The Uniques, featuring Slim Smith, were one of the most popular and enduring vocal harmony groups of the rock steady era. Keith 'Slim' Smith grew up in the West Street area of Kingston and had sang with Winston Riley in The Techniques before leaving to set up The Uniques.
“Before The Wailers hit the most popular group was The Techniques with Slim Smith…” Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd
“At The Carib Theatre, The State Theatre, The Regal Theatre and the Music Union we stole the show from any other group performing and, on one memorable occasion, from The Wailers where Bob Marley threatened Slim Smith…” Jimmy Riley
During this period Slim developed a close working relationship with producer Bunny 'Striker' Lee although, in typical Kingston fashion, he still recorded for other producers including 'Coxsone Dodd' at Studio One.
“After a few years Slim left The Uniques and went solo and the hits continued ‘Everybody Needs Love’, ‘Blinded By Love’, and he was off on tour of Canada. He appeared in places like Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, Wales and all over London. In London he was regarded as the best Jamaican singer and was hailed wherever he appeared.” Tony Mack
“I was in New York when I heard about the tragedy and I did not believe it at first… only when I heard it from several sources did I believe it. Slim had returned home to his parents' house after smoking ganja with some friends and could not get into the house. He broke a window to get in and badly cut his arm. His injuries were so severe that he bled to death before he could get treatment…” Jimmy Riley
This 'Absolutely Rock Steady' set is a mixture of some of the groups' more popular hits and less well known recordings. A fine compilation, showcasing one of Jamaica's greatest ever singers, it is an essential addition to any record collection.
“Slim is an incomparable singer even though he’s been dead thirty odd, coming on for forty years. Slim was the nearest thing to Curtis Mayfield and he could also play instruments… look how long Slim Smith dead and you hear his music still. Do you know of another singer who’s come up like Slim Smith? You’ve never had another singer who’s made that impact on Jamaican music like Slim Smith.” Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee
The Uniques — Absolutely Rock Steady
Joe Stevens, Jul 26, 2015
Fantastic album, full of classic songs and it also showcases the unstoppable slide into reggae. Although not released by Trojan until 1969 all the reco0rdings stem 1967 & 1968 and some of the later tracks herald the coming new sound. A top album