Album review
The Anthology
Freddie McGregor
VP Records-Walboomers Music

Tracking list

   Disc 1
  1. Big Ship
  2. Stop Loving You
  3. Push Come To Shove
  4. Africa Here I Come
  5. I Was Born A Winner
  6. Prophecy
  7. And So I Will Wait For You
  8. Loving Pauper
  9. Bobby Babylon
  10. Just Don't Wanna Be Lonely
   Disc 2
  1. Seek & You Will Find
  2. Bandulu
  3. Let Him Try
  4. Guantanamera
  5. I Feel Secure
  6. Natural Collie
  7. When I'm Ready
  8. Jogging
  9. Rhythm So Nice
  10. Come & Take It
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 4

Freddie McGregor is one of the most popular reggae artists. He started out at the tender age of 7 as the protege of Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd who he often refers to as his surrogate father. From the inspiration of The Stylistics, The Spinners and The O'Jays, among others, he concentrated on vocal stylisation, quickly making a name for himself. His first releases were 'Why Did You Do It", Do Good And Good Will Follow You' and 'After Laughter'. It was the harmony trio, The Clarendonians that he was to attract a rabid following. He spent the early 70s as the lead vocalist for the popular Jamaican showband 'Generation Gap'. When he teamed up with Earl Chinna Smith he scored with several hit singles with a strong roots consciousness including "Sgt. Brown", "Mark Of The Beast" and Natural Collie. His debut album 'Freddie McGregor' showcased a burgeoning environmental awareness in such tracks as "Zion Chant", "Rastaman Camp" and "Walls Of Jericho". By 1980 he also took up arranging and producing. During the eighties his popularity increased with albums like "Big Ship", "Come On Over", "Bobby Bobylon", "Love At First Sight", "I Am Ready" and "All In The Same Boat". In the nineties he was established as a senior reggae statesman, cutting three albums -Jamaican Classics Vols. 1, 2 and 3- on which he offers his interpretations of reggae standards such as Little Roy's Prophecy and Derrick Harriot's 'The Loser' retitled I Was Born A Winner. In 1993 he narrowly missed the UK charts with his solid interpretation of Justin Hinds' 'Carry Go Bring Come'. He had huge success in the reggae charts with his production of Luciano's 'Shake It Up Tonight' sung over the riddim used for his own Seek & You Will Find.
"The Anthology" includes 4 Studio One tracks, two of which are drawn from his popular "Bobby Bobylon' album and When I'm Ready a tune across the 'Love I can Feel Riddim'. Africa Here I Come is one of the great repatriation songs of the 70s.
The 1982 album 'Big Ship' -including the hitsingle Big Ship-brought him fame and success throughout the world. Also present here are two of our all time favorite Freddie McGregor tunes, the 1979 recorded Jogging, and the Earl Chinna Smith produced Natural Collie.

Teacher & Mr. T.