Freedom ~ An Anthology
Clancy Eccles
Trojan Records
October 23, 2005

Track list
Disc 1

  1. What Will Your Mama Say - Clancy Eccles
  2. Stay Loose - Hemsley Morris
  3. Say What You're Saying - Eric Morris
  4. C. N. Express - Clancy, Lee & Sticky
  5. Oh My Lover - Clancy Eccles & Velma Mongal
  6. Two Of A Kind - Clancy Eccles & Claudelle Clarke
  7. I Did It - Winston Wright & The Dynamites
  8. Please Stay - Larry Marshall & Alvin
  9. My Lonely Days - Eric Morris
  10. Easy Snappin' - Theo Beckford
  11. Here Comes The Night - Busty Brown
  12. Feel The Rhythm - Clancy Eccles
  13. Let Us Be Lovers - Clancy Eccles & Velma Mongal
  14. Deacon Don - Clancy Eccles
  15. Don't Brag, Don't Boast (AKA Bagaboo) - Clancy Eccles
  16. Last Call (AKA Tribute To Drumbago) - The Dynamites
  17. Fattie Fattie - Clancy Eccles
  18. Rodney's History - Carl Dawkins
  19. I Don't Care - The Dingle Brothers
  20. John Public (AKA Tom Hark) - The Dynamites
  21. Sho Be Do - Clancy Eccles
  22. Fire Corner - King Stitt
  23. Mount Zion (We Want To Go Back Home) - Clancy Eccles & Noel 'Scully' Simms
  24. The World Needs Love - Clancy Eccles
  25. Vigerton 2 - King Stitt
  26. Mr Midnight (AKA Skokiaan) - Winston Wright & The Dynamites
  27. Africa - Clancy Eccles & Chorus
  28. Foolish Fool - Cynthia Richards
  29. Don't Mind Me - Joe Higgs & Ron Wilson
Disc 2

  1. Dance Beat - King Stitt & Clancy Eccles
  2. The Ugly One (AKA Lee Van Cleef) - King Stitt & The Dynamites
  3. Freedom - Clancy Eccles
  4. Kingston Town - Lord Creator
  5. Holly Holy - The Fabulous Flames
  6. I Fe Layo (AKA The Name Of The Game) - Larry McDonald & Denzil Laing With The Dynamites
  7. Conversation - Cynthia Richards
  8. Herbsman Shuffle (AKA Herbman) - King Stitt & Andy Capp
  9. Phantom - The Dynamites
  10. Love Me Forever - Barry & Affections
  11. Zion - The Westmorlites
  12. Love That Builds - Joe Higgs & Ron Wilson
  13. Credit Squeeze - Clancy Eccles
  14. Live And Love - Barry Wilson
  15. Sweet Jamaica - Clancy Eccles
  16. Unite Tonight - Clancy Eccles
  17. Growing Up - The Fabulous Flames
  18. Hi De Do - The Fabulous Flames
  19. Rod Of Correction - Clancy Eccles
  20. Teardrops Will Fall - The Silvertones
  21. Power For The People - Clancy Eccles
  22. Hallelujah Free At Last - Clancy Eccles
  23. Send Me A Picture - Glen Ricketts
  24. Ganja Free - Clancy Eccles
  25. Stop The Criticism - Clancy Eccles
  26. You Can't Be Serious - Tito Simon
  27. People Can't You See - Third World
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
There have been some particularly unchallenging modern/new roots/one drop/steppers records released over the last two years, (both in JA and Europe) exemplifying what seems to be an ever increasing lack of engaged ideas and lack of aspiration towards progression and innovation. Bashment too, arguably seems to be failing to engage many long term reggae followers at any deeper level -- So the outstanding re-issues we have had this month have been a true pleasure.

And this Clancy Eccles double album is another very welcome selection dug up from the vaults. Whilst there are some decidedly bland moments on this collection, conjuring up impressions of dull 1960's hotel lounge music -- there are some significantly great moments too, which for followers of the Joe Higgs, Sonia Pottinger's High Note label and Chantells style -- will make this an indispensable purchase.

It covers a diversity of styles : 50's R n B/ Doo Wop harmony -- think the straight-to-the-heart Doo Wop style of The Moonglows, Five Keys, The Flamingos and The Clovers -- albeit in a JA style -- as well as Bluebeat, Ska and early roots.

The high point of CD 1 has to be the natural aggression and joyful arrogance of "Stay Loose." Neil Beckford's "Easy Snapping" opens with the classic lyric, "Here I come again to shock you in your brain." Nice one Mr Beckford!

The nihilistic, misanthropic "I Don't Care" features psychotropic percussion, country picking guitar and a production style reminiscent of very early Upsetters.

The criminally ignored and long under rated Joe Higgs is excellent -- as always -- with "Don't Mind Me", a perspicacious narrative of longing and frustration, replete with a sense of righteous and resentful aggression. It sounds similar to The Ethiopian Leonard Dillon's solo album cut for Coxsonne. The Westmorlites "Zion" featured here also has that Coxsonne vibe.

CD 2 features the astonishing "Holy Holy" by The Fabulous Flames, a composition which would rank amongst the best spiritual early roots tracks of the time. It's a song of supplication, metanoia and self acceptance. "Dreams are holy dreams: I am what I am, I am what I believe" chants the lead vocalist. It is nothing less than astonishing that tracks like this have been largely ignored, not only by the wider music world -- but by many reggae fans too.

Tito Simon's "You Can't Be Serious" is pure 1950's US doo wop vibes, JA style, and features -- violins -- usually the curse of early reggae! But they work beautifully here, adding to the emotive vibes.

The Trojan sleeve art, courtesy of www.mystery.co.uk has been consistently excellent too over the last three years, expressive of a sympathy with, respect for, and deeper understanding of the music. Its eidetic qualities make it far preferable to Trojan's somewhat generic box set styling, which can give the impression of deleteriously commodifying the music.