Althea & Donna
is a Jamaican reggae singing duo
The young Jamaican singers Althea Forrest
(17), and Donna Reid
(18), caused a big surprise with their one-off reggae hit
, "Uptown Top Ranking". It was produced
by Joe Gibbs
using a re-recording of the riddim
of the 1967 Alton Ellis
' song "I'm Still In Love", which had already been re-popularised in the 1970s by Marcia Aitken
's cover "I'm Still In Love With You Boy" and the deejay
track "Three Piece Suit" by Trinity
. The single's UK release was on the Lightning record label.
"Uptown Top Ranking" reached number one in the UK Singles Chart in February, 1978, after early championing by John Peel, but had only one week at the chart summit. Oddly the surprise was compounded by the act often being billed as "Althia & Donna", and the song sometimes entitled slightly differently, as "Up Town Top Ranking". The lyrics were written by the duo and Errol Thompson. Althea & Donna thus became the youngest female duo to reach the pinnacle of the UK chart.
They released the album of the same name in 1978, but never met with any more tangible success thereafter.
*The various incarnations of the riddim
have been used for at least three dozen different records in its native Jamaica
since it was first recorded in 1967
- "Uptown Top Ranking"/"I'm Still In Love With You" has been covered by several artists known to the pop market including Sean Paul, Scout Niblett, who released it as a single in 2004; Black Box Recorder on their album England Made Me; and by the German record producer Joni Rewind in 2002, featuring the vocal talents of Estelle. Ska punk band Big D and the Kids Table reworked "Uptown Top Ranking" with new lyrics and a new title, "Strictly Rude", from their album of the same name.
- The song was also sampled for Abs Breen's 2002 Top Ten hit single, "What You Got".
- In 2003, Althea & Donna's version appeared on the Soul Jazz Records compilation, 300% Dynamite!
- The song also appeared on the 2005 Australian compilation, Bondi Calling 3.
- The song was featured in "The Dream Team", Episode 47 of Entourage.
- The song was featured in series 2 episode 8 of Skins (TV Series)
- A sample of the "No Pop, No Style" refrain from the record is used and forms part of the lyrics to Pop Will Eat Itself's "X, Y & Zee".