Third World have always had had a different sound, leaning quite a bit on sweet harmonies and instrumental flavors. It’s reggae all right, but impure like most great music, and sounds as tasty as anything you can imagine. Jah Glory is such a sweet welcoming thing, a soaring song of worship. (You don’t have to believe in Jah.)
I saw Third World once in Toronto, I think part of the big Caribana festival, in a soccer stadium. The concert promoter had really screwed the pooch; the stage was one side of the field and when we filed in we found ourselves bottled up in the stands on the other side of the field, with the grass fenced off and a handful of cops lined up between the stands and the field. The band looked tiny, over there across the turf.
I can’t remember the sequence exactly; there was a certain amount of yelling, then a certain amount of looking at each other, then everyone got up and walked down the steps, across the track, pulled down the flimsy temporary fencing, and sat down in front of the band. Hmmm, maybe that’s the thing about Third World; it’s reggae you can sit down to. Anyhow, the cops shrugged ostentatiously and looked at the sky, what were they gonna do?
Jah Glory is on 96° In The Shade; the title track is probably their biggest hit too, but today’s song is the opener, and there’s just this great feeling when you cue up the album and those harmonies fill the room.