Alton Ellis – Mad Mad (1967)

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“With an exuberant blast of brass, ‘Mad Mad’ surged into the sound systems in 1967 to eventually become one of Studio One’s most beloved riddims. Intricately arranged by Jackie Mittoo, the song was not one of the label’s typically lavish rocksteady fare. For starters, the melody line was slighter and far less lush than usual, while the chorus didn’t actually jog with the verses. However, Mittoo made it work regardless, building the arrangement around a compulsive rhythm, jangling cowbell and the song’s signature brass line, all offset only by Mittoo’s own sparkling piano…and Alton Ellis’s soulful vocals abetted by the warm harmonies, of course. … It was a particular favorite of Junjo Lawes, who scored big with the song’s most popular version, Michigan & Smiley’s ‘Diseases’, and continues to be versioned to this day.”
allmusic
YouTube: Mad Mad / Diseases (Alton Ellis, Michigan & Smiley)

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