Gold... The Very Best Of John Holt
John Holt
Jet Star
October 16, 2005

Track list
  1. Jam In The Street
  2. Love I Can Feel
  3. Stick By Me
  4. Riding For A Fall
  5. It's Gonna Take A Miracle
  6. After All Is Said And Done
  7. Call On Me
  8. Stealing Stealing
  9. Wildfire
  10. Rainy Night In Georgia
  11. All I Ever Ask
  12. Having My Baby
  13. If I Were A Carpenter
  14. Satisfaction
  15. Wasted Days
  16. Happy Go Lucky Girl
  17. We're Only Just
  18. In The Mood
  19. How Sweet It Is
  20. Red Red Wine
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 3 Production : 3 Sound quality : 3 Sleeve : 3
This album is misleadingly entitled "The Very Best Of..." -- which implies that it covers Holt's entire career. It does not. For that, check out the earlier essential Trojan double album.

Still, this selection is far from bad, and will please those interested in contemporary digital reggae since the majority of the selection deals with contemporary recuts of Holt's classic tunes.

The album opens with the excellent "Jam In The Streets", which -- so the Trojan website tells us-- is namechekced as being a Paul Weller favourite. Next up is "Love I Can Feel" a tune Creation Rebel versioned on the early "Lows And Highs" album.

"Riding For A Fall" was also released by the consistently excellent and influential Delroy Wilson. Holt's version is less resentful, yet equally lugubrious and lachrymose, featuring a flute and horns.

Take note that the first four tracks on the album are original 1970's live instrument versions -- and not digital updates.

The next 16 tracks are digital updated versions -- and will either horrify, or appeal to his long term followers. Holt's voice, even though some of the instrumentation may sound uninspired -- never falters, and is characteristically pristine and effortlessly faultless throughout.

Junior Walker's/ Brook Benton's "Rainy Night In Georgia" -- popularised amongst reggae fans by The Black Ark version -- works particularly well in a digital style due to a weird croaking insect tone threading through the eccentric mix.

"Satisfaction" is a digital cut to Culture's excellent "I Don't Want To Be Left Out" AKA "Zion Gate", a version of which also appears on a recent Pressure Sounds album, "Down Santic Way."