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Stand Up To Your Judgment (1978, Channel One)

Stand Up To Your Judgment (1978, Channel One)

Stand Up To Your Judgment (1978, Channel One)

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Flashback on a masterpiece from The Mighty Diamonds recorded in Channel One nearly 30 years ago.


Mighty Diamonds, Stand up to your judgment 1978It’s been nearly 40 years since Donald ‘Tabby’ Shaw, Lloyd ‘Judge’ Fergusson and Fitzroy ‘Bunny’ Simpson formed The Mighty Diamonds. And nearly 30 years since the Jamaican harmony trio recorded Stand Up For Your Judgment at Channel One studio. A great occasion to look back on the band and especially on a must have album for any record library.

In 1979, the Mighty Diamonds alongside musicians such as drummer Sly Dunbar, bassist Robbie Shakespeare, Ansel Collins on keyboards, and Herman Marquis with Tommy McCook both on horns began recording at Channel One, the Hookim brothers studio - one of most influential in Jamaica. The two brothers were business men - with great hearing - native from China. They used to produce and mix several artists and bands from the 70’s to the early 80’s. Channel One was in those days ‘the place to be’ for every artist.

"Cho mi breden make we pray let the day will come and we would see the rising sun" excerpt from 'Cho me Brethen' - Mighty Diamonds - 1978

This album is a good example of Hookim productions from the late 70’s. The set from the harmony trio commences with Lloyd ‘Judge’ Ferguson’s lyrics on ‘Jah Will Work It’, a song which flows from its first notes. Then, the deep ‘There Must Be Some Place We Can Go’ reminds us that they are dedicated to humanist and peace values. And at the same time, the great association of brass, winds and percussion played by Skully, Barnabas and Sticky enhances the spiritual dimension of this song. Next comes a special song for lover tunes fans: ‘Just Another Man’ on the I’m In The Mood For Love riddim made famous by Tommy McCook’ and the band The Techniques’ under the supervision of Duke Reid.

Then, we can dance to ‘Payaka’, based on the ‘Everybody Bawling’ riddim, originally played a few years before by U Roy with Tommy McCook and The Supersonics. The Revolutionaries deliver a much more modern and well swinging second version on this set. Serious things follow with ’Cho Me Brethren’ with the excellent solo keyboard line by Ansel Collins, ‘Stand Up For Your Judgment’ and ‘I Want To Know’ which definitely reinforce the militant nature of this album.

"If you don’t change your way, the penalty you must pay..." excerpt from 'Stand up for your Judgment' - Mighty Diamonds - 1978

Be warned : a wind of rebellion blows towards oppression and capitalism. The cover speaks volumes about the group’s beliefs and we can see their sense of humor of the picture… Their revolutionary minds give birth to powerful lyrics as you can see reading all quotes. ‘Stoned out of my Mind’ was an adapted version of The Chi-Lites hit from the same name (1973 – Brunswick Label). This title seems to suggest that the song might be about drugs, it is in fact not about narcotics as such. The singer is 'high' - as in a narcotic induced state of euphoria - not because of the naughty weed but on that old black magic called love.

"I wanna know and I wanna know where is the black man’s prophet? I want to know where my brother prophet there? Where does the black man future life (…) Where is Marcus Garvey..." excerpt from 'I Want to Know' - Mighty Diamonds - 1978

Stand Up For Your Judgement ends with an excellent version of ‘Country Living’ from the 1977 debut album Ice On Fire. To say that the version recorded in Jamaica is much better than the Ice On Fire version recorded at New Orleans (USA) would be putting it mildly! Tony Chin and Robbie Shakespeare carry us during the keyboard melody which uplifts until the last note in of rustic freshness. Let’s go to Zion!

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Read comments (2)

Posted by Jahgreg on 02.27.2008
Yes I...
Very good LP with a beautiful cover. I have got another issue of it. I'll post it

Posted by Xavier on 03.05.2008
Where can we see it jahgreg ?

Comments actually desactivated due to too much spams

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