Various artists album review
Joe Gibbs Mood (The Amalgamated Label 1968-1971)
18 - 04 - 1998

Tracking list

  1. Errol Dunkley - The scorcher
  2. Lee Perry - Thank you baby
  3. The Overtakers - That's the way you like it
  4. The Pioneers - People grudgeful
  5. The Versatiles - The time has come
  6. The Pioneers - Sweet Dreams
  7. The Royals - Never see come see
  8. The Cannonball Bryan Trio - Jumping Jack
  9. The Intruders - Hurry come up
  10. The Reggae Boys - Mama look deh
  11. The Blenders - Decimal currency
  12. The Soulmates - Them a laugh and kiki
  13. The Hippy Boys - The hippys are here
  14. The Soul Sisters - Wreck a buddy
  15. The Reggae Boys - Me no born yah
  16. Count Matchuki - It is I (Matchuki's cooking)
  17. The Cobbs - One love
  18. Johnny Moore - Reflections of Don D
  19. The Pioneers - Alli button
  20. The Slickers - Man beware
  21. Ansell Collins - Joe Gibbs mood
  22. The Versatiles - Long long time
  23. Johnny Lover - Nevada Joe
  24. Nicky Thomas - Danzella
  25. Count Matchuki - Movements (the Joe Gibbs way)
  26. Stranger Cole & Gladdy's featuring Charlie Ace - Seeing is believing
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

This compilation album fits very well to its predecessors, the - also on Trojan Records released - albums "Get On Up !" (Joe Gibbs Rocksteady 1967-1968), "Jackpot Of Hits" (Explosive Rocksteady), "The Reggae Train 1968-1971" and "Uptown Top Ranking (Joe Gibbs Reggae Productions 1970-1978)".
By the beginning of 1968 Joe Gibbs was firmly established as one of Jamaica's leading producers, challenging the supremacy of such dominating figures as Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, Arthur "Duke" Reid and Leslie Kong, after just one year in the recording industry. The newly formed Island/Trojan organization in the U.K. launched their own version of the producer's "Amalgamated label", which over the next couple of years issued some 73 singles. This collection brings together some of those recordings, complementing other aforementioned releases of the producer's work.
This compilation opens very strong with a great tune by a young Errol Dunkley, before we get the extremely rare and wonderful rocksteady song "Thank you baby", one of the few vocal tracks Lee "Scratch" Perry cut for Joe Gibbs. The Overtakers - a trio who had previously recorded for Lloyd "The Matador" Daley - deliver the first tune on this set which is done by a vocal group. They were part of a number of vocal groups who cut some real great material for the Amalgamated label in the late 60's, amongst them The Versatiles (formed by Junior Byles, Louie Davis and Dudley Earl), The Pioneers (in those days very successful with Gibbs), The Intruders (may have actually been The Righteous Flames as the lead vocal on "Hurry come up" is undoubtedly that of Winston Jarrett) and the all-female group The Soul Sisters, who present the real risque "Wreck a buddy".
Apart from his work with vocal acts Joe Gibbs also issued instrumental sides, which are included as well on this compilation album. Within the solid instrumental versions "Joe Gibbs Mood" stands out as it highlights the playing of keyboard maestro Ansell Collins. To complete it all this set also features toasts by pioneering deejay Count Matchuki, Johnny Lover and Charlie Ace. Great set with faultless music from the rocksteady and early reggae era, a real treat for the ear.

Teacher & Mr. T.