The Greatest Hits (Vol. One)
Bobby Melody
Hi-Rock Records
May 10, 2010

Track list
  1. Jah Bring I Love
  2. Let It Be
  3. Perception - Chana, Chana (Divine Brothers)
  4. Best Dress (Divine Brothers)
  5. Warrior - Tribal Man (Divine Brothers)
  6. Master Ideas
  7. It's Easier
  8. Got To Be True
  9. Try So Hard
  10. Too Fussy Fussy
  11. Cheer Up Sharron
  12. Joyful Dub
  13. Let It Be Dub
  14. Chana Dub
  15. Dress Dub
  16. Warrior Dub
  17. Master Dub
  18. Easier Dub
  19. Hard Dub
  20. Fussy Dub
  21. Sharron Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 3/4 Sleeve : 3
Throughout his career Bobby Melody, a great vocalist who certainly hasn't received the attention and appreciation he truly deserved, has treated the reggae massive to quite a number of wonderful tunes since he started his recording career in the early 1970s. He and Alric Forbes formed a duo that billed themselves as the Ralph Brothers. They joined forces with the influential singer/producer Yabby You and provided backing vocals for the "Conquering Lion" album. Perhaps lesser known is the fact that he was also part of the Divine Brothers, who recorded with Lee 'Scratch' Perry.

Bobby Melody then embarked on a solo career and his biggest success came in 1976 with the reggae chartbuster "Jah Bring I Joy", which was produced by Joe Gibbs, arguably the leading producer in Jamaica during the 1970s. The singer's popularity increased further with the 'chronic' hit "Low The Sensi Man" riding the "Under Me Sensi" aka "African Beat" riddim.

This 2002 released compilation of previously released 7" singles features some deadly goods from the singer's most prolific period, the 1970s and early 1980s. The album opens with two Joe Gibbs productions. First there's his signature tune "Jah Bring I Joy", actually an adaptation of the Gaylads' "Joy In The Morning", and then there's "Let It Be" (not a Beatles cover as the title might suggest) which comes across a revitalized riddim of the Techniques' rocksteady hit "You Don't Need Me". Next up are three great tracks of the Divine Brothers recorded at Lee 'Scratch' Perry's Black Ark studio, including our favourite tunes "Perception - Chana, Chana" and "Warrior - Tribal Man".

"Master Ideas" is an excellent cultural piece, which is followed by the matching "It's Easier" with lyrics like "It's easier for a camel to go thru a needle eye, than the rich man to enter the kingdom of Zion". And the quality of the material is maintained with "Got To Be True", the roots killer "Try So Hard", and the awesome "Too Fussy Fussy". The wonderful love song "Cheer Up Sharon" rounds off the vocal part of in real fine style. Except for the version of "Got To Be True", the second part of this album contains all version sides of the singles.

It's sad that Bobby Melody has recently trodded into Zion, but luckily this compilation enables the reggae fan to listen to his musical legacy forever.