Various artists album review
Treasure Isle Showtime
14 - 07 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Hopeton Lewis - Boom Shacka Lacka
  2. The Paragons - On the Beach
  3. The Melodians - Come On Little Girl
  4. Tommy and Roy - Rocking Soul
  5. Alton Ellis - Girl I've Got a Date
  6. Winston Wright - Musical Date
  7. U Roy - Wake The Town (Take 2)
  8. John Holt - Ali Baba (Original Version, unreleased on CD)
  9. Ken Parker - I Can't Hide
  10. The Three Tops - It's Raining
  11. The Paragons - Wear You To The Ball
  12. The Techniques - You Don't Care
  13. Lizzy & Dennis Alcapone - Go Lizzy Go (Previously unreleased)
  14. Alton Ellis & The Flames - Cry Tough (Take 5) (Previously unreleased)
  15. The Paragons - Happy Go Lucky Girl
  16. Phyllis Dillon - Rock Steady
  17. Justin Hinds - Carry Go Bring Come (Rock Steady)
  18. The Jamaicans - Baba Boom
  19. The Melodians - You Don't Need Me
  20. U Roy & The Melodians- Rock Away (Take 5) (previously unreleased)
  21. The Techniques - Love Is Not A Gamble (not credited on the sleeve!!)
  22. The Paragons - On The Beach (Medley) (Previously unreleased on CD)
  23. Alton Ellis - Shake It (Take 2) (Previously unreleased)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Despite the fact that Heartbeat's various artists compilation "Treasure Isle Showtime" contains lots of old classic scorchers from Duke Reid's much celebrated Treasure Isle label, this release probably won't excite long-time reggae fans with really extensive collections as the bulk of the material gathered here has already been featured on other releases from Heartbeat, Trojan and the Esoldun label. On the other hand, if you're not that familiair with Duke Reid produced music that ruled the charts and dance floors in Jamaica during the rocksteady era, this compilation set is a good introduction as it provides a great overview of Duke Reid and his Treasure Isle stable. At his heydays the producer employed then popular artists such as Alton Ellis, Phyllis Dillon, Dobby Dobson, Hopeton Lewis and a roll call of outstanding vocal groups like for example The Paragons, The Techniques, The Jamaicans, The Silvertones and The Melodians. Also the deejay originator U Roy became extremely popular and enjoyed notable success when he started to record for Duke Reid in 1970. His first recording, "Wake The Town", reached the # 1 position in the Jamaican charts, and also the follow-up singles "Rule The Nation" and "Wear You To The Ball" became boom shot hits.
U Roy's monumental "Wake the Town", although a rare earlier take, is featured here alongside another wicked U Roy effort entitled "Rock Away", the version to the Melodians' wonderful "You Don't Need Me". More niceness from this vocal group leaps from the speakers while playing "Come On Little Girl". Also on this set two Festival winners, The Jamaicans' Baba Boom" from 1967 and Hopeton Lewis' "Boom Shacka Lacka" from 1970, the latter actually one of the few early reggae tracks included here. Besides the aforementioned gems one is treated to a lot of chestnuts including personal favorites like for example The Techniques' "You Don't Care", Alton Ellis' "Cry Tough", Phyllis Dillon's "Rock Steady" and The Paragons' "Happy Go Lucky Girl" as well as the group's party fave "On The Beach". With over sixty minutes of classic hit sounds, presented in true digital clarity, this "Treasure Isle Showtime" set is pure niceness!

Teacher & Mr. T.