In The Beginning
Tafari Records-Munich
October 31, 2007

Track list
  1. Don't Get Crazy
  2. This World
  3. Satta Massa Gana
  4. Can't Blame The Youth
  5. Got A Thing For You
  6. Just The Way You Are (aka Don't Go Changing) feat. Captain Armstrong
  7. Bob Marley Medley
  8. Medley
  9. Love You Higher
  10. So Nice To Be With You
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3/4 Backing : 3 Production : 3 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 2
"In The Beginning" takes the listener back to the early 1990s, when the very talented Luciano (then called Luciana) started out with releases on Hartnol 'Sky High' Henry's "Mau Mau" label and had not yet shaken off his major influences -- Dennis Brown, Frankie Paul and Stevie Wonder. In those days a significant shift was taking place in Jamaican music -- more songs with cultural perspectives and lesser gun and slackness lyrics -- and Luciano, along with the late Garnett Silk, belonged to the new generation of committed singers who emerged in that pre modern roots era. His association with Phillip "Fatis" Burrell in the mid-1990s led to his international breakthrough and made him a major figure in the development of modern roots.

"In The Beginning", actually the re-titled "Don't Get Crazy" album, has seen release a few times before, first on the Sky High label, and then on RAS and Charm. Listening to this collection of tunes you'll hear that Luciano already was a richly voiced singer at the beginning of his successful recording career. Besides that a few self-penned songs -- "This World", "Can't Blame The Youth" and "Got A Thing For You" -- clearly show he's a gifted songwriter. Unfortunately that's about it. Most of the remaining tracks, including cover versions of songs by Bob Marley, Billy Joel and George Benson, are rather mediocre efforts underpinned by not really exciting musical backdrops.

This album might be a good purchase for Luciano completists, but it's doubtful it will find its way to a lot of reggae fans.