Queen Majesty ~ The Best Of The Techniques 1965 to 1974
The Techniques
July 15, 2007

Track list
Disc 1 Don't Leave Me
  1. Telling Me Lies
  2. You Don't Know
  3. When You Are Wrong
  4. I Am In Love
  5. I Love You
  6. Heartaches
  7. What Love Can Do
  8. Little Did You Know
  9. No One
  10. Remember I Told You
  11. I'm So In Love With You
  12. A Place Called Love
  13. I Can't Love Another
  14. My Whole Life Depends On You
  15. What'cha Gonna Do
  16. You Don't Care (Aka You'll Want Me Back)
  17. Queen Majesty (aka Minstrel And Queen)
  18. Out Of Many - One (aka Fighting For The Right)
  19. Oh Babe (Sick And Tired)
  20. Day O (The Banana Boat Song)
  21. Drink More Wine
  22. Bad Minded People
  23. Love Is Not A Gamble (Tears On My Pillow)
  24. Travelling Man
  25. My Girl
  26. It's You I Love
  27. I Wish It Would Rain
  28. Run Come Celebrate (Festival 68)
Disc 2
  1. I'm In The Mood (For Love)
  2. There Comes A Time
  3. Pat Kelly & The Techniques - A Man Of My Word
  4. Pat Kelly & The Techniques - The Time Has Come
  5. You're My Everything
  6. Pat Kelly & The Techniques - What Am I To Do
  7. The Reason Why
  8. Baby Don't Say Goodbye
  9. I Feel Alive
  10. The Heart Of A Man
  11. Love, Love, Love
  12. A Little Bit Of Something
  13. I Specialise In Good Girls
  14. Dave Barker & The Techniques - Lonely Man
  15. Your Love's A Game
  16. You Ain't Got A Heart At All
  17. Lonely, Lonely Man Am I
  18. Dave Barker & The Techniques - My Best Girl
  19. It's Summer
  20. Free To Go
  21. Since I Lost You
  22. I'll Be Right There
  23. World Without Love
  24. What's It All About
  25. That's The Way Love Is
  26. I Still Love You
  27. The Best Time Of My Love
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 5
The new Techniques double CD is a pleasure, taking in large areas of reggae’s history as it progresses. CD 1 kicks of with blue beat, and rude boy Ska, whilst CD 2 moves into lover’s rock with an edge of conscious rebel Rockers to the later tunes, with a powerful spiritual focus manifesting on certain tracks.

Clearly, artists like Curtis Mayfield, The Neville Brothers and Otis Redding influenced Slim Smith and Pat Kelly -- but the influences of early jazz and US Rudy Vallee style mainstream crooners also seem all too apparent, and it is highly likely that crooners like Rudy Vallee would have been regularly played on the JA airwaves in the post war years.

Besides, reggae lovers will find the line up of vocalists on the CD irresistible -- the early selection is dominated by the metaphysical beauty of Slim Smith, who will be well known to DJ and dub fans due to Dr Alimantado’s/Tubby’s use of “Beatitudes”. Sadly, Slim Smith died in uncertain circumstances. It is unsure how he died, but one thing which seems clear, is that the sad event was probably linked to the artist’s depression and resulting unstable state of mind. Whatever the events, reggae lost a great talent that night.

Later vocal duties are taken by the talented and under rated Pat Kelly and Dave Barker. The latter is usually known for his DJ work, but his singing is perhaps even stronger.

The instrumental performances here are consistently strong too, with, at times, some distinctly eerie, ghostly arrangements belying the romantic preoccupation of the lyrics. The bass tones are heavy too -- geometric, booming bass lines act as a heady undertow to these deeply soulful melodies.

"You are My Everything" recounts a tale of lonely, cold isolation, and eventual salvation through a deeper love. "Time Has Come" is made into thing of beauty by the lonely metaphysical vocals and lyrics of Pat Kelly -- Kelly discourses on the lonely state of humanity, cold and unloving, showing so little warmth and closeness that it becomes a state against the dictates of nature. Kelly displays his existential insights in these compositions, a lyrical skill and power that should have gained him far more acclaim than he is currently afforded.