Various artists album review
Strictly The Best Volume 20
VP Records
07 - 11 - 1997

Tracking list

  1. Sanchez - I care for you
  2. Singing Melody - Let it flow
  3. Kashief Lindo - No can do
  4. Benji Mayz - Love you higher
  5. Beres Hammond - Bad news
  6. Cocoa Tea & Cutty Ranks - Rip & run off
  7. Pam Hall - Unbreak my heart
  8. Luciano - Guess what's happening
  9. Morgan Heritage - Let's make up
  10. Culture - Addis Ababa
  11. Sanchez - I believe I can fly
  12. Freddie McGregor - I wish there was a way
  13. Ghost - Bodyguard
  14. John Holt & Gregory Isaacs - Body language
  15. Fiona - For you I will
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

The "Strictly the Best" series is Vp Records longest running compilation series. Since its interception in 1990 the series' popularity has increased from year to year. Volume 20 collects (as expected) some of the most essential reggae singles from 1997, locking up a wicked thrill packed selection from the likes of Beres Hammond, Sanchez, Ghost, Culture, Morgan Heritage and Freddie McGregor.
Bobby Digital superbly rebuilds the immortal "I'm not a king" riddim (check out Delroy Wilson's '70s version !) and scores with three versions : "Sanchez - I care for you" (aka Call me on the phone) , "Cocoa Tea & Cutty Ranks - Rip & run off" and reggae veteran duo "John Holt / Gregory Isaacs-Body language."
Toni Braxton's "Unbreak my Heart" and "Let it flow" get the sweet reggae treatment by Pam Hall and Singing Melody. Roots tunes by Luciano and Culture combine easily with lovers tracks by "new comers" Fiona and Benji Myaz.
Morgan Heritage are present with the melodic "Let's make up" from their album "Protect us Jah". Studio One veteran Freddie McGregor cries out he "wishes there was a way", while Willie Lindo's son, Kashief covers the classic Studio One track "Really Together" , and Sanchez does an excellent rendition of R. Kelly's "I believe I can fly" for StoneLove, riding the classic "Under mi sensi" riddim. Ghost takes Paul Simon's 1986 smash hit "You can call me Al" and turns it upside down..but the result is really refreshing !
Production credits go out to : Bobby Digital, Fattis, Willie Lindo, Richard Bell, Lloyd Campbell, Stone Love, Noel Browne, Colin Bulby Yorke, C. Hylton and Benji Mayz.
Strictly The Best Volume 20 is an action packed certified "gold" selection, delivered by an all-star-killa-line up !

Teacher & Mr. T.