Various artists album review
Peanut Vendor Meets Bongo Nyah
Joe Frasier-VP Records
September 14, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Back In The Day - Marcia Griffiths
  2. Dream Of Me - Tinga Stewart
  3. Nu Bada - Freddie McGregor
  4. Give Thanks - Lloyd Brown
  5. Always - Nadine Sutherland
  6. Roller Coaster Ride - Glen Washington
  7. Top Ten - George Nooks
  8. S.E.X - Dino
  9. Better Luck - Tanya Stephens
  10. One Good Girl - Wayne Wade
  11. On & On - Glen Washington
  12. No More - Fiona
  13. Bongo Nyah - Lloyd Brown
  14. Gone Away - Brando
  15. Joe Frasier Party - Mix By Dinero
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Producer Lloyd Campbell with Michelle Campbell and Jason Sterling often shows on his Joe Frasier label that he is a singer-producer, who is able to provide great riddims that suit the sweeter voiced singers, like Sanchez for "Frenzy" and several other tracks on his "No More Heartaches"-album, Lloyd Brown on his album "Dreams To Remember" and Fiona on her "Forever", "Fiona's Moment" and "Wanna Make Love". This time he, like for VP's Riddim Driven "Engine 54 / Humanity", provides two classic riddims for the "Peanut Vendor meets Bongo Nyah" set, with the second riddim's title tune already included on the Lloyd Brown album, and several tunes on the 'Peanut Vendor' released earlier this year as 7", and on the 'Bongo Nyah' last month. The 'Peanut Vendor' melody was written in 1930 and first recorded in 1931 by Ambrose and his Orchestra, before in 1936 Don Carlos and his Orchestra recorded a latin version, and Stan Kenton had a worldwide hit with it in 1947. Frankie Anderson with his group were the first to record it in Jamaica in 1964 for Coxsone Dodd's R&B-imprint and of course the legendary Skatalites as well recorded the tune, also for Coxsone. It's the connection to 1982's Gregory Isaacs boomtune "Top Ten" and 1975's seminal "Prophecy" by Little Roy that's fully explored on this album. First with a tribute to many foundation artists and their era by foundation superstar in her own right and I-Threes member Marcia Griffiths in "Back In The Day" mentioning and incorporating sampled or Marcia-sung snatches of King Stitch, U Roy, Big Youth, Brigadeer Jerry, Al Capone, Tippatone Sound, Dennis Brown, Count Machuki, Jimmy Cliff, Millie Small the Lollipop Girl, Derrick Morgan, Paragons, Wailers, Delroy Wilson, Clarendonians, Phyllis Dillon, Toots & The Maytals, Hopeton Lewis, Techniques, Melodians. Veteran Tinga Stewart delivers "Dream Of Me" and I kept on waiting till the DJ came in as that seemed to be Tinga's forte, but he shows he can still deliver a hittune on his own. "Nu Bada" run come call mi is a great tune by a great singer, Freddy McGregor speaking out against a girl's jealousy. Lloyd Brown contributes the very fine "Give Thanks" for all that I've seen / all the places in the world that I have been / all that I am / and all that I will be / I owe it to you / and what you've done for me with his golden voice. And one superb take after another on this riddim, as songbird Nadine Sutherland shows her most romantic side in the beautiful ballad I'll "Always" be there when times get you down. Glen Washington excels in "Roller Coaster Ride", before George Nooks does a brilliant version of one of the all-time classics on this riddim, Gregory's "Top Ten". Dino deejays convincingly in old-school style about everything that mi do just a get girl vex / but mi have something fi gi dem it name "S.E.X" on the last selection on this riddim. The second classic riddim is like 'Peanut Vendor' as "Prophecy" also well known for a Little Roy tune: "Bongo Nyah". Tanya Stephens delivers the smashing warning I see you passing in your mini skirt / every time you see mi man you a flirt / think you a go hit / you pay dirt / "Better Luck" next time". Another veteran, and in the case of Wayne Wade someone who is seldom voiced, steps up for the "One Good Girl" he prefers over a dozen of bad girls. Glen Washington delivers another big lovers tune with keep loving going on / "On & On", before Fiona shines singing about the negative emotions (no longer answered) love can bring forth in "No More". Lloyd Brown is excellent in his take on Little Roy's "Bongo Nyah" before the last tune on this riddim, Brando's "Gone Away" is unfortunately the weakest tune on this album. It's not bad, but it's the one tune that this album could have done without. But the album isn't over yet, there's a 20 minutes megamix featuring all 14 songs and FX to close it. This fabulous album would have been completely perfect if the "Gone Away" tune had been replaced by 2 clean versions of the classic riddims featured, but it's still more than worth spending your money on.