Album: The Ethiopians, Engine 54 (Trojan)

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The Independent Culture

A lost minor-classic from the rocksteady era, 1968, featuring loads of train imagery and, indeed, a train on the cover. They knew how to work a concept in 1960s Jamaica.

The Ethiopians were an absolutely idiomatic vocal duo of the most engrained variety. These are ancient, unmannered voices, harmonising rawly over the gently rocking rhythms of the era – quite beautiful, even when straining to connect reggae to its R&B roots. There isn't much of it, but what there is is worth the love.