RS #380: Toots and the Maytals, Funky Kingston


Toots and the Maytals Funky Kingston

Release Date: 1975
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes

Love a great ’70s drawn album cover. By Source, Fair use, Link

Impressions: From the first beat, this classic reggae sound fits like your favorite t-shirt. The sound is like Al Green on the 1 and 3, with the gruff vocals of Toots Hibbert (who to Americans serves as the Kevin Durant to Bob Marley’s LeBron James.) R&B, Soul, Rock, Ska, Funk, it’s all in there. Just perfect. Now he sounds like James Brown on “Funky Kingston.” Mellotron? They can do lovely ballads and sweaty workouts all the same. Their island deconstruction of “Louie Louie” is probably the best cover of that oft-covered song I’ve heard. And this time, I can understand the lyrics! What is that bonkers solo? Guitar? Vocoder? Every track is a stone cold beat, fun swinging and nice mix of sweet and salty. I could munch on this music for a long time. Something interesting about the reggae/country music connection. Maybe it’s because both represent the sounds of their respective underclass. Maybe it’s cause Bob Denver and Willie Nelson smoke so much weed? Love that loose and warm yet melancholy outro.
Great Lyric: 
Starred Songs: “Pressure Drop,” “Funky Kingston”
Sneaky Track: “Time Tough”
Should this album be on the list? Yes
Will You Listen To This Again: Yes
Verdict: The fabled classic all-time greatest album that never was, if you squint past five sprawling discs of material you can make out a masterpiece in the distance.