:: The Chantells - Waiting In The Park ::
:: The Chantells - Rub Me Down ::
I'm not a huge fan of reggae, but the stuff I do like I really, really like. The other night I was drinkin' Belgian and listening to Itunes when a little number called "Natty Supper" by The Chantells came on and had me bobbing my head for six minutes straight. The next day I was at Rhino Westwood's extinction sale, and happened across a Chantells album amongst the chaos. Vinyl Jesus, watching over me again.
This is beautiful stuff; rootsy enough, but with three vocalists (Sam Bramwell, Lloyd Forrest and Tommy Thomas) giving it an extra sweet boost of soul. The Chantells weren't around long, and neither was their label, Phase One. Here they are backed by session heavyweights The Revolutionaires, anchored by the formidable rhythm section of Sly Dunbar(drums) and Lloyd Parkes(bass.) As with many Jamaican acts, The Chantells' story didn't end well. They got busted for taking pot (gasp!) on a flight that would have taken them on what might have been a career-making tour of the UK. Later on, Bramwell was shot and killed while attempting to rob an aluminum ore factory.
You can find some Chantells stuff on various comps, the one I most highly recommend being Children Of Jah: The Chantells & Friends 1977-79 (on the awesome Blood and Fire label,) which is where I first heard them, and on a Phase One retrospective called We Are Getting Bad. Chances are everything on this album is available somewhere, but I am putting up their hit "Waiting In The Park," as soulful a reggae tune as you'll ever hear, and "Rub Me Down," a nice little foray into dub. This album was reissued at some point, because my vinyl isn't the original 1978 issue. You can probably track this down if you are resourceful enough.