Third World are one of the longest-lived reggae bands of all time, and one of Jamaica’s most consistently popular crossover acts among international audiences. While they were long capable of authentic roots reggae, they usually preferred to mix in elements of R&B, funk, pop, and rock (and, later on, dancehall and rap). Purists often criticized their music as tame and polished, overly beholden to commercial concerns. Indeed, they were regular visitors to the American and British charts during the ’80s, but the best of their output was undeniably satisfying on a creative level as well.
Third World’s self-produced “Sense of Purpose” album in 1985 fused the group’s forward-thinking reggae sound with some of the stylistic changes that were occurring during the mid-’80s. The band, which was coming off a number 23 R&B hit, “Try Jah Love” (written and produced by Stevie Wonder), incorporated hip-hop/dance influences into the title track single, “Sense of Purpose.” As remixed by Shep Pettibone, the track is built on a “Planet Rock”-type beat, interesting lyrics, and some of Third World’s most shimmering harmonies. It received massive radio play in substantial markets during the spring of 1985.
The follow up single “One To One” was also remixed by Shep Pettibone and the Extended Versions of both “Sense Of Purpose” and “One To One” can be found on the CD release of “Sense Of Purpose”
One To One (Light Dub) 4:40
One To One (Heavy Dub) 5:10