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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Melodians

I remember in the late sixties being introduced to the sounds of The Melodians. Their rich sound made you want to move your feet. The voices always in perfect harmony.
The melodians band formed in the Greenwich Town area of Kingston, Jamaica in 1965, by Tony Brevett (brother of The Skatalites bassist, Lloyd Brevett), Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton. Renford Cogle assisted with writing and arranging material.

From 1967 to 1968 they had a number of hits on Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label, including "You Have Caught Me", "Expo 67", "I'll Get Along Without You", and "You Don't Need Me." After recording "Swing and Dine" for record producer Sonia Pottinger, they recorded their biggest hit, "Rivers of Babylon" for Leslie Kong. This song became an anthem of the Rastafarian movement, and was featured on the soundtrack for the movie, The Harder They Come.[1] After Kong's death in 1971, they recorded for Lee Perry and Byron Lee's Dynamic Studios. In 1973, Brent Dowe left the group for a solo career. The group reformed briefly a few years later, and again in the early 1980's.

The had their revival in the 1990's. In 1992 they recorded "Song of Love", which was issued on the Tappa Zukie label. Throughout the later 1990s they continued touring internationally, including appearing at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in California in 2002. In November 2005 The Melodians embarked on a West Coast tour.

On the evening of 28 January 2006, after a rehearsal in preparation for a performance to take place the following weekend at the Jamaican Prime Minister’s residence, Brent Dowe suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 59. The remaining original members Tony Brevett and Trevor McNaughton continued touring in Europe and the U.S. backed by the Yellow Wall Dub Squad.


* Rivers of Babylon (Trojan, 1970)
* Sweet Sensation (Trojan, 1976)
* Sweet Sensation: The Original Reggae Hit Sound (Island, 1980)
* Irie Feelings (Ras, 1983)
* Premeditation (Skynote, 1986)

[edit] Compilation albums

* Swing and Dine (Heartbeat, 1993)
* Rivers of Babylon (Trojan, 1997)
* Sweet Sensation: The Best of the Melodians (Trojan, 2003)

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