Album of the Day: The Young Ones of Guyana, “On Tour”
By Dean Van Nguyen · June 28, 2019 Merch for this release:
2 x Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)

Recorded in London in 1970, The Young Ones of Guyana’s On Tour reflected the burgeoning Caribbean culture that had become embedded in the city’s DNA. Guyanese immigrants had formed part of the Windrush Generation that arrived in the U.K. from British colonies in the Caribbean between 1948 and 1970. It was part of the first Guyanese “Mashramani,” a celebration of the nation’s independence, that The Young Ones Of Guyana found themselves performing in the British capital, using the trip to enter the studio and lay down their debut album in the process.

Produced by bandleader Carlton Ramprashad, On Tour revels in classic reggae, rocksteady, and ska—sounds that were also hugely popular with certain British youth subcultures at the time, like mods and skinheads. The arrangements are awash with light guitar lines, rhythmic bongos, and funky organs. There’s a peppy version of The Harry J All Stars’ “Liquidator”—the original is strongly associated with British soccer. Drawing from popular U.S. sounds, the group offer a playful instrumental cover of Sly & The Family Stone’s freak-out “Sing a Simple Song,” while “Meditation” offers more bossa nova style rhythms. There’s little or no information out there on what happened to The Young Ones of Guyana but, with this reissue courtesy of BBE, their perfect synthesis of the sounds that changed 20th century Britain has been preserved.

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