Dub Plate Style
Delroy Wilson
Pressure Sounds
CD / 2LP
September 29, 2009

Delroy Wilson - The Very Best of Delroy Wilson Track list
  1. A Bright And Sunny Day
  2. You Have To Get A Beating
  3. I'm Still Waiting
  4. Can I Change My Mind
  5. Find Yourself Another Girl
  6. Ms. Grace
  7. Living In The Footsteps Of Another Man
  8. Batter Must Come
  9. Rain From The Skies
  10. Joe Liges
  11. I Am Doing My Thing
  12. She Is Just A Play Girl
  13. Love Uprising
  14. Here Come The Heartaches
  15. Who Cares
  16. Mash It Up
  17. Stick By Me
  18. You Are Mine
  19. Conquer Me
  20. Do Good (Everyone Will Be Judged)
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Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 3-
Very Good -Votes: 9-
Good -Votes: 6-
Average -Votes: 1-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 19
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 3/4 Sleeve : 5
The late great Delroy Wilson, the first child star in the history of Jamaican music, belongs to the group of reggae singers who achieved pop star status in Jamaica, but failed to achieve international appreciation and recognition. Still in his early teens -- he was about 12 years old -- he started recording his first tunes for the legendary producer Coxsone Dodd at Federal. Almost instantly he started to score hits with Ska tunes such as "One Two Three", "Lion Of Judah", "I Shall Not Remove", a duet with Slim Smith entitled "Look Who Is Back Again", and barbed attacks at then leading producer/artist Prince Buster including "Duke & The Sir" aka "Spit In The Sky", "Prince Pharaoh" and "Joe Liges".

Delroy Wilson's voice broke just in time for the emergence of rocksteady in 1966, and his version of the Tams' US soul tune "Dancing Mood" of that year, one of the first rocksteady records, became a monstrous hit in Jamaica, alerting local music fans to a new soul-styled crooner to match Alton Ellis or Ken Boothe. Still recording mainly for Coxsone Dodd's Studio One, he increased his popularity with titles like "Riding For A Fall", another Tams cover, "Once Upon A Time", "Run Run", "Won't You Come Home", "Conquer Me", "True Believer", "One One", "I'm Not A King", "Rain From The Skies" and "Feel Good All Over", as well as a cover of the Temptations' "Get Ready". The latter was another example of Delroy Wilson specialising in covering soul hits or reggae songs that suited his style.

When Delroy Wilson left Studio One, he and Stranger Cole started their own W&C label on which they released a single called "Once Upon A Time" b/w "I Want To Love You". Then he, Ken Boothe, and members of The Gaylads and The Melodians formed a short-lived group named The Links. After they'd broke up he went to Sonia Pottinger for whom he recorded two hits, "I'm The One Who Loves You" and "Put Yourself In My Place". The shift from rocksteady to reggae and the emergence of young producers who challenged the dominance of Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid, made that Delroy Wilson started working with Bunny "Striker" Lee for whom he scored a big Jamaican hit in 1971 with the anthemic "Better Must Come", which was so popular it was adopted as a theme song by Michael Manley's PNP to increase their vote amongst 'sufferers', during that year's election campaign.

His association with one of the major producers throughout the 1970s led to recording a vast amount of (successful) songs. Twenty of these songs are collected here. Most of the titles are familiar to the Delroy Wilson fan and reggae aficionado alike as they are known from countless reissues and compilations. However the tracks gathered here greatly differ from the songs included on those easy to find reissues and compilations. This reissue of a double album entitled "20 Golden Hits", originally released on Count Shelly's Third World label in 1978, features a striking collection of (re)mixes done by Prince Jammy at King Tubby's studio. At the time Prince Jammy was working extensively with Bunny "Striker" Lee, and was at the beginning of his own production career. Totally in tune with what was being played on Jamaican sound systems, Jammy's deep heavy mixes had a rawness and sparseness that were perfect for the sound systems and their audiences. There was a brief period, around late 1977, when it looked as if the type of sound system mixes that had always been popular with operators and selectors might actually become part of the reggae mainstream and thus "Striker" Lee picked up on this potential new market and gave these recordings to Count Shelly to release. However the "20 Golden Hits" album sold in very small quantities and then disappeared of the radar of all but a few collectors.

From beginning to end this collection of tunes is worthwhile hearing. Delroy Wilson's soulful vocal delivery truly comes to full expression thanks to the great mixing skills of Prince Jammy. Well known -- some would even call it well-worn -- classic tunes such as "I'm Still Waiting", "Better Must Come", "Rain From The Skies", "Stick By Me", and "Conquer Me to name only five, are simply great to hear in an entirely different form as Prince Jammy has managed to push them into another level while preserving Delroy Wilson's beautiful voice on top of the mix. Each and every track included on this album is of high quality and thus a real joy to listen to. Especially gems such as "A Bright And Sunny Day", "Can I Change My Mind", "Ms. Grace", "Joe Liges" (a version of his first hit from the early sixties), "Who Cares", "Mash It Up", "Conquer Me" and the strong album closer "Do Good (Everyone Will Be Judged)" can be heard over and over again. Great stuff from one of Jamaica's best, although outside reggae circles disgracefully underrated, singers.

Delroy Wilson died March 6, 1995 in Jamaica at age 46 of complications from cirrhosis of the liver, leaving behind a catalogue of impassioned tunes that were superbly voiced and seemingly immortal.