Producers: Warwick Lyn, Chris Blackwell, Dave Bloxham.
Recorded at Dynamic Sounds Studio, Kingston, Jamaica and Island Studios, London, England.
Having been among the early architects of reggae (according to some, their cut "Do The Reggay" actually coined the term) Toots & The Maytals naturally reflect the music's origins in their sound; a Jamaican reinterpretation of the rhythm & blues which intermittently drifted across the Gulf of Mexico from New Orleans and Miami radio stations in the late 1950's. On FUNKY KINGSTON, the Maytals lace their sound with infusions of New Orleans funk ala The Meters, rootsy r&b ala Fats Domino, and an over-the-top performance ethic worthy of James Brown himself. These strains are amply represented in covers like "Louie Louie" (especially it's unexpected analog synth solo), and "Country Road". "Love Is Gonna Let Me Down" could almost be a country & western ballad--with only the slightest hint of doo-wop--until the foot-stomping reggae riddim kicks in. Meanwhile, tracks like "Pressure Drop" and "Pomp and Pride" are all-time reggae classics which demonstrate Toots' award-winning song-writing skills; the latter won Jamaica's Festival Song Competition in 1972 and--like many Toots compositions--was later reworked into a dancehall hit (Barrington Levy & Sasafras' "Step Up In Life").
Rolling Stone (6/24/99, p.67) - 5 out of 5 - "...suggests that Hibbert was one of the first reggae artists to fully apprehend the power of the pop hook. His songs...are a series of undeniable refrains, moments when the most ordinary phrase blossoms into a transcendent, utterly magical event..."
Q (1/1/91) - 4 Stars - Excellent
Mojo (Publisher) (8/02, p.77) - Included in Mojo's 50 Greatest Reggae Albums - "...This set brought them spectacularly up to date, managing to broaden pre-roots reggae's outlook..."