Various artists album review
Reggae Goodies Vol. 1 & 2
CD / 2LP
March 14, 2005

Tracking list

  1. I Belong To You - Love Joys
  2. Basement Session - Joe Morgan
  3. African Woman - Wayne Jarrett
  4. John Brown - John Clarke
  5. Black Harmony - Jah Carlos
  6. Loving Man - African Jamaicans
  7. Capture Land - Stranger Cole
  8. Recession - John Clarke
  9. What's Wrong With You - Jerry Hitler
  10. Selassie - K.C. White
  11. Sweet Feelings - Love Joys
  12. African Jamaicans - Girl Of My Dreams
  13. Lets Love - K.C. White
  14. Love Dream - Sel Wheeler & Azul
  15. Love Me To The End - Chosen Brothers
  16. Soon Sunday - Roots Hangover
  17. African Rose - Wanachi
  18. Yes I'm Gone - Jah Junior
  19. So Much Loving - Chosen Brothers
  20. Black Root - Wanachi
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

And yet another excellent release in the string of classic Wackies albums that have been (re)released by Berlin dub-techno duo Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus a.k.a. Rhythm & Sound, as part of their rerelease program of the complete Wackie's catalog. More on their own releases, whether technodub on Basic Channel or their Rhythm & Sound label can be found at the Basic Channel Website. This time the two 1977 released albums on Lloyd 'Bullwackie' Barnes' City Line imprint (which celebrated the NY subway track ending at White Plains Road, Wackies' headquarters) "Reggae Goodies Vol. 1 & 2" are rereleased, compiling mainly 7" that appeared over the previous few years. Opening this compilation is the Love Joys' 1976 originally on Versatile released archetypical lovers rock tune "I Belong To You", a track not found on their two albums recorded for Bullwackie "Reggae Vibes" and "Lovers Rock". Joe Morgan's 1976 "Basement Session" is an excellent tribute to the music we all love played dubwise in basement sessions, with a vocal delivery very reminiscent of Johnny Clarke, followed by Wayne Jarrett's 1976 "African Woman", as many tunes on this compilation not available elsewhere on CD or LP, as it's not included on his brilliant "Showcase Vol. 1" on which he sounds as much like Horace Andy as he does on this tune. John Clarke's don't boast about yourself "John Brown" is a beautiful dark sounding tune, before the absolutely stunning 1976 on Rawse released "Black Harmony" by Jah Carlos, being none other than Don Carlos, grabs your attention. The close harmony of the African Jamaicans on Rawse's 1976 "Loving Man" is very fine as well, but is almost forgotten when the heavy bass-driven meditative chant "Capture Land" by Stranger Cole blasts out of your speakers. John Clarke returns for another dark almost muddy riddim driven sufferers tune "Recession", that is one of the earliest recorded tunes on this compilation, released in 1975 on Tafari in JA, and in NYC on the Aires imprint. Often featured guitar player on Wackies releases Jerry Hitler shows he's capable - over a piano based riddim - to deliver a great lovers tune in Dennis Brown style with his "What's Wrong With You?", before K.C. White's great interpretation of the Pentecostal praise song "Who Made The Angels Sing" here retitled "Selassie" released in 1976 on the Senrab imprint, with its beautiful melodica riffs closes the "Vol. 1" part that was recorded partly in JA at King Tubby's Studio and partly at Lloyd Barnes' own NYC Sounds Unlimited Studios. The "Vol. 2" set opens again with the Love Joys, this time their beautiful 1981 rendition of Carlton Mannings' yet credited to the Abyssinians "Sweet Feelings". The African Jamaicans are up next again, with "Girl Of My Dreams", of which the riddim track is featured on the Roots Underground's "Tribesman Assault". The underrated K.C. White delivers "Let's Love" before Sel Wheeler on trombone and Clive 'Azul' Hunt are shining on the instrumental "Love Dream" and Lloyd 'Bullwackie' Barnes himself under his moniker the Chosen Brothers, judging by the vocals alongside Wayne Jarrett here, chips in with "Love Me To The End". The wailing guitar instrumental "Soon Sunday" by Roots Hangover is followed by another instrumental, the Wanachi melodica workout "African Rose", and a duet between Sel Wheeler's trombone and Jah Junior's vocals on the repatriation tune "Yes I'm Gone". The Chosen Brothers return with "So Much Loving" for which Lloyd Barnes is accompanied by Leroy Sibbles this time on one of my all-time favorite riddims 'Ballistic Affair', dubbed as "Disco Reggae Rocker" on "Tribesman Assault", before Wanachi, whose minimalistic dub "Jah Jah's Call" was on "Creation Dub", close this second more lovers and dub based part of the album with the excellent dubbed up organ instrumental "Black Root". There's no doubt about the truth of the liner notes on the original 1977 release of "Reggae Goodies Vol. 1" I quote fully agreeing: 'REGGAE GOODIES, it's more than just an album. It's an experience which can only be shared by you. Get your copy now... There'll never be another of its kind.'

/ Souljah Green Beret Productions