Review: You can't overestimate the importance of The Heptones in the evolution of Jamaican music, after they defined the transition from ska to rocksteady and on to reggae. This album, "Back On Top", captures the band in the early '80s, when they had reached an international audience after working with Lee 'Scratch' Perry and releasing on Island Records. By this point they were back producing themselves, creating a perfect spanning sweet ballads and upbeat skankers, not to mention a cover of The Beatles' "Yesterday". Lovingly repressed on 180 gram red vinyl, this is a welcome reissue of an album that's been tricky to get hold of for some time, from one of the all time great reggae acts.
Review: As reggae aficionados will tell you, Dutchess was one of Treasure Isle founder Arthur 'Duke' Reid's smaller labels. These days, the reborn print is being used to reissue sought-after rarities and previously unheard tracks from Reid's vast Treasure Isle vaults. These two tracks come under the former category and were previously only available as part of Trojan's Treasure Isle Ska Rarities box set. The A-side boasts The Rio Grandes' boisterous and harmonic 'Foolin' Around' - a defiantly fuzzy, early '60s Reid production that for some reason never came out at the time - while on the flip you'll find 'Oh Misery' by the producer's early all-star backing band, the Duke Reid Group; this, too, is a vital piece of previously buried ska gold.