Sunday, April 26, 2009

Killer Early Reggae

Slim Smith - "If It Don't Work Out" b/w "Don't Tell Your Mama" is one of my favorite early reggae 45's in my collection. Slim Smith was one of those Curits Mayfield-inspired Jamaican singers from the late 60's and early 70's that did his own thing, and did it well - with soul. Smith was in the Uniques, a major singing group in the Rocksteady-to-Early Reggae era. His solo work is where his soaring falsetto was really able to show itself. His voice is sadder, less sweet, and a tiny bit grittier than Pat Kelly, but they were very much contemporaries and have a similar singing style in many respects.
This cover of "If it Don't Work Out" (originally known as "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye") tugs at my heartstrings hard as hell. This is just a devastating, soulful version of a beautifully-written song. Smith really brings a great, extra-sad quality in his voice for this song. I love it. "Don't Tell Your Mama" is also a great tune, so download both below:

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