Various artists album review
Reggae Anthology ~ Penthouse Classics
VP Records-Walboomers Records
29 - 09 - 2001

Tracking list

  1. Batty Rider -Buju Banton
  2. Trying To Get To You- Richie Stephens
  3. Saddest Day- Wayne Wonder
  4. Complaint- Garnett Silk
  5. Love Mi Haffi Get- Beres Hammond featuring Cutty Ranks
  6. No Retreat No Surrender- Terror Fabulous
  7. Just Don't Want To Be Lonely- Freddie McGregor
  8. One In A Million- Sanchez
  9. Half Idiot- Marcia Griffiths featuring Cutty Ranks
  10. One Dance Won't Do- Audrey Hall
  11. Yush-Mad Cobra
  12. Don't Break Your Promise- Tamlins
  13. Fresh Vegetable- Tony Rebel
  14. Workie Workie- Chaka Demus
  15. El Shaddai-Jahmali
  16. Wicked Dickie- Buju Banton featuring Nadine Sutherland
  17. I Shall Sing- Marcia Griffiths
  18. Heads Of Government- Mighty Diamonds
  19. Bonafide Love- Buju Banton featuring Wayne Wonder
  20. After The Fight- Beres Hammond
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

VP Record's new series is called 'Reggae Anthology' and is a wide-ranging series of comprehensive compilations exploring the last three decades of recorded Jamaican music. Each volume of the Reggae Anthology contains a four-color, 12-16-page booklet with unique, historical photographs, rare original artwork, informative liner-notes by a noted reggae writer, and a comprehensive track listing.
This album compiles twenty compelling hits from producer Donovan Germainís imprint that ruled Reggae dancehalls from the late 1980ís through the 1990ís. This is the label that launched the careers of such Reggae luminaries as Buju Banton and Cutty Ranks while re-launching the careers of crooner Beres Hammond and I-Three Marcia Griffiths.
Most of the tunes found are are well-known and well-loved reggae classics, offered in an interesting mixture of lovers, roots and dancehall songs. The album opens with Buju Banton's Batty Rider which is an approval of the short shorts which were the fashion rage of the early 90's dancehall, and is one of the songs which solidfied the deejay's dancehall supremacy. Buju is featured here with two more cuts : the x-rated dancehall duet with Nadine Sutherland, Wicked Dickie and Bonafide Love, the combination song with Wayne Wonder. It's an excellent song featuring Wayne's silky vocals contrasting the coarse toasting of Buju Banton, reworking Delroy Wilson's 'I Don't Know Why'. In the early 90's Penthouse enjoyed massive successes with the rebuild riddim of John Holt's 'A Love I Can Feel', with Beres Hammond's 'Tempted To Touch' being the most popular. On the same riddim you'll find here Richie Stephens' awesome Trying To Get To You, the combination tune Love Mi Haffi Get, featuring Beres Hammond and the ex-butcher Cutty Ranks and finally Tony Rebel steps up with Fresh Vegatable, which was among a succesion of chart topping singles he recorded for Penthouse. More Cutty Ranks toasting on his duet with Marcia Griffiths Half Idiot, an updated version of Bob Andy's 'Fire Burning' and 'Feeling Soul'. Dave Kelly had a great influence on the Penthouse label, producing several hitsingles such as Mad Cobra's 1991 dancehall anthem Yush. Across the same riddim is Workie Workie by Chaka Demus. One of reggae's biggest talent Jah Mali delivers the awesome 1996 tune El Shaddai. Two of Germain's earliest production efforts are The Tamlins' Don't Break Your Promise and The Mighty Diamonds with Heads Of Government.
The list of killer tunes featured here is endless, no weak tune tune here ! To our knowledge this has to be the best Penthouse collection up to date..crucial !

Teacher & Mr. T.