Slim Smith And The Freedom Singers – Hip Hug (Coxsone Dodd production)
I’ve written about many great singers on this countdown and have changed my mind about who might be the greatest of all more than once. In any list of the very best Slim Smith will always be one of the first names that springs to mind; both as a member of the Uniques and as a solo artist his work is rarely less than quite superb. Hip Hug is a case in point, helped by one of those great Studio One basslines that launched a hundred versions his plaintive and soulful vocal is just wonderful. And just when you thought this is as good as it gets they add those horns to the mix as well…on another day this might easily have been number one.
I’m not aware of any current re-issue of this tune though there may be a Coxsone 7″ floating about. There is a next cut of Hip Hug with re-recorded vocals that most notably appeared on a Music Lab 10″, it’s lovely as well and a repress of this should still be available.