The Heptones - Book Of Rules (LP)
Leroy Sibbles, Earl Morgan and Barry Llewellyn first banded together in Kingston in 1965 as The Hep Ones, but quickly changed it up to the Heptones when Morgan randomly spotted a discarded bottle of Heptones Tonic. We’re not sure what was in that tonic, but it sure made for some smooth vocals. By 1967 the group was recording for Coxsone Dodd’s famed Studio One moving into the organization just as the Wailers were moving on. Though one may argue which group had sweeter harmonies, there’s no doubt that The Heptones, unlike many others at the time, were not followers of the Wailers vocal stylings but rather contemporaries. After parting ways with Sir Coxone, post a string of international hits and renown, the group released abundant material through a string of labels (including their own) ahead of being catapulted it international prominence due to a deal with Island Records in the late 70s. “Book Of Rules” being one of those recordings. In 1973 the group entered Harry J’s studio in Kingston, with the record being issued on Harry’s Jaywax imprint soon after the last note of the session tapered off.
The effort features one of the biggest Heptone’s hits in the title track “Book Of Rules,” one of the very few Heptones songs where Leroy Sibbles does not handle the lead vocals, instead the songs co-writer Barry Llewelyn sang lead. Once again available as first issued in Jamaica in 1973, this is a landmark recording that’s not to be overlooked.