Album review
The Definitive Collection : Pressure Drop
Toots & The Maytals
Trojan Records
April 3, 2005

Tracking list

Disc 1
  1. My Daily Food
  2. If You Act This Way
  3. You Make Me Feel The Way I Do
  4. It's You (Ska Version)
  5. Daddy
  6. Never You Change (Ska version)
  7. What's On Your Mind
  8. When I Laugh
  9. My New Name
  10. She Will Never Let Me Down
  11. Peggy
  12. Bam Bam
  13. 54 46 That's My Number
  14. Struggle
  15. Just Tell Me
  16. We Shall Overcome
  17. Bim Today (Bam Tomorrow)
  18. Schooldays
  19. Do The Reggay
  20. Scare Him
  21. Alidina
  22. Pressure Drop
  23. Sweet And Dandy
  24. Monkey Man
  25. She's My Scorcher
  26. Bla Bla Bla
  27. Doctor Lester (aka African Doctor)
Disc 2
  1. 54 46 Was My Number
  2. Peeping Tom
  3. It Must Be True Love
  4. One Eye Enos
  5. Monkey Girl
  6. It's You (Reggae Version)
  7. Walk With Love
  8. Johnny Coolman
  9. Never You Change (Reggae version)
  10. Redemption Song
  11. Louie Louie
  12. Pomps And Pride
  13. It Was Written Down
  14. Sit Right Down
  15. (Take Me Home) Country Roads
  16. Funky Kingston
  17. In The Dark
  18. Sailing On
  19. Fever
  20. Time Tough
  21. Reggae Got Soul
  22. Broadway Jungle (2000 Version) - Bonus Track -
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 2

Serious reggae listeners argue a lot about these Trojan albums, especially in regards to the sheer amount of times new label bosses Sanctuary release the same songs on different compilations -- but surely these are minor and relatively insignificant objections when one considers the value for money and the enduring quality of the music on these albums.

(A possible objection to this otherwise comprehensive and worthy compilation is that "Six and Seven Books of Moses" and the Maytals Rasta/Rockers late 70's interpretation of "Bam Bam" are -- sadly-- excluded.)

"When I Laugh" will be a minor revelation for Delta blues fans, with it's distinctly Robert Johnson blues vocal style and brass section reminiscent of The Dirty Dozen New Orleans octet.

"My New Name" -- like "Six and Seven Books" -- has a Cajun abandon to the vocal and rhythm.

The version of "Bam Bam" on CD 1 is the mid 60's cut, not the later confident, confessional Rasta meditation which appeared on the Island anthology. (It is worth noting that Chaka Demus and Pliers also released their own digital interpretation of this tune on the same backing track as "Murder She Wrote.")

"Bim Today" has a thudding b line reminiscent of Junior Delgado's "Tichion." "Scare Him" has a full speed and reckless Rockers rimshot snare pattern.

Cd 2 moves -- from jazz influenced bluebeat and ska -- into Toot's distinctive soulful reggae incarnation .

"It's You" on this 2nd cd gets the reggae treatment over a slower b line, contrasting with the earlier frantic ska interpretation. "Time Tough" is a stand out track here, with its fearful, yet stoic lyric about the struggle of life.

Professor Barnabas