Various artists album review
VP Records - Walboomers Music
05 - 02 - 2000
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4||Sound quality : 4/5||Sleeve : 4|
The phrase "Never let go of a hot riddim" - slightly based on Slim Smith's Studio One hit "Never Let Go", the one that provided one of the most popular revived riddims ever - reflects the spirit of the late seventies/early eighties. Looking back at that period in Jamaica's musical history - actually the beginning of the dancehall phase of reggae - one of the most striking things was the fact that the riddims had become all-important, with virtually all the producers rushing to cut their own versions of the most popular ones. One of the producers who remained abreast of new trends was veteran producer and former "Techniques" member Winston Riley. In 1985 his overdubbed cut of Ansel Collins' 1973 instrumental "Stalag 17" - utilized for the late Tenor Saw's dancehall anthem "Ring The Alarm" - made a serious impact in the dancehalls and led to the release of "Original Stalag 17-18 And 19", the most popular one-riddim album ever. In 1999 Virgin (France) released the CD version of this album. |
The new millennium kicks off with more 'Stalag' excursions, all compiled for the VP Records Stalag 2000 cd. Producer Winston Riley has taken upcoming, established and veteran reggae artists for voicing over his killer riddim. The album also includes some 80's cuts of the riddim such as Arleen from General Echo and Bam Bam from Sister Nancy. From the latter tune snippets are used in the Richie Stephens' cut J.O.B.. Reggae veteran Freddie McGregor opens the album with his intro : "you're tuned in to the baddest riddim of all time". His reality tune No Defeat is a solid cut to the riddim. Buju Banton performs as you would expect and Sizzla delivers one of the best versions on the album with the tune Azanido. Morgan Heritage ride the riddim very smoothly and Marcia Griffith uses the lyrics of Johnny Osbourne's 'Nightfall' for her version. Bushman keeps delivering good songs, Too Much is no exception to this rule.
The album closes with a somewhat disapointing 'megamix' across the riddim, featuring vocalists Tenor Saw, General Echo, Candyman, Sister Nancy and Buju Banton.