Mighty Maytones – Burning Sounds Records – 1976

Madness / Loving Reggae / Contiquros / Serious / Father And Mother

Music Is A Part Of Life / Ital Queen / God Bless The Day / Judgement A Come / Zion Land

Uploaded tonight is one of the most understated and beautiful debut albums ever released in the reggae vocal harmony style. The Maytones were largely ignored in the mid 1970’s by UK music press and record labels due to the lack of dreadlocks and red,gold and green tams on the heads of the two vocalists, Vernon Buckley and Gladestone Grant.

The Congos, Mighty Diamonds, Black Uhuru, Burning Spear and Culture all got (deserved) props from the music press and record labels like Virgin and Island, but because of the non Rasta image of The Maytones, those same record labels who believed that a militant Rasta image was important to sell to the UK public, lost out on releasing this absolutely stunning collection of reggae classics. 

The recording session for the tracks that appeared on this album was engineered by Alvin GG Ranglin at the infamous Channel One studio way way down along dangerous Maxfield Avenue in western Kingston. The Maytones composed lyrics on subjects that were not too heavy on the Rastafarian dogma,  personal day to day living for sufferers, making the best of a bad lot, and a heap of very classy songs on relationship issues were the order of the day for this vocal duo. The fragile way the vocals are put across on this album (and other Maytones releases) make the compositions incredibly tender and sad sounding, but overall the listener feels an overwealming feeling of hope.

The sleeve artwork from this album has images that were certainly not everyday fare for mid 1970’s reggae sleeve artwork. Mushroom clouds, gravestones and soldier images were to become among the favoured images of the punk bands that appeared much later on in the decade. I honestly can not think of many (or any) other reggae sleeves that are similar in artwork to this release from 1976.

Dedicated to Stewart and his twin brother Andy whose birthday is today. Happy and safe birthday to them both from all at Kill Your Pet Puppy online.

Cini camera shots of the twins filmed at the Huntingdon Street squat, Kings Cross in 1979 or 1980 when there were both wee lads of seventeen years old, or thereabouts.

The whole of the cini film feature on Huntingdon Street squat can be viewed HERE

  1. John G Lover
    John G Lover
    March 26, 2009 at 11:22 am

    I’ve enjoyed the rips you provide, as over the years I’ve lost a lot of the records you provide. Also picked up some fantastic Reggae that I missed the first time round. Much gratitude is sent to you.

  2. Stewart
    March 26, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Awwwwwww, that’s so sweet of you Penguin! Bless your little cotton socks! Downloading it now, so I’ll let you know if your taste is as good as mine… *winks* xxx

  3. dan i
    dan i
    March 27, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Wicked cover – more the sort of thing you would expect from Zounds. Didnt know this album, thanks Penguin

  4. taiwo abiodun
    taiwo abiodun
    April 5, 2009 at 1:56 am

    I have been listening to your music since 1978. Let me have the lyrics of Madness album. You are great. Do you still play music?

  5. Kehinde Abiodun
    Kehinde Abiodun
    April 11, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Oh My God! This is one of the greatest reggae music in the world. I have been listening to the music since 1978 and I need the lyrics so that I will stop guessing and humming like a bee……. Come on send the lyrics to my e-mail.


  6. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    April 11, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    This site is not affiliated with the Maytones, perhaps you can use a search engine like google to source out the lyrics to particular tracks by this fine band.

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