Third World (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Third World
OriginKingston, Jamaica
GenresReggae fusion[1]
Years active1973 (1973)–present
LabelsCleopatra, Island, Columbia, Mercury, Third World Music Group
Associated actsInner Circle
MembersStephen "Cat" Coore
Richard Daley
Tony "Ruption" Williams
Maurice Gregory
Norris "Noreiga" Webb
AJ Brown
Past membersMichael "Ibo" Cooper
Irvin "Carrot" Jarrett
Carl Barovier
Milton "Prilly" Hamilton
Bunny Rugs
Willie Stewart
Rupert "Gypsy" Bent III
Leroy "Baarbe" Romans
Mikel Wallace
Herbie Harris
Robbie Lynn
Pablo Stewart

Third World is a Jamaican reggae fusion band formed in 1973. Their sound is influenced by soul, funk and disco. Although it has undergone several line-up changes, Stephen "Cat" Coore and Richard Daley have been constant members.


Third World started when keyboard player Michael "Ibo" Cooper and guitarist (and cellist) Stephen "Cat" Coore (son of former Deputy Prime Minister David Coore), who had originally played in The Alley Cats and then Inner Circle, subsequently left to form their own band along with Inner Circle singer Milton "Prilly" Hamilton.[2][3] They recruited bassist Richard Daley, formerly of Ken Boothe's band and Tomorrow's Children, and added drummer Carl Barovier and former Inner Circle percussionist Irvin "Carrot" Jarrett before making their live debut in early 1974.[2]

After recording some tracks with Geoffrey Chung which were not released, the band's first single was the self-produced "Railroad Track" (1974).[2] In their early days they played primarily in Kingston's hotels and nightclubs and (along with The Wailers) supported The Jackson Five when they played at the Jamaican National Stadium.[2]

They were soon signed by Island Records and toured Europe with The Wailers.[2] The band's self-titled debut album was released in 1976. The album included a cover of "Satta Massagana", originally performed by The Abyssinians, which became a local hit. Hamilton and Cornell Marshall (who had replaced Barovier earlier) were replaced by two more former Inner Circle members, singer William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke and drummer Willie Stewart, before the recording of their second album, 96° in the Shade (1977), which included several local hits. Notable among its eight tracks were "1865 (96° in the Shade)", a reference to the 1865 Morant Bay rebellion, "Rhythm of Life" and the album's only cover, "Dreamland", written by Bunny Wailer.[2] They played in front of 80,000 people at the Smile Jamaica festival in 1976.[2]

In 1977 the band collaborated with psychiatrist Frederick Hickling on the Explanitations show that was performed at Kingston's Little Theatre early the following year.[4]

Third World's greatest success came in the late 1970s and early 1980s, peaking with their cover version of The O'Jays' "Now That We Found Love" from their third album Journey to Addis. After its initial recording, the single was remixed at the behest of Island Records Special Projects division head, Alex Masucci,[5] with new vocals and an uptempo beat. "Now That We Found Love" became a hit single on both sides of the Atlantic in 1978, reaching the top 10 in the UK.[2] Journey to Addis became a top thirty hit album in the UK.[2] They had first met Stevie Wonder in Jamaica in 1976, and the single prompted him to perform with them at the Reggae Sunsplash festival in 1981 in the wake of Bob Marley's death, playing his tribute to Marley, "Master Blaster".[2][6] Third World went on to perform several times at the festival, and they also took part in the "Reggae Sunsplash USA" tour in 1985.[7] Wonder also wrote, along with Melody A McCully, their 1982 hit "Try Jah Love", which brought them further exposure in North America.[2][8][9] They were also guests during the third season of SCTV.

Amid claims of artistic differences "Carrot" split from the band in the mid-1980s.[2] The resulting five-piece band then went on to record more commercial tunes such as "Sense of Purpose", "Reggae Ambassador", "Forbidden Love" and "Committed".

Their version of "Now That We've Found Love" was used as the basis of Heavy D's 1991 hit rap version.[10] In 1992 they returned to work with Stephen Stewart and Geoffrey Chung on the album Committed.[10]

In 1983, Third World had cross-over success on the UK Jazz Funk scene with their reggae single 'Lagos Jump' largely thanks to Robbie Vincent[11] and Jeff Young who played the 12" version on their Radio London shows. The track also became popular on the London club scene and in particular at Flicks in Dartford.

Telstar Records released a double-album compilation in 1983 which collected up all the mainstream club extended versions and remixes by artists and groups that had enjoyed relatively good UK chart success between 1981 and 1983. Entitled 'In The Groove', the compilation's lead track on Part Two was Third World's extended version of 'Dancing on the Floor (Hooked on Love)'.[12] The track had originally been released in 1981 in 7" edited and 12" extended versions, and included on Third World's impressive 'Rock The World' album. With the release of the Telstar compilation, this brought about an upsurge of interest in Third World's dancefloor output and certainly paved the way for the next two years recordings with Columbia Records (CBS).

In 1985, the group's focus steered by a shifting music scene, brought about a stylistic change in musical direction with the release of "Sense of Purpose". The single was released as a 7" edit and 12" extended version and later was reissued as a Shep Pettibone club remix.[13] Whilst the single was popular, it only made the lower ends of the UK charts. The 12" extended version was released with an instrumental plus the full length version of their 1983 cross-over hit 'Lagos Jump' which almost certainly boosted the sales of 'Sense of Purpose'.

Also in 1985, "Now That We've Found Love" was back in the UK charts again as Paul Hardcastle decided to release a club remix but as with the case of his D-Train remix[14] putting the Hardcastle signature sound of electronic keyboards on the track and reverbing the opening vocal. Whilst the remix was a UK hit, the remix had seemingly lost its reggae roots and the Hardcastle remix has since largely been forgotten in the decades that have followed. The result being that most DJs and radio stations have returned to the original reggae version.

Despite several more line-up changes, including the departures of Cooper and Stewart, and a decline in mainstream success, the band is still recording and performing up to the present day, including in front of a television audience at the Cricket World Cup 2007 Opening Ceremony in Trelawny.

In 2008 the band received a lifetime achievement award from Charles Drew University.[15]

In January 2013, the group was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in Montego Bay as they celebrated their 40th year in music.

In 2013 the group completed a 40th anniversary world tour; Illness forced Clarke to miss the European shows, with AJ Brown standing in as lead vocalist.[16]

William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke died on 2 February 2014 in hospital in Orlando, Florida, while battling cancer. Brown was announced as Bunny Rugs' replacement.[17]

The album Under the Magic Sun is due to be released in June 2014 on Cleopatra Records, featuring vocals from Bunny Rugs, Brown, Coore, and Maurice Gregory.[18]

Irvin "Carrot" Jarrett died on 31 July 2018, aged 69.[19]

The group's 2019 album More Work to be Done received a nomination for a Grammy Award in the Best Reggae Album category, the seventh time they have been nominated.[20]

Musical style[edit]

While the band played roots reggae, they have also incorporated other styles into their music, and it was the initial influence of The Wailers that prompted the formation of the band to take on a new direction that combined reggae with other genres.[2] The pop-oriented sound has given rise to criticism of the band over the years, with reggae purists uncomfortable with their incorporation of American soul and R&B into their sound.[6][8][21] The band have played also folk-pop, hard rock, bossa nova, rap, light pop-jazz, doo-wop and calypso.[9][22][23] Their style has been described as reggae fusion.[10][24] Singer Bunny Rugs described the band's sound: "Strictly a reggae band, no. Definitely a reggae band, yes."[10] Guitarist Cat Coore said of their music: "The hybrid of various types of music is a natural thing because, by growing up in Jamaica, we know the direct roots of reggae and ska. At the same time we live in a country where you get to hear Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and all the R&B artists."[6] Bassist Richard Daley said "we took roots reggae music and put branches on top of it".[6]


Current members
  • Stephen "Cat" Coore – guitars, cello (1973–present)
  • Richard Daley – bass (1973–present)
  • Tony "Ruption" Williams – drums (1997–present)
  • Norris "Noriega" Webb – keyboards (2007–present)
  • AJ Brown – vocals (2014–present)
Former members
  • Michael "Ibo" Cooper – keyboards (1973–1997)
  • Irvin "Carrot" Jarrett – percussion (1973–1989)
  • Carl Barovier – drums (1973–1976)
  • Milton "Prilly" Hamilton – vocals (1973–1976)
  • Bunny Rugs – vocals (1976–2014; his death)
  • Willie Stewart – drums (1976–1997)
  • Rupert "Gypsy" Bent III – guitars, keyboards, percussion, vocals (1989, 1994)
  • Leroy "Baarbe" Romans – keyboards (1997–1999)
  • Mikel Wallace – keyboards (1999)
  • Herbie Harris – keyboards (2002–2010)
  • Maurice Gregory - keyboards (2010-2020)



List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Label Peak chart positions
"Railroad Track" 1975 Island
"96º In The Shade" 1977 Island
"Now That We Found Love" 1978 Island 10 47
"Cool Meditation" 1979 Island 17
"One Cold Vibe (Couldn't Stop Dis Ya Boogie)" 1979 Island
"Tonight for Me" 1979 Island
"The Story's Been Told" 1979 Island
"Talk to Me" 1979 Island 54
"Always Around" 1979 Jah's Music/Island
"Street Fighting" 1980 Cav Lip
"Now That We've Found Love" 1980 Mango
"Rooths With Quality" 198? Observers
"Dancing on the Floor (Hooked on Love)" 1981 CBS 10
"Standing in the Rain" 1981 CBS
"Try Jah Love" 1982 CBS 55 47 101
"You're Playing Us Too Close" 1982 Columbia
"Ride On" 1982 CBS
"Love Is Out to Get You" 1983 CBS
"Lagos Jump" 1983 CBS
"Sense of Purpose" 1985 CBS
"One More Time" 1985 CBS
"One to One" 1985 Columbia
"Now That We Found Love" (re-issue) 1985 Island 22[26]
"Hold on To Love" 1987 CBS
"Over Due" 1987 Jah's Music
"The Spirit Lives" 1987 Columbia
"It's the Same Old Song" 1989 Mercury
"Forbidden Love" 1989 Mercury
"Live in the Balance" 1991 Jah's Music
"Committed" 1992 Mercury
"Talk To Me" 1994 Great Jones
"Now That We Found Love" (re-issue) 1996 Big Time International
"Dem Man Deh" 1996 Taxi
"Baltimore" 1997 Taxi
"Reggae Party" feat. Shaggy 1999 Eagle
"Dread Eyes" 2000 Reggae Blitz
"Ya Ya Ya Jamaica" 2001 BMG
"96 Degrees Cover (2nd Generation)" feat. Stephen & Damian Marley 2011 Third World Music Group
"Loving You Is Easy" 2018 Ghetto Youths International
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.


Studio albums
List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Year Label Peak chart positions
Third World 1976 Island
96° In The Shade 1977 Island 203
Journey To Addis 1978 Island 30 55
The Story's Been Told 1979 Island 157
Arise in Harmony 1980 Island 206
Rock the World 1981 CBS 37 186
You've Got the Power 1982 Columbia 87 63
All the Way Strong 1983 CBS 137
Sense of Purpose 1985 CBS 119
Hold on to Love 1987 Columbia
Serious Business 1989 Mercury 107
Rock the World 1990 Columbia
Committed 1992 Mercury
Live It Up 1995 Bud Music
Generation Coming 1999 Déclic Communication
The Story's Been Told 1999 Island
Ain't Givin' Up 2003 Shanachie
Riddim Haffa Rule 2004 Music Avenue
Black Gold Green 2006 Nocturne
Patriots 2010 Third World Music Group
Under the Magic Sun 2014 Cleopatra
More Work to be Done 2019 Ghetto Youths International
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.


Live albums
List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Year Label Peak chart positions
Prisoner in the Street 1980 Island 186
Dedicated To Stevie Wonder 1982 Buccaneer
Third World Live 2001 Tabou 1
Live in Hawaii & Jamaica 2002 Tabou 1
Music Hall in Concert 2007 Membran Music
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.
List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Year Label Peak chart positions
Reggae Greats 1985 Island
Reggae Ambassadors 1994 Chronicles
The Best of Third World 1993 Sony
25th Anniversary 2001 BMG
Now That We've Found Love 2004 Charly
Tuff Mi Tuff 2006 Noble Price
The Best of Third World: The Millennium Collection 2007 Island
Greatest Hits
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.


  1. ^ "Billboard". 25 July 1992.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Thompson, Dave (2002) Reggae & Caribbean Music, Backbeat Books, ISBN 0-87930-655-6, pp. 278-280.
  3. ^ Barow, Steve & Dalton, Peter (2004) The Rough Guide to Reggae, 3rd edn, Rough Guides, ISBN 1-84353-329-4, p. 148.
  4. ^ Hickling, Frederick W. (2012), Psychohistoriography, Jessica Kingsley, ISBN 978-1849053570, pp. 74-78.
  5. ^ Sandler, Adam (1997) "Masucci tops new Island Latin label", "Variety", 16 April 1997, retrieved 30 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Darling, Cary (1982) "Third World Is Spreading Reggae", Billboard, 3 April 1982, pp. 34, 37.
  7. ^ Bishop, Pete (1985) "Third World shines in 'Reggae Sunsplash'", The Pittsburgh Press, 16 April 1985, p. B10, retrieved 8 September 2012.
  8. ^ a b Griffin, John (1982) "Third World spread reggae's message with lots of love – and a little Wonder", Montreal Gazette, 2 July 1982, p. D1, retrieved 8 September 2012.
  9. ^ a b Holden, Stephen (1982) "Reggae: The Third World at the Ritz", The New York Times, 28 March 1982, retrieved 8 September 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d McAdams, Janine (1992) "Third World Puts Reggae on Top", Billboard, 25 July 1992, p. 15, retrieved 8 September 2012.
  11. ^ Robbie Vincent Saturday Show, Radio London, 5 May 1983
  12. ^ Telstar Records, 'In The Groove' Part Two, UK Cat Number STAR 2228-B
  13. ^ CBS Records, 1985, UK Cat Number TA4993
  14. ^ Island Records (Mango) 12IS 219, 1985
  15. ^ Cooke, Mel (2008) "'Ambassadors' Honoured – Golden State lauds veteran reggae group Third World Archived 24 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine", Jamaica Gleaner, 20 October 2008, retrieved 8 September 2012.
  16. ^ Walters, Basil (2013) "Third World wraps world tour", Jamaica Observer, 26 August 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  17. ^ Campbell, Howard (2014), "Bunny Rugs's final set", Jamaica Observer, 9 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  18. ^ "New Album from Third World", Jamaica Observer, 16 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  19. ^ "Carrot Jarret's funeral set for Wednesday", Jamaica Observer, 5 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018
  20. ^ Campbell, Howard (2019) "'In with fighting chance'", Jamaica Observer, 22 November 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019
  21. ^ van Vleck, Philip (2003) "Third World Ain't Givin' Up", Billboard, 31 May 2003, p. 60, retrieved 8 September 2012.
  22. ^ Wartofsky, Alona (1990) "Third World, From Reggae to Rap", The Washington Post, 16 April 1990, p. B9.
  23. ^ Bordowitz, Hank (2004) Noise of the World: Non-Western Musicians in Their Own Words, Soft Skull Press, ISBN 9781932360608, p. 5.
  24. ^ Saunders, Michael (1988) "Third World Turns from Reggae to Pop", Sun-Sentinel, 4 August 1988, p. E9.
  25. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 308. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  26. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 556. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]