Strictly The Best, Volumes 5 & 6
This originally ran in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1992.
Reggae in Jamaica thrives on singles, not albums.
Numerous artists release outstanding 45's, yet have
difficulty maintaining that quality for an entire album.
That's where "Strictly The Best" comes in. This series has
been providing us with the best of current reggae since
1989, and with these two latest volumes, each containing 14
tracks, the trend continues.
Volume 5 is the rougher sounding of the two, giving us
the Island's hottest DJ's. If you enjoy Shabba Ranks, this
one's for you. It's in a reggae rap style, and is for the
hard-core fan. Listening to non-stop DJ's for an extended
period isn't for everyone, but in bits and pieces, this
stuff will knock you out. Included is Mad Cobra's
sensational #1 hit, "Tek Him," as well as killers by Tiger,
Papa San, General Degree, and Shabba.
Volume 6 showcases a sound more suitable to the casual
reggae listener. Here you'll find the latest from such
singers as Frankie Paul, Ken Boothe, Johnny Osbourne, Half
Pint, and Dennis Brown. The singing is exceptionally smooth,
as are the rhythms. This is a sound that will appeal to the
masses. Be sure to definitely check out "Gal Wine" by Chacka
Demus and Pliers.
Jamaica is a hotbed of talent, and these two releases
present a good overview of the current reggae scene. Each
volume is well done, and both are recommended. Get a taste
of what's happening, and find out what all the fuss is
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