Get Wise
Horace Andy
Pressure Sounds
CD / LP / Digital Release
March 25, 2014

Track list
  1. Eight Percent Badness
  2. I Don't Want To Be Outside
  3. Feel Good
  4. Youths Of Today
  5. Today Youth (Horns Cut)
  6. Get Wise
  7. Wise Dub
  8. Holy Mount Zion
  9. Let Your Teardrops Fall
  10. Sexy Jean
  11. Roots Of All Evil
  12. Evilest Thing feat. Jah Stitch
  13. Evilest Thing Version
  14. I Will Forgive You
  15. Tag Along
  16. I May Never See My Baby
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 12-
Very Good -Votes: 0-
Good -Votes: 0-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 12
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 5
After recently having reissued the albums "Dial M For Murder In Dub Style" and Bobby Kalphat's "Zion Hill Dub", Pressure Sounds comes up with another Phil Pratt produced set, in this case a rare album from Horace Andy called "Get Wise". This compilation of Horace Andy material from the early 1970s was only ever pressed in very limited quantities and was never released outside of Jamaica.

A box-loader for Coxsone's Downbeat sound system, George Phillips aka Phil Pratt started his career in reggae music as a vocalist in the 1960s. His first recording was a tune named "Safe Travel", which was released on Ken Lack's Caltone label. He then recorded a few other tunes, but due to lack of success he ventured into production with a very young Horace Andy around 1966. However it lasted until 1972-1974 before he established a distinctive sound for himself with soulful vocal over raw, hard-driving riddims.

Phil Pratt and Horace Andy first met at Studio One, when Horace Andy had an unsuccessful audition there. However, Horace Andy impressed Phil Pratt, who then produced the young singer's "Black Man's Country", which was pressed in limited numbers on Ken Lack's Caltone label. The record didn't sell particularly well and Phil Pratt suggested Horace Andy that he return to Studio One, in order to develop his talents both as a vocalist and a composer. But nevertheless, it was the beginning of a musical relationship between Phil Pratt and Horace Andy that stretched until the mid 1980s.

Although "Get Wise" wasn't issued outside Jamaica, various tracks of that 1975 released album were available as 7" vinyl singles on Phil Pratt's Sunshot label over the years and thus famous songs such as "Get Wise", "Feel Good (All Over)", "Youths Of Today", "(Money Is The) Root Of All Evil", and "I Don't Want To Be Outside" aka "Zion Gate" are well known to reggae aficionados and Horace Andy fans alike. Actually the "Get Wise" album was built around a series of singles recorded between 1972-1974, when Horace Andy was arguably at his peak.

On this great collection, with a few alternative early versions of his classic tunes, Horace Andy's strikingly effective, distinctively stylized high tenor voice floats over driving riddims, which were laid by the usual stellar session players from the Kingston recording scene of the 1970s such as Sly Dunbar, Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace, Carlton 'Santa' Davis (drums), Aston 'Familyman' Barrett, Robbie Shakespeare, George 'Fully' Fullwood (bass), Earl 'Chinna' Smith, Duggie Bryan, Bingy Bunny, Tony Chin (guitar), Bobby Kalphat, Ansel Collins, Bernard 'Touter' Harvey (keyboards) and Lloyd Willis (piano). Furthermore Jimmy London, Keith Poppin, Al Campbell, and Phil Pratt provided the backing vocals.

"Get Wise" features socially conscious tunes as well as love songs, and Horace Andy shows that he's equally at home on both genres. Tracks such as the album opener "80 Percent Badness", the outstanding title track "Get Wise", the heartfelt "Holy Mount Zion", the wonderful "Youths Of Today", the superb "(Money Is The) Root Of All Evil"" and "I Don't Want To Be Outside" with its awesome bassline, are roots gems one can hear over and over again. Interesting to know is that "I Don't Want To Be Outside" featured on the album differs from the cut that appeared on 7" single (it's underpinned by an alternate riddim track). When it comes to love songs it's in particular "Let Your Teardrops Fall", originally recorded by Ken Boothe for Studio One, that makes a serious impression. A great lovers piece with Phil Pratt doing the harmony vocals. Also the matching "Tag Along" is a lovers tune worth hearing.

The cd adds 6 bonus tracks to the original album, while the vinyl LP comes with 4 extra tracks. Phil Pratt also produced deejay cuts of his most popular riddims and thus it's good to have Jah Stitch's cut to "Root Of All Evil" called "Evilist Thing" on this release. Also the inclusion of the dub version, "Evilist Dub", is a worthwhile addition. This can also be said about the horns cut of "Youth Of Today" entitled "Today Youth", for which Phil Pratt had returned to the studio to overdub horns after finding it was popular with sound men.

Some of Horace Andy's best shots are featured on this album with rare and classic material, making this a very welcome reissue.