has been copied over and over again byhundreds of vocal groups. What was unique to Heptones was that they werenot merely a vocal group voicing different riddimtracks, but they weremusicians creating their own music. Leroy Sibbles, lead singer, laid thebasslines for Pretty Looks, I Hold The Handle, Fattie Fattie, Party Time, Sweet Talking, Heptones Gonna Fight and many more. Only a few of the Studio One musicians can match this impressive list of classic and well versioned riddim tracks.
This versions is Steely and Clevie and Garnet Silk from the album Love Is The Answer. Garnet Silk voiced a few tunes as a emerging singerfor different producers but soon he met S & C who signed a two year contractwith the singer. We know now the huge talent Garnet possed, and probablyS & C saw it to, but the strange thing is that nothing got released duringthis period. Garnet left Kingston, and this might as well have been theend of the Garnet Silk story. A few years later Garnet took up recording again and within a few months he was one of the biggest names in reggae.It's a mystery how S & C, the hottest producers/musicians in the businessat the time, could fail with such a talented artist. It turned out thatS & C had recorded a album with Garnet and it got rush released to metthe demand for Garnet material. Love Is the Answer was the album and eventhough it's just Garnet putting standard lyrics over some old S & C riddimstracks you can tell he's got a unique talent.
No reggae artist has ever produced so much great music in such a short time as Garnet did. There is a Garnet cult, just check the amount of Garnet info on the net. And it's clear to see why. Allwho are really into Jamaican music would like to see a Jamaican artist get the attention, respect and sales Marley did. And most of us think Garnet was the only one with talent and integrityenough to make it internationally without giving up his musicalidentity and powerful lyrics. Yet he had a contract with Atlantic thatobviously didn't work out. Garnet fans, like me, like to think he refusedto sing what they told him to. "Ok. Mr Silk, we've hired this studioband from L.A, skilful musicians, they've done a lot of work with Toto, and we want you to do some soul version of your old songs.Here are the lyrics to Harry Belafontes biggest hit. We want ourartists to maintain their artistical integrity, you can choose two yourself.And we want a big seller. Since Shinehead had a big hit with Englishman In New York we figured you should do a cover of Police's or someother popular reggae bands biggest hit. How about One More Reggae For TheRoad or Life Is Life? The rest of the album will be Whitney Huston covers.Ok?" And then Garnet said....
Well, some claim that the album actually exists and that it's good, butI won't beleive it until I hear it (but wish they are right).
Riddim origin information: Artist: Heptones Song: Fattie Fattie Producer: Year: Label: Studio One