04/05/2018: “Uptown Top Ranking” by Althea and Donna


The way reggae often works is that the instrumental track of a song, the “riddim”, has quite a few versions and vocalists.

1977’s “Uptown Top Ranking” is one such song. On the “I’m Still In Love With You” riddim, the song features singing from Althea Forrest, 17 at the time, and Donna Reid, 18 at the time.

The riddim itself was originally on Alton Ellis’s 1967 “I’m Still In Love”, and the vocals are based on Trinity’s “Three Piece Suit”, released in 1975. Marcia Aitken’s “I’m Still In Love With You”, released in 1977 like Althea and Donna’s version, is probably a better song in many ways, but the toasting style and the whimsical nature of “Uptown Top Ranking” make it a very enjoyable listen.

The song was apparently first written as a joke, but became a big hit in the U.K., becoming number 1 in early 1978.


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