First reissue of two highly collectible killers by
TRAIN TO GLORY /MEK YOU GO ON SO
7" VINYL 45 RPM - LIMITED EDITION
ABOUT THIS RELEASE
Attention: This is a special limited edition strictly limited to 500 copies - one release only.
Note: the number of copies is now included in the catalogue number “HSRSS-0023C-500” printed on the single label, “500” standing for 500 copies and C for collector.
This is the first reissue of two outstanding, very rare and highly collectible tracks by the Ethiopians. They were initially released on two different singles and are put together on a single here for the first time.
The Ethiopians were a Ska, Rocksteady, and Reggay vocal group, founded by Leonard Dillon with Stephen Taylor (apparently also known as "Tough Cock" Taylor!) and Aston Morris. Dillon was a stonemason from the small town of Boundbrook. There he was raised by his grandfather who was the church choirmaster and Dillon started singing in the church early. Like many others he moved to Kingston for work and there he met Peter Tosh who introduced him to The wailers and to Studio One where Dillon, under the name Jack Sparrow, recorded three Ska songs with the Wailers as backup…
Soon after he met Steven Taylor and Aston Morris while working on a building site. They rehearsed at the Ethiopian Reorganization Centre and subsequently named themselves the Ethiopians. Morris left the group, and Dillon and Taylor continued as a duo.
They recorded about 10 singles in 1966 for Coxsone Dodd, before moving to WIRL, releasing the "Train to Skaville" in 1967 which briefly appeared in the U.K. chart. It was followed by more singles such as “The Whip" and culminated with the release of their first album “Engine 54” in 1968 on WIRL in Jamaica and on Doctor Bird in the U.K.
The album featured top tracks such as “Engine 54”, “Train To Skaville”, “Long Time Now”, “Come On Now”, and the great “Train To Glory” featured on the A side here. That same year they released "Everything Crash", their first major hit. The song criticised the dire situation in Jamaica whereas water and power were rationed which led to unrests. In one dramatic incident 31 people were shot by police.
Their greatest album “Reggae Power” was released in 1969 on Trojan. Virtually every song is a hit: Women Capture Man, Everything Crash, What A Fire, Robert F Kennedy, Free, Hong Kong Flu, Gun Man, Feel The Spirit etc, etc… It was quickly followed by the equally good album “Woman Captures Man” on Trojan in 1970, featuring 10 new songs and “Everything Crash” and ”Hong Kong Flu” from the previous album.
During the early 1970s, the Ethiopians recorded widely for many producers and record labels, including Duke Reid ("Pirate"), Derrick Harriott ("Good Ambition"), Rupie Edwards ("Hail Rasta Man"), Alvin Ranglin ("Love Bug"), Prince Buster ("You Are For Me"), Joe Gibbs ("Ring A Burn Finger"), Bob Andy ("The Word Is Love"), and Lee Perry ("Life Is A Funny Thing"), among others. It is said that Dillon also helped build Perry's Black Ark Studios in 1973-4. In September 1975, Taylor was killed by a van while he was crossing a road. Dillon stopped for a while, then continued solo as The Ethiopian. He died from cancer in 2011.
No doubt The Ethiopians were one of Jamaica's greatest harmony groups along with The Paragons and the Kingstonians. Their socially oriented lyrics, drenched with humour, were truly unique though and remain strangely valid… 50 years on their timeless singles are avidly looked after by their many fans.
Title: "TRAIN TO GLORY" Artist: THE ETHIOPIANS
Produced by Leonard Dillon
This is the very first reissue of this super rare and super good 1968 Rocksteady song complete with kitch train-like sound effects and superb harmonies. It was initially released on Gayfeet in 1968 in Jamaica and Doctor Bird in the U.K. with the song “You Got The Dough” on the B side and was never repressed until now.
“This train… is bound to glory, glory This train… is bound to glory, glory Get on board… you don't need no money Get on board… you don't need no money This train… is bound to glory, glory Get on board… you don't need no baggage”
Title: "MEK YOU GO ON SO" - Artist: THE ETHIOPIANS - Year: 1970
Produced by JJ Johnson
First official reissue of this very much in demand track. It was released as a single only (with the song “Neck Tie” by Winston Wright on the B side) on JJ Records in Jamaica and on Duke Records in the U.K.in 1970. This real catchy Rocksteady track is very representative of The Ethiopians at the top of their art while they were produced by JJ Johnson… It was never released on album, as a result good and very scarce copies of the original single fetch top dollars today!