February 9, 2016

Black Uhuru - Guess Who's Coming To Dinner (1983)

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner is essentially Black Uhuru's first major label full-length record. The album was first put out under the name Showcase in 1979, then reissued a million times with different titles under different labels, so Guess Who's Coming To Dinner is actually the 1983 reissue of the Showcase album. The reason I'm posting this reissue is because it features one additional track, Shine Eye Gal, a song featuring Keith Richards--yes--Keith Richards on guitar over one of the all-time sickest reggae basslines. It's funny because it's not like Richards is doing anything special on guitar in terms of solos or anything, he's just laying down a simple rhythm--really makes me wonder how this combination ended up happening. The rest of the album is exceptional too, right up there with Sinsemilla and Red, which I personally consider the two highest marks in all of Jamaican music. The album doesn't have the organic feel of Sinsemilla or the mesmerizing production work of Red, but the melodies and writing is on that level for sure. Showcase features the strongest dubbing I have ever heard on any vocal reggae albums... shit it's better than most full-on dub albums too. An exceptional debut that proves Michael Rose one of the most talented lead singers in reggae, Duckie Simpson and Puma Jones some of the best harmonizers, and of course Sly and Robbie as the most powerful rhythm section and producers in Jamaica at that time. I've included my digital copies of both the Showcase and Guess Who's Coming To Dinner issues of this album.