Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Good Life
The Heptones
Greensleeves
CD
February 17, 2014

Track list
  1. Can't Hide From Jah
  2. Repatriation Is A Must
  3. Natural Mystic
  4. New York City
  5. Every Day Every Night
  6. Good Life
  7. Brother And Sister
  8. How Could I Leave
  9. Black Man Memory
  10. Ghetto Living
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Barry Llewellyn and Earl Morgan formed The Heptones (originally named The Hep Ones) in 1965. The group's line-up went through several changes (Glen Adams, probably best known as keyboardist of The Upsetters, was one of the group's earliest members) before Leroy Sibbles joined them. With Leroy Sibbles as lead singer, they started to record for producer Ken Lack for whom they cut two 7" singles including the extraordinary "Gunmen Coming To Town". However it wasn't until legendary Studio One producer Coxsone Dodd showed an interest in the trio, that they achieved their breakthrough. During the rocksteady era they scored local hits with songs like "I Hold The Handle", "I've Got A Feeling", "Why Must I", and "Baby". On the group's debut album "Fattie, Fattie" (Studio One), both Barry Llewellyn and Earl Morgan also came up with the occasional song and lead vocal.

During the first half of the '70s they recorded the album "Freedom Line" for Coxsone Dodd, but then went on to record with producers like Joe Gibbs, Sonia Pottinger, and Harry J. With the latter they had a big hit, "Book Of Rules" (based on an American poem called "A Bag of Tools" by R.L. Sharpe) in 1973. It was one of the group's few songs not sung by Leroy Sibbles. Barry Llewellyn sang lead and co-wrote "Book Of Rules". The song was featured on the soundtrack for the 1998 American comedy-thriller film "Homegrown". Leroy Sibbles emigrated to Canada in 1973 and the group suspended recording activities until 1975, when he returned to once again record at Harry J's studio in Kingston, Jamaica. In that same year The Heptones signed an album deal with Island Records, which resulted in the release of two albums: "Night Food" in 1976 and "Party Time" in 1977.

Leroy Sibbles left the group once more in 1978 to start a successful solo career. The remaining Heptones replaced him with Dolphin "Naggo" Morris and released the "Better Days" album in 1978. A year later Greensleeves released the "Good Life" album. This 1979 Channel One album was produced by Channel One in house producer Joseph Hoo Kim, backed by the famous Revolutionaires and arranged by The Heptones. The album was one of the early Greensleeves releases and sold very well. It received positive response from both press and public. The album featured no less than six hit 45's, Repatriation Is A Must, Black Man Memory, Can't Hide From Jah, Every Day Every Night, How Can I Leave and the title track Good Life. The album also included a well charged lick-over of Bob Marley's Natural Mystic.

In recent times, The Heptones' Barry Llewellyn and Leroy Sibbles regularly performed in Europe, appearing at big festivals like Uppsala Reggae Festival in Sweden, Reggae Sun Ska in France, and Reggae Jam & Chiemsee Reggae Summer in Germany. On Wednesday November 23, 2011, Barry suddenly passed away at Kingston Public Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica.

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