This is not the kind of fire & brimstone, Old Testament shit that we tend to associate with true Roots Reggae today. Actually, it’s Telstar’s attempt, in 1983, to squeeze as many Top 40-bothering tracks by Jamaican artists of the pre-Dancehall age onto one 12″ vinyl platter as possible. Which is actually quite useful for me, because I now have tracks like Dave & Ansel Collins‘ “Double Barrell”, Greyhound‘s “Black & White”, Harry J AllStars‘ “Liquidator” and other ‘too obvious to bother with’ hits bundled together in a handy pop-tastic package.
Strange then, that the Bob Marley track should be the album-only “Kaya”. Another non-hit is U-Roy‘s “Rivers Of Babylon”, presumably included to enlighten listeners who only knew the Boney M version.
According to the sleeve, this was another of those ‘Buy One Get One Free’ deals – the companian record, called “Reggae Rock”, ‘follows the reggae influence to today’s pop heroes with such acts as Culture Club, Paul Young (wtf -!!!???) and UB40 leading the way‘. Well, I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for that, then.
Incidently, the shop where I bought this was selling vinyl at the very attractive going-rate of ‘4 for a pound’. Lovely!