Strictly One Drop Volume 1
Cousins Records
March 16, 2006

Track list
  1. I've Been Loving You - Morgan Heritage
  2. Brown Skin - Richie Spice
  3. Someone Loves You - Sizzla
  4. Wings Of Love - Bushman
  5. Cheer Up - Luciano
  6. Dance Nice - Frankie Paul
  7. Jah Protect Us - Capleton
  8. How Long - Anthony B
  9. Want More Weed - Michael Rose
  10. What A Pity - Richie Davis
  11. Party Time - Singing Melody
  12. Get Ready - Tony Curtis
  13. All We Need Is Love - Lukie D
  14. You Won't Find - DaVille
  15. Running Back - Anthony Cruz
  16. Rastaman Posse - Earl Sixteen
  17. Time To Move On - Prince Malachi
  18. Joy - Morgan Heritage
  19. Weed Ina Mi Head - Jigsy King
  20. My Sweet Lord - George Nooks
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 3
This "Strictly One Drop Vol. 1" release by UK's Cou$ins label, best known to me for a couple of great relicks of classic riddims like 'Rock Steady' and 'Beatitude', is starting off with a big surprise because after releasing tunes through Greensleeves and later In The Streetz, now Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett has a couple of tunes on his third, once again very impressive, one drop riddim 'Heavenly' (although by some described as 'Drop Leaf' Vol.3) released on CD through Donville Davis' Cou$ins outlet. Opening this set is Morgan Heritage's heartfelt love song "Since I've Been Loving You" followed by Richie Spice's impressive lovers tune "Brown Skin" also over 'Heavenly'. These are followed by two excellent tunes over a one drop scorcher from the Jammy's camp, Christopher 'CJ' James' 'Without Love'-riddim - based on the 1968 Ken Boothe tune recorded for Coxsone Dodd's Studio One - of which the one-riddim album for his CJ Productions has also been released within days of this release by Cou$ins Records. Both Sizzla's "Someone Loves You" and Bushman's "Wings Of Love" are great lovers tunes over this beautiful one drop from Chistopher 'CJ' James. The first two excellent Donville Davis productions are up next and although there is no sleeve info on musicians or whatever, it is safe to assume the riddims for all his productions on this album have been laid (as usual for Cou$ins productions) by Mafia & Fluxy, with great vocals by Luciano for his comforting "Cheer Up" and Frankie Paul's "Dance Nice". Two more scorchers on Don Corleon's 'Heavenly'-riddim are contributed by Capleton with the superb "Jah Protect Us" and Anthony B with his equally strong reality tune "How Long" with its phenomenal female backing vocals. Hopefully a release covering all of the tunes recorded over 'Heavenly' will be out soon. Donville Davis himself impresses with the excellent riddim for Michael Rose's "Want More Weed", that miraculously doesn't appear on his excellent album "Babylon A Fight" that was released by Cou$ins recently. Richie Davis contributes the fine "What A Pity" over the same riddim, followed by Singing Melody's "Party Time" over a relick of Bob Marley & The Wailers' 'Crazy Baldhead'-riddim. Tony Curtis excels over a rocksteady/early organ driven reggae riddim in "Get Ready" and is joined by an as impressive take on the riddim by Lukie D for his "All We Need Is Love". DaVille's "You Won't Find" and Anthony Cruz' "Running Back" are two more excellent singers tunes over the 'Without Love'-riddim, followed by Earl Sixteen's beautiful "Rastaman Posse" over Delroy Wilson's 1967 Studio One '(Trying To) Conquer (Me)'-riddim that was paired in 2004 for its 7" release with Delroy's original, followed by another fine take on it, by Prince Malachi, who suddenly disappeared from the scene after his very successful debut at album length in 1999/2000 with selfproduced and Xterminator albums, before returning with the Stingray produced "Runaway Slave" in 2004, to disappear once more. His "Time To Move On" fully indicates what a pity that is, and it's great to hear this great singer included on this album. Morgan Heritage contribute their second tune on this set "Joy" over Cou$ins' 2004 'Love'-riddim, before Jigsy King delivers the wicked ganja tune "Weed Ina Mi Head" oldschool style over the same riddim as used for the Tony Curtis and Lukie D tunes, before George Nooks closes this very fine compilation in fine style with his take on John Holt's 1971 Studio One tune "My Sweet Lord". It is clear that Cou$ins have become prolific over the last couple of months, but also that it has been done without any concessions in terms of quality, thus leaving us with albums that can easily be recommended for every roots and lovers rock enthusiast.