Roots Of Dancehall ~ Anthology 1982-2005
Echo Minott
Maguari Productions
November 8, 2005

Track list
  1. Man In Love
  2. Love Problems
  3. Ting Ling
  4. Farmer Man
  5. Sweet Dreams
  6. My Fat Millie
  7. Original Fat Thing
  8. Lazy Body
  9. Put Your Hands Pon The Key
  10. What The Hell (The Police Can Do)
  11. Make Up Back
  12. Mad Over Me
  13. Emmanuel Road
  14. One Two Bogle
  15. Follow Me
  16. Been Around The World feat. Lisa Stanfield
  17. Sixteen Years Old feat. Devy D
  18. Murder Weapon
  19. Sensitive
  20. Lazy Body Remix feat. Ricky General
  21. Murder Weapon Remix
  22. Sensitive Krak In Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 4
A decent compilation set of the works of Echo Minott, one of the dancehall dons who achieved prominence in the mid-eighties, has been overdue. Finally Echo Minott himself and his friend Djanko, in association with Maguari Productions from France, have released a long awaited and much anticipated album that brings together a notable amount of fine dancehall hits performed by this talented singjay.

Echo Minott, real name Noel Phillips, was born in 1963 and grew up in the Maverley area of Kingston, Jamaica. Like so many Jamaican artists he started singing from an early age, appearing in local talent contests and school concerts. His first break came in 1980 when he recorded -- under his own name -- the album "Youthman Vibration" for legendary producer Prince Jammy, at the age of 17 years. This strong collection of tunes was never released in Jamaica, but hit the streets in the U.K. on the London based Starlight label.

In 1983 he recorded the tune "Ten Miles" for his cousin, Waterhouse producer Errol Marshall, actually the first tune to be released under the name Echo Minott. He then recorded his first UK hit, the Dillinger produced "Man In Love" (an adaptation of Barbara Streisand's "Woman In Love"), the decent opening track of this cd.

Now in-demand as an increasingly popular dancehall artist, Echo began recording for many other producers and scored his first Jamaican No. 1 single with the song "Love Problems", produced by Joe Gibbs. He followed this with another hit, "Farmer Man", for the late Henry "Junjo" Lawes. Both tunes are also featured here.

The same goes for the 1985 released "Lazy Body", Echo Minott's monster hit on the Black Scorpio label and an early product of the digital age, as the riddim was accompanied by a drum machine. This wicked dancehall tune finally made him an international reggae star. It was a number one all over the reggae world and led to the release of two one-riddim albums, "Lively Body" and "Lively Move".

At this time, Echo Minott was a regular member of two of Jamaica's top sound systems Black Scorpio and King Jammys. It was with Jammys that he was to have his next hit singles. "Original Fat Thing" and "Put Your Hands Pon The Key" were both enormous hits on Jammys' new revolutionary 'Sleng Teng' riddim track.

Echo Minott hit again in 1986 with the extraordinary track "What The Hell (The Police Can Do)", also for the Jammys label, which remained top of the Jamaican charts for three whole months. This song, a reference to the security forces' reluctance to become involved in domestic disputes, was the first ever to use the raggamuffin beat of today's dancehall and was an extremely controversial song that inspired many answer versions such as the hit "Babylon Boops" by Lovindeer. This led to Echo Minott recording his own second part "Me And My Girl Gone Back" which was another international reggae dancehall hit, but unfortunately isn't included here. King Jammys followed these hits with the "What The Hell" album and also another big hit "Emmanuel Road" (aka "Mandeville Road"), a wicked adaptation of a traditional children's game song, which had been recorded thirty years previously by mento singer Lord Composer.

Echo Minott continued to record hit tunes including "Follow Me", "Been Around The World", "Whip Appeal", "Cool And Deadly", "Jealousy Fe Done", "Wherever You Go", "When My Little Girl Is Smiling", "New Dimension" and "Artical Don". It ensured that Echo Minott remained a household name within the reggae scene for the rest of the eighties, and into the early nineties.

In 1992, Echo Minott left Jamaica to live in New York and immediately had a massive international number one reggae hit with "Murder Weapon", that rode a version of Shaggy's "Oh Carolina" riddim. When the jungle explosion hit the UK in 1993/94, "Murder Weapon" was re-worked in the new style and became another enormous hit again.

Returning to Jamaica in 1994, Echo had more dancehall hits with songs like "I Am Back", once again for Jammys and "Sensitive" for Mafia & Fluxy. After he had taken a break from the business for a few years, he started touring and recording again.

Not every track featured on this cd is a killer, or even a winner, but all in all there remains more than enough to enjoy, which justifies the conclusion that this is an album truly worth of buying.