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Artist Profile
Mighty Diamonds
1969 ~
Delivered top class harmony vocals and brought a touch of real class to mid-1970’s sufferer’s reggae. A slew of fabulous Channel One & then Music Works singles meant that The Mighty Diamonds enjoyed popularity across the Sound System scene. Their Gussie Clark produced ‘Pass the Kouchie’ crossed over into the UK Charts. Currently over-looked in the creditably stakes!
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Members:
Donald 'Tabby' Shaw
Lloyd 'Judge' Ferguson
Fitzroy 'Bunny' Simpson
Place of establishment:
Jamaica
Kingston
Trenchtown
The Mighty Diamonds dominated vocal harmony Reggae in the 1970's and into the 1980's. Donald 'Tabby' Shaw gave the group a wonderfully sweet and warm lead which was very ably supported by Lloyd 'Judge' Ferguson and Fitzroy 'Bunny' Shaw on harmonies (& occasional lead vocals).

After cutting tunes for Stranger Cole ('Oh Know Baby'), Rupie Edwards ('Girl you are too Young') and Lee Perry ('Talk About It') that sold few copies, though they did provide the harmonies of Susan Cadogan's, Lee Perry produced, chart hit 'Hurt So Good'. They really began to hit their stride when they linked up with the Hookin Brothers at their Maxfield Road recording studio 'Channel One',in 1975.

It was a cover of the Stylistics 'Country Living' that first gave the Diamonds a JA hit, that they followed up with another cover of the Chi-Lites 'Stoned Out Of My Mind'. But it was the Diamonds ability to deliver a strident social and Rastafarian message that gave the group an extra dimension. Tracks like 'Right Time', 'Have Mercy' and 'Back Weh' all scored JA chart success and drew the attention of the UK's Virgin Records. The groups 'Right Time' album was issued in a deluxe gatefold sleeve and met with critical and sales success in the UK. On the back of this cross-over success Virgin took the group to the New Orleans based producer Allen Toussaint, who had produced many R'n'B records, which were hits in Jamaica, by the likes of Ernie K-Doe, Irma Thomas and Aaron Neville. Unfortunately the album failed to attract new fans and lost many of their existing fans.

The series of quality albums emerged from Channel One, such as 'Stand Up To Your Judgement', 'Tell Me What's Wrong' and the Front Line release 'Deeper Roots'. The Diamonds continued to score hits in the reggae charts, with more Channel One produced tracks. Their sound was one of the defining elements of reggae in the late 1970's, as the Disco 45 format was taking off in JA & the UK, they used it to maximum effect and used to the format to great effect, with some great tunes on the Hookin Brothers 'Channel One' labels.

The Virgin link fell away and it was with a new producer, Gussie Clark, that the group hit the top spot again. Their successful career at Channel One had seen the group use updated Studio One rhythms as the basis for several of their tracks and Gussie Clark looked to the 'Full Up' rhythm from the Studio One Soul Brothers. 'Pass the Kouchie' surfaced on a US 10", a JA single and an UK Island issued 12" Disco. It's gone onto to become a Herb Smokers (Kouchie is a pipe for smoking Ganja) classic. At the time the Jamaica Government got so worried about the effect of the track on the youth of the island that The Mighty Diamonds were forced to cut a new version of the song called 'Pass The Knowledge!'. The 'Changes' album on Gussie Music Works imprint hit the same high quality mark as their 'Right Time' set and again created some cross over sales: other tracks on the set , such as 'Party Time' and 'Hurting Inside', sold well and were popular at Sound Systems. Their 'Pass the Kouchie' track was reworked as 'Pass the Dutchie' (a cooking pot) by UK based teen reggae group 'Musical Youth', who had a UK & US chart hit with the song.

The Diamonds also recorded albums with Donovan Germain ('Heads of Government'), Tappa Zukie ('Leaders of the Black Country') and were always able to maintain a certain standard, unlike many of their contemporaries. From the mid 1980's onwards the group continued to release quality albums and singles that found a ready market. They seemingly effortlessly were the top vocal harmony trio in the reggae world and anyone fortunate enough to go and see them live was in for a treat, as they delivered a first rate performance with Tabby's lead lines a thing of real beauty. Like many groups who were huge sellers in their peak they haven't become a reggae legend as they were a highly professional group that delivered polished music and live performances for decades – which is not the stuff of Reggae legend, but should be!

2007 saw the group re-visit their classic tracks for the French based Inna de Yard imprint in a 'un-plugged' style that finds the Diamonds have a beautiful vocal maturity (that only age can bring) to them now.: Sweetness in full effect.
 
Related artist(s):
Wailing Souls
Gladiators
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Description of item
[All Items] → [7"] → [Roots Reggae] → [Roots Reggae 1970s] → [Mighty Diamonds]
No Stock
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vinyl 7" 7"
Mighty Diamonds
Have Mercy
Well Charge
¥600 (US$5.04)
Rating: 12345
Genre: Roots Reggae
Sub Genre: Roots Reggae 1970s
Produced by: Joseph Hookim
Approx. year: 1975
Date added: Jun 22, 2009
Date re-stocked: Sep 2, 2011
Country: Jamaica
Music type: Vocal B: Version
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