Boat To Progress: The Original Pantomine Vocal Collection 1972-74
February 5, 2016

Track list
  1. Richard McDonald & Glen Brown - Realize
  2. Roman Stewart - Never Too Young To Learn
  3. Ewan 'Ian' Gardiner - Father's Call
  4. Richard McDonald - Do Your Thing
  5. Glen Brown - Take A Step
  6. Glen Brown - Tell It Like It Is
  7. Keith Poppin - Get Together
  8. Gregory Isaacs - One One Coco
  9. Richard McDonald & Glen Brown - Boat To Progress
  10. Johnny Clarke - You Really Got A Hold On Me
  11. Tinga Stewart - A Brand New Me
  12. Glen Brown & Lloyd Parks - I'm Your Puppet
  13. Glen Brown - Away With The Bad, Forward The Good
  14. Glen Brown & Glenroy Richards - Save Our Nation
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
"Boat To Progess: The Original Pantomine Vocal Collection 1972-74", the second of three reissued superb classic compilations of music produced by Glen Brown. Although the latter's instrumentals and deejay outings were his most compelling records in the early seventies, some real strong cuts from Jamaican vocalists on his highly original riddims appeared on his own record labels. Glen Brown already was a vocalist/harmoniser, mainly known from duets he did with artists such as Lloyd R Robinson, Dave Barker and Hopeton Lewis during the '60s, before he sat in the producer's chair. It had given him insight into what makes a great vocal tune and the time spent under the guidance of producers such as Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid, Harry J and Derrick Harriott, made that he knew how to get the best out of a singer.

On this compilation he's not only present as a producer but also as part of a vocal duo and as solo artist. His two duets with Richard McDonald, the roots masterpiece "Realize" and "Boat To Progress", are outstanding efforts and a real joy to listen to. Actually his own vocal is heard to best advantage on "Realize", which is underpinned by the "Dirty Harry" riddim, the materful horns workout from saxophonists Tommy McCook and Richard Hall. Furthermore there's his collaboration with Lloyd Parks called "I'm Your Puppet", a reggae version of James & Bobby Purify's big soul hit from 1966, and the serious scorcher "Save Our Nation", for which he teamed with Glenroy Richards.

When it comes to Glen Brown's solo efforts, it are the dazzling message tune "Away With The Bad, Forward The Good" and the lovers piece "Take A Step" that make a serious impression. His version of Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is" and also Johnny Clarke's "You Really Got A Hold On Me", a rendition of Smokey Robinson & The Mircales' hit single from 1962, are nice slices, but all in all they don't cause that much excitement. Definitely more exciting are Roman Stewart's deep roots tune "Never Too Young To Learn" on the "Midnight In Moscow" riddim and "One One Coco", one of Gregory Isaacs' best early singles.

Keith Poppin's distinctive soulful vocal delivery shines bright on the fully entertaining "Get Together", while Tinga Stewart impresses with a great tune entitled "A Brand New Me". Last but not least there's the vocal version of "Father's Call". This reissue finally reveals the name of the real singer of this song, which was miscredited to Little Roy. It actually was the 12 Tribes member and musician Ewan 'Ian' Gardiner (not normally known for his singing), who recorded this beautiful song for Glen Brown.

Overall a thoroughly enjoyable collection of tunes and a great addition to the deejay and vocal compilations.