Never Give In (20th Anniversary Edition)
Pato Banton
Cornerstone R.A.S.
November 19, 2007

Track list
  1. Pato & Roger Come Again feat. Ranking Roger
  2. Never Give In
  3. Don't Sniff Coke
  4. Settle Satan
  5. Hello Tosh
  6. Absolute Perfection
  7. Don't Worry
  8. Handsworth Riot
  9. Gwarn!
  10. Too Much War
  11. Pato's Opinion
  12. King Step
  13. Drive By Shooting
  14. Everybody Has A Dream
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 4/5
Pato Banton (born Patrick Murray) is a reggae singer and toaster from Birmingham, England, who cut some interesting singles for Fashion Records. He began recording in 1982, appearing on "Pato and Roger A Go Talk" (from Special Beat Service) with Ranking Roger of The Beat. He was one of the guest artists that appeared on the UB40 album "Baggariddim" in 1985. the same year in which he released his debut album "Mad Professor Captures Pato Banton". Greensleeves followed two years later with the sophomore album "Never Give In", which included a collaboration with Paul Shaffer. After an EP in 1988, Banton released a more pop-oriented LP, "Visions Of The World", followed by 1990's "Wize Up! (No Compromise)", which included a college radio hit in "Spirits In The Material World" (The Police cover) and another collaboration, "Wize Up!", this time with David Hinds of Steel Pulse. The "Never Give In" album was re-released on cd in 1995 and featured the bonus tracks "Pato's Opinion" and "King Step", both again included on this second cd reissue (20th Anniversary Edition) -- released by independent reggae-loving Californian label Cornerstone Recording Arts Society -- along with two other additional tracks namely "Drive By Shooting" and "Everybody Has A Dream".

When Pato Banton's "Never Give In" was released in 1987, it strikingly ignored the digital revolution for the earlier-sounding riddims from two Birmingham (UK) bands, the Studio Two Crew and (for the track, "Pato & Roger Come Again") Steel Pulse. At that time Pato Banton's records were aimed squarely at the reggae market, but it was obvious that his lightness of vocal tone and humour would made a shift back to more pop-oriented material inevitable. Throughout the next twenty years Pato Banton's style remained predominantly reggae oriented, but he easily combined pop, reggae, rap and other musical styles, which sometimes led to considerable success. Perhaps that's one of the reasons why he has never gained huge popularity amongst hardcore reggae fans.

The combination Pato and Roger start off this album with Pato And Roger Come Again, not as good as the first track they made together but still enjoyable. The album's title track Never Give In provides a nice view of Pato's unique style, with his English accent giving his songs a little extra. Don't Sniff Coke mostly exists of talking instead of singing. Settle Satan is one of the greatest tunes included on this album, and also Don't Worry stands out, so definitely give this track a listen. Other tunes worth listening to are: Handsworth Riot, Too Much War and King Step. As already pointed out Pato added 2 new bonus tracks for this 20th Anniversary Edition; Drive By Shooting, which is a sweet addition, and Everybody Has A Dream.

All in all a great chance to get to know this veteran in Reggae music!