Album review
Broadway Jungle
Toots & The Maytals
Trojan Records
11 - 05 - 2001

Tracking list

  1. Pressure Drop
  2. Time Rough
  3. Do The Raggay
  4. 54-46 Was My Number
  5. Louie Louie
  6. Monkey Man
  7. Peeping Tom
  8. Pomps & Pride
  9. One Eye Enos
  10. In The Dark
  11. She's My Scorcerer
  12. Take Me Home Country Roads
  13. It's You
  14. Funky Kingston
  15. Broadway Jungle
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

For some three decades now the music of one Frederic "Toots" Hibbert has played an influential and inspiring role, not only in Jamaican music but also in the 2-Tone movement in the U.K. - which came to surface in the eighties - and in the current U.S. ska boom.
Many Jamaican artists who started their career in the late fifties/early sixties were strongly influenced by American rythm & blues and soul and Jamaican gospel and Toots was no exception. His records were instantly recognizable as he carried a powerful, characteristic soulful voice and a performance reminiscent of a soulman like the late Otis Redding. The music of Toots & The Maytals was always something special as it incorporated elements of ska/reggae, funk, soul and gospel. After two decades notable success in Jamaica and the U.K. they finally achieved a worldwide breakthrough at the end of the seventies after they had signed for Chris Blackwell's Island Records.
Since then many compilation albums have been released and this one highlights the period 1968 to 1973 and is a compilation of their most popular recordings. Their most popular tune 54-46 Was My Number is included here as well. The band's energetic and raw type of reggae music is present in all of the songs here, although on some of the earlier recordings you can still hear some rocksteady influences. As a kind of bonus they have included the 2000 version of Broadway Jungle, which was used by a sports giant for their TV ad campaign during the Euro Soccer championships.
This album is a great introduction to the work of Toots & The Maytals, although it mainly focusses on the period 1968-1973.

Teacher & Mr. T.