Althea & Donna – Up Town Top Ranking
Mighty Two – Calico Suit
Althea Forrest and Donna Reid were just teenagers when Up Town Top Ranking climbed up the UK and Jamaican charts back in 1978. The rhythm (riddem) used is a re-recording of an Alton Ellis tune and, with the help of producer Joe Gibbs, Althea and Donna make it into a perfect pop-reggae summer smash.
Up Town Top Ranking also falls into the esteemed category of ‘answer songs’ — it was made in response to Trinity’s Three Piece Suit, which also uses Alton Ellis’ I’m Still In Love With You as a base. The lyrics are basically about how good the two singers look in their clothes and flash car, and how much of a good time they are having. Which all seems reasonable to me, but they also make a point of indicating that they’re still true to their roots.
The flipside version, Calico Suit, attributed to Mighty Two, is almost better, less vocals but it just sounds amazing.