KSCD043

The Ethiopians are one of the great vocal groups to come out of Jamaica. Singing songs
of life and times as they found them, themes that resonated with the people of the Island
that made them such a treasured group.

Lenard Dillon (b. 9 December, 1942, Port Antonio, Jamaica) the founding member of
the Ethiopians began his singing career at Clement ‘Coxonne’ Dodd’s Studio One.
Initially he recorded under the name of Jack Sparrow, and backed by the Wailers,
cutting ‘Ice Water’ and ‘Suffering In The Land’. Under The Wailers encouragement,
he went on to form his own vocal group. Recruiting singers Stephan Taylor (b.1944,
Portland, Jamaica) and Aston ‘Charlie’ Morris to become The Ethiopians.
They cut ‘Live Good’, ‘Why You Gonna Leave Me Now’ and ‘Owe Me No Pay Me’.
Although receiving favourable response, Aston Morris decided to leave the band
and the remaining pair carried on and cut ‘I’m A Free Man’ and ‘Don Dead Already’
and ‘For You’.

On meeting contract builder Leebert Robertson who had recently returned to live in
Jamaica, ashad he wanted to get into the music business, a session was booked for
Treasure Isle Studios. The session produced their seminal ‘Train To Skaville’ track,
which became an immediate hit in Jamaica and in the UK, when in 1967 it reached
number 40 in the charts. They also cut ‘Engine 54’, which became the title of their
debut album. Its follow up ‘I Need You / Do It Sweet’, did not fare so well and the
band moved over to Sonia Pottinger’s stable, where they cut ‘The Whip / Cool It Amigo’
which revived their fortunes and proved another big hit for the band. Two more hits
followed ‘Stay Loose Mama’ and ‘The World Goes Ska’, after which the band decided
to return to a trio, adding Melvin ‘Mellow’ Reid to the line up. The band now hit another
run of successes with producer JJ Johnson ‘Everything Crash, ’Gun Man’,
‘Hong Kong Flu’ and ‘The Selah’. Many hits followed leading the band to work with
a variety of Jamaican producers. Such tracks as ‘I Want To Be a Better Man,
‘ Conquering Lion’, ’Fire A Mus Mus’ Tail’, and the timeless ‘Reggae Hit The Town’ to
name a few. Two albums ‘Reggae Power’ (1969) and ’Woman Capture Man’ (1970),
pulled a lot of these tunes together. Sadly Taylor was killed in 1975 after been struck
by a van in a road accident. Dillon returned to Port Antonio till 1977, when he was
persuaded to return to Treasure Isle studios with producer Niney The Observer and
cut the Rasta based album ‘Slave Call’. Additional members who joined for this album
were Bro Fatty, Bro Ewing, Bro T, Mello and Hychi Dread. An album that showed all the
Ethiopians magic had not been lost.

For this release we have included the full ‘Slave Call’ set, ‘Ethiopian National Anthem’,
’Slave Call’, ’Guilty Conscience’, ’Hurry On’, ‘Mus Follow Babylon’(on CD Edition), ‘Train
To Skaville (1977 version, on CD Edition), ‘Culture’, ‘Obeah Book’, ‘Let It Be’ and
‘I Love Jah’. Alongside some of the bands early hits, including the original version
of ‘Train To Skaville’, ‘Engine 54’, the great and poignant ‘Everything Crash’,
‘Reggae Hit The Town’ and ‘The Selah’. An interesting set to remind us what a
great group the Ethiopians really were.


CD Track Listing

1 Train To Skaville (Original version)
2 Engine 54
3 Come On Now
4 Everything Crash
5 Ethiopian National Anthem
6 Guilty Conscience
7 Hurry On
8 Reggae Hit The Town
9 Culture
10 Obeah Book
11 Love Jah
12 The Selah
13 Need Someone
14 Slave Call
15 Mus Follow Babylon*
16 Train To Skaville*
•CD Bonus Track

Vinly Track Listing

Side 1
1 Train To Skaville (Original version)
2 Engine 54
3 Come On Now
4 Everything Crash
5 Ethiopian National Anthem
6 Guilty Conscience
7 Hurry On

Side 2

1 Reggae Hit The Town
2 Culture
3 Obeah Book
4 Love Jah
5 The Selah
6 Need Someone
7 Slave Call


Ethiopians:
Lenard Dillion, Steven Taylor, Aston Morris, Melvin Reid
Additional Members Slave Call Tracks: Bro Fatty, Bro Ewing, Bro T, Mello, Hychi Dread


Musicians Include:

Bobby Aiken & The Carib Beats, And Max Edwards, Sly Dunbar: Drums
George ‘Fully’ Fullwood,Robbie Shakespeare: Bass
Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith: Lead Guitar
Tony Chin: Rhythm Guitar
Winston Wright: Organ
Richard Johnson, Robbie Lynn: Keyboards
Lennox Brown,Tommy McCook: Tenor Saxophone
Vin Gordon,Bobby Ellis: Trumpet

Studios Include: Treasure Isle, Wirl.
Produced By: Winston ‘Niney’ Holness, Bunny Lee, Leebert Robinson,
JJ Johnson, Charlie Ross, Bunny Rae
Design By: Gary @ Voodoo London
Manufactured under Licence from Winston Holness, E. Lee
All tracks copyright control