The Heptones were one of the iconic Jamaican vocal trios of the 60s and 70s comprised of Leroy Sibbles, Earl Morgan and Barry Llewellyn. Starting off as the Hep Ones, they recorded a single for Ken Lack that didn't make much noise. Changing their name to the Heptones, they moved to Coxsone Dodd's Studio One and began a productive period that saw them recording many classic tunes. Leroy Sibbles was one of the cornerstones of Brentford Road, arranging and playing bass on many other Studio One classics. After Studio One they moved on to record with Joe Gibbs, Harry J and Rupie Edwards. Leroy Sibbles left for Canada in 1973 and the group was on hiatus until his return in 1976 when they hooked up again with Harry J. The next year saw them connecting with Lee Perry and releasing some more tracks during Scratch's prime period as a producer. Sibbles left to go solo after this and did some work with Augustus Pablo, and Sibbles was replaced by Naggo Morris who led the group through their last years of popularity.
For part one of this two part series, I start off with two of the Heptones' classic Studio One tracks, "Pretty Looks Isn't All" and "Sweet Talking" before moving into "Party Time" which they recorded for Coxsone Dodd, Phil Pratt and Lee Perry at different stages. This run of tunes allows you to hear the variations on the same theme, in different eras and with different backing bands. After this we move in to a Ken Lack produced track called "I Am Lonely" that was redone during their time with Lee Perry as "Crying Over You". Next up is a crucial track "Heptones Gonna Fight" that was done at Studio One and later recorded by Michael Prophet for producer Yabby U. Next we get into one on my favorite the set is "Black Man's Memory" produced by Niney.