Saturday, July 8, 2017


It's time to post, for the umpteenth time, Althea and Donna's "Uptown Top Ranking", because it's one of those righteous jams seemingly made for summer. Totally infectious reggae, it was a hit in Jamaica and England around 1977, and it began as a lark. The duo would go to reggae clubs all the time, where they often got chided for the way they dressed. Halter tops and pants aren't (or weren't at the time) connsidered roots or rasta. Phooey, they thought, and one night while driving home they heard Trinity's "Three Piece Suit " on the radio and just started singing over it, what would become "Uptown Top Ranking".

There were a bunch of other songs using the same riddim. It originated on Alton Ellis's "I'm Still In Love With You". That was followed by "Calico Suit" by Mighty Two, Trinity's "Three Piece Suit", and then "Uptown Top Ranking". There were undoubtedly others around the same time. Big Youth, for whatever reason, released an answer song with some women called the Crissers, "Spanking Ranking". It was so lame that Althea and Donna let it die. It really was lame.

I'd been thinking about posting the song, and then a new reggae mix over at Funky 16 Corners nudged me with the inclusion of the song. There's sixteen songs in all, and each one I'm sure has a story behind it. Pretty sure.

Althea and Donna - Uptown Top Ranking mp3 at Eyeswings
Alton Ellis - I'm Still In Love With You mp3
at Stop Okay Go
Mighty Two - Calico Suit
(streaming) at YouTube
Triinity - Three Piece Suit (streaming) at YouTube
Big Youth and the Crissers - Spanking Ranking
(streaming) at YouTube
The Mix:
Summer of Soul Pt2 – DJ Prestige – Nice Up: Reggae Sevens
at Funky 16 Corners

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