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Reggae - Released January 1, 2002 | Trojan Records

Cool Rasta is essentially an updated DVD audio version of the Heptones' 1973 Book of Rules album, with the smooth and spooky "Cool Rasta" and "Dreadlock" added, along with a handful of rare dub mixes, all done in stellar 5.1 surround sound. The original sessions were produced by Harry Johnson (Harry J), and although some of these tracks now seem a little flat and uninspired, "Cool Rasta" and "Book of Rules," in particular, are standouts, ranking easily among the best numbers the Heptones ever recorded. There are two dub mixes of "Rules" included here (one is titled "Ganja"), and it is interesting to see the subtle changes that happen in these versions. The additional tracks fit remarkably well with the original cuts, making an interesting album even more so. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Reggae - Released April 13, 2009 | VP Records

In 1972, the great harmony trio the Heptones were helping to usher in the transition from rocksteady to reggae. Having recorded huge rocksteady hits for Coxsone Dodd's Studio One, they now went into Joe Gibbs' studio with the Now Generation band (which included guitarists Mikey Chung and Geoffrey Chung, keyboardist Robbie Lyn, drummer Mikey "Boo" Richards, and other luminaries of the period) and recorded a landmark of early reggae music. The album isn't perfect -- the vocals are a bit weak on the vintage sufferer's anthem "Our Day Will Come," and "The Magnificent Heptones (3 in 1)" is a waste-of-time hits medley that is inexplicably presented on this reissue in both regular and dubwise mixes. But the vast bulk of the album is excellent: "Be the One" is a pitch-perfect slice of classic roots and culture, followed by an unusually spacy dub version titled "The Road Is Rough"; "Save the Last Dance" is a gloriously cheesy pop cover in the grand tradition of rocksteady and early reggae; and "Freedom to the People" is nicely paired with a great DJ cut on the same rhythm featuring U-Roy. This might not be an utterly essential addition to every reggae collection, but no serious reggae fan will want to be without it. © Rick Anderson /TiVo
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Reggae - Released December 1, 2009 | TrenchTown Records

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Reggae - Released January 1, 1976 | Observer Music

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Reggae - Released June 1, 2018 | Shaklow

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Reggae - Released December 1, 2009 | TrenchTown Records

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Reggae - Released February 10, 2012 | VP

Better Days' title track pretty much tells the whole story: its optimistic, better times have got to come theme, counterpointed by the melancholy melody, epitomizes the Heptones' own plight in the mid-'70s. Despite their phenomenal success in Jamaica, the trio were still desperately attempting to break onto the international stage, even after signing to the Island label. After two unsuccessful albums, the group were now gambling that the third time would be a charm. Producer Niney Holness provided the perfect rootsy sound to accompany the trio's own superlative vocals. Better Days has a denseness to it, without sounding cluttered, and the song arrangements are particularly masterful with an eye to detail -- the piano flourishes on "Oh Jah," the interplay between the organ and guitar on "Ready Baby" -- while Holness' own superb rhythms pack the record with even more power. The Heptones responded in kind, and filled the record with their own stellar performances in a variety of style and moods. The deep roots tracks are magnificent, delivered with passion and conviction. "Mr. Do Over Man Song," a Jamaican hit, boasts some of the greatest close harmonies the vocalists ever recorded, while Leroy Sibbles belts out the lead in best show-stopping, soulful fashion. The doo wopp-ish "Key to Her Heart" is an out and out charmer, just one of many. However, on an album stuffed with sublime vocals, "Jah Bless the Children" remains a stand-out, as the Heptones reach Maytalsesque heights of gospel exuberance. Even a cover of the saccharine "Crystal Blue Persuasion" has enough bounce to spare the band's blushes, while a new version of "Suspicious Minds" actually gives Presley's original a run for its money. Better Days should have been the band's break-out record, but it wasn't, and Sibbles departed soon after. However, with hindsight, the album eventually was recognized as the classic it always was. © Jo-Ann Greene /TiVo
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World - Released April 14, 2006 | Charly Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 30, 2015 | Studio One

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Reggae - Released January 1, 1976 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

Following a three-year hiatus that found frontman Leroy Sibbles relocating to Canada, the Heptones reunited in 1976 to make perhaps their most effective bid for broader acceptance. That year, the trio was fortunate enough to hook up with Island, which in the wake of Bob Marley's success was signing a number of reggae acts with an eye toward an international market. The partnership resulted in two strong sets: Party Time and Night Food. While the former supported the trio with rhythms engineered at Lee "Scratch" Perry's legendary Black Ark, the latter captured the group in a series of crisp, clear settings, laid to tape at Harry J.'s studio. Though revisiting old tunes is a common practice in the Jamaican record industry, longtime fans may have been disappointed with the number of Studio One recuts that surfaced on Night Food. Yet while there may have been a lack of fresh material, new takes on compositions originally recorded for Coxsone Dodd are approached with the sort of heart and soul followers had come to expect from the Heptones. Likewise, more recent compositions like "Country Boy," "Book of Rules," and "Mama Say" are given superb readings. Concessions to the mainstream are made by way of occasional string overdubs, which are an unnecessary addition to "Deceivers" and merely a distraction on the playful "Fatty Fatty." In the end, however, the combination of mid-'70s songs and older material presented in a new setting resulted in one of the finest collections of Heptones compositions and performances on a studio set. © Nathan Bush /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 30, 2015 | Studio One

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Ska & Rocksteady - Released January 19, 2018 | Blue Pie Records

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Reggae - Released February 7, 2014 | Greensleeves

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 30, 2015 | Studio One

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Reggae - Released January 15, 2013 | TrenchTown Records

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Reggae - Released September 23, 2014 | TrenchTown Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 30, 2015 | Studio One

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Reggae - Released March 21, 2011 | Charly Records

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World - Released June 1, 2006 | Charly Records

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Reggae - Released December 1, 2009 | TrenchTown Records