Friday, March 04, 2016
Day 125 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - The Chantells - How Can I Get Over
The vocal trio the Chantells, featuring Samuel Bramwell, Tommy Thomas and Lloyd Forrester, began working with Duke Reid and Clive Hunt in 1975. Their LP Waiting In The Park, recorded and produced by Roy Francis' Phase One in 1978, is sadly the only complete album they would ever release. According to what I've read, when the band was getting set to tour the UK some of the members were accused of drug smuggling and subsequently jailed; the band broke up. Lead singer Bramwell went on to record some solo songs but was shot and killed by police while committing an armed robbery. All in all, a pretty sad story especially when you listen to today's track "How Can I Get Over," produced by Reid and released on the Treasure Isle label circa 1976. A song of despair, suffering and struggle... the first couple lines "standing on the side of hell, looking at the side of heaven" and "trying so hard to move my feet but it seems I'm sinking deeper" are in my opinion some of the most simplistically poetic yet pitifully sad lyrics in reggae... complete with the juxtaposition of some of the sweetest sounding harmonies that rival any of those from better know vocal groups, it is a song that if the mood hits me right will always bring tears to my eyes. An absolute classic that is beloved by yours truly, it stands as a testament to great Jamaican music and a band that unfortunately never got to live up to their expectations.