The Mighty Diamonds – Deeper Roots (Back to the Channel) (1979)

Mighty Diamonds - Deeper Roots Back To The Channel cd
“As Jamaica geared up for national elections that would bring the politically right-wing, free-market JLP to power after eight years of left-wing rule, 1979 was a pivotal year in the country’s political history. The economy had been shattered by the oil crisis, and reduced to further tatters by the IMF. Violence erupted, and well over 800 Jamaicans were murdered before polling day finally decided the nation’s fate in early 1980. It was in the midst of this turmoil that the Mighty Diamonds recorded Deeper Roots, an album that zapped the Zeitgeist of its time. The contemporary carnage is reflected in the haunting ‘One Brother Short,’ with its rumors of war and the disappearance of brethren into the grave. Poverty is omnipresent, even casting dark shadows over the band’s walk down memory lane on ‘Two by Two,’ while oppression is eternal. ‘I can’t stand no more,” Donald “Tabby” Shaw laments on “4000 Years,” a sentiment echoed on “Blackman,” where he decries “Brothers and sisters we can take it no longer, so much pain, so much pain and misery.’ Yet Deeper Roots is not lost to despair, for the trio has a ‘Master Plan’ for freedom and a lock on hope. Prayer plays an important part, as ‘Be Aware’ eloquently explains, as does the need for unity, a theme the Diamonds return to again and again. ‘Reality’ further elaborates on other changes needed, as well as providing a primer on righteous living. All of which culminates in ‘Dreadlocks Time,’ the trio’s celebration of victory over the baldheads. the Diamonds’ powerful and thoughtful lyrics continue to resonate, their melodies unforgettable and their harmonies flawless. But what made the album an instant classic was the Diamonds’ overwhelming optimism, even while acknowledging the horrors around them. Twinned with Jo Jo Hookim’s expert production and the Soul Syndicate’s bright but edgy backings, this album is a stunner. One of the best sets from the roots age, with the CD reissue further enhanced by the inclusion of the set’s dub companion, Deeper Dub.”

YouTube: Blackman, Blackman (dub version) , One Brother Short, Dreadlocks Time, Be aware dub, Master plan, Master Plan Dub, Reality dub


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