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Icebreakers & Diamonds/Icebreakers: Planet Mars Dub

Album Reviews:

NME (Magazine) (8/26/00, p.61) - 6 out of 10 - "...Reworks the The Mighty Diamonds' PLANET EARTH suite with slightly better results..."

Album Notes

The Icebreakers: The Diamonds (vocals); Chinna (guitar); Trommie, McCook & The Marquis (horns); Touter (keyboards); Lloyd P. (bass); Sly (drums); Stick (percussion).

This album constitutes chapter two of a rather strange moment in the history of the Mighty Diamonds, one of reggae's most loved and respected harmony groups. Planet Mars Dub is the dub companion to their Planet Earth album; both were originally released in 1978. Planet Mars Dub gives top billing to the Icebreakers, a motley assemblage of studio pros that included several charter members of the Revolutionaries; the Mighty Diamonds are listed on the credits simply as the Diamonds. Apart from the strange coyness of the credits, the album's overall sound is an anomaly; no mystery there, since it was engineered by Karl Pitterson, soon to be famous for his slick and richly-produced style. (Maybe some credit goes to the atmosphere at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas, a haven of relaxation compared to the political powder keg that was Kingston at the time.) Whatever the reason, Planet Mars Dub manages, quite successfully, to combine fairly adventurous dub technique with a smooth and mellow production style. It's a juxtaposition that works especially well on good-natured love songs like "Let the Answer" ("Sweet Answer") and "Sweet Lady" ("Grand Rock"), maybe a bit less so on more hardheaded Rasta fare. Recommended overall, especially to Mighty Diamonds fans who might otherwise overlook it. ~ Rick Anderson


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