Classic Rhythms Volume 4
VP Records
4 CD Box
May 20, 2010

Track list
Disc 1 (Music Works Showcase '88)
  1. Gregory Isaacs - Rumours
  2. Lady G - Nuff Respect
  3. Ken Boothe - Choice
  4. Dean Fraser - Snacking
  5. The Mighty Diamonds - Heavy Load
  6. Home T - Single Life
  7. J.C. Lodge - Telephone Love
  8. Josie Wales - Everyone Hustling
  9. Robbie Lyn - Street Talk
  10. Hopeton Lindo - Lonely Night
  11. Dennis Creary - Sweet Ecstasy
Disc 2 (Wicked Inna Bed)
  1. Gregory Isaacs - Hartical Don
  2. Tuffest - Na Let Off
  3. John Mouse - Kill Them All
  4. Johnny P - Dash Weh Belly
  5. Sugar Minott - Real Raggamuffin
  6. Josey Wales - Soft Inna Bed
  7. Singing Melody - Think Of You
  8. Dillinger - Ninja 600
  9. Bobby 'Digital' Dixon - Digital Mix
Disc 3 (No Fear)
  1. Mad Cobra - Pet And Pamper
  2. Spragga Benz - Strong Performer
  3. Merciless - Work Dem
  4. Beenie Man - Who Am I
  5. Sean Paul - Infiltrate
  6. General B - Scream
  7. Don Yute - Living In A Dream
  8. Kid Corrupt - Trendsetter
  9. Mr. Vegas - Hands In The Air (Nike Air)
  10. Dutty Cup Crew - Stick It Up
  11. Round Head - Hot From Long Time
  12. Scare Dem Crew - Girls Segment
  13. Sean Paul - Baby Girl
  14. General B - Yu Own Man
  15. Don Yute - Easy
  16. Swade - Let's Talk About It
Disc 3 (Splash Two)
  1. Mr. Vegas - Heads High (Kill Dem Wid It)
  2. Lady Saw - Don't Even Stress Dat
  3. Degree - Traffic Blocking (Danny Browne Refix)
  4. Beenie Man - Let Him Go
  5. Red Rat - Ah Fi Who Fa Gal
  6. Chrissy D - Big Timer
  7. Spragga Benz - Some Bwoy
  8. Mr. Vegas - Fly
  9. Buccaneer - Bruckout / Bruckout
  10. Goofy - Whining Machine Feat. Sanchez
  11. Degree - Buss The Door
  12. Red Rat - Bruck Mi Ducks
  13. Cutty Ranks - Detrimental
  14. Hawkeye - Man Poppy Show
  15. TOK - Whoa
  16. Goofy - Dick
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 4
'Classic Rhythms Volume 4' is a nice 4 cd box with 6 digital riddims, coming from the 80s and 90s.
First there's the smasher album 'Music Works Showcase '88' by producer Gussie Clarke. He started working in the music industry by cutting dub plates and made his debut as a producer in 1972, with U-Roy's 'The Higher The Mountain'. He established himself as the top producer of deejays in the early 1970s with albums such as Big Youth's 'Screaming Target', and I-Roy's 'Presenting I Roy', both regarded as among the best deejay albums ever produced. Through the 1970s and early 1980s he worked with artists such as Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Augustus Pablo, Leroy Smart, and The Mighty Diamonds, including the latter's influential 'Pass the Kouchie' in 1981. In the early 1980s, Clarke adapted to the new dancehall style of reggae, but stood out from other producers by attempting to produce glossier recordings with greater potential to cross over internationally. In 1987, he launched his Music Works studio, embracing the new digital era, and success as a producer returned with the likes of Gregory Isaacs' Rumours, and hits from Eek-a-Mouse, Dean Fraser, Deborahe Glasgow, and J.C. Lodge. Lodge's Telephone Love was the biggest reggae hit of 1988 in the United States. He continued to be a high profile producer in the 1990s, working with artists such as Shabba Ranks, Maxi Priest, Cocoa Tea, Fabiana, Papa San, and Courtney Pine.

'Music Works Showcase '88' caused a sensation when it was released. The original LP carried 10 tunes across the 'Rumours' riddim. Strange enough it did not include the Gregory Isaacs hit tune Rumours, but here it's included. The album was especially noted because of the crisp and sophisticated production style by Gussie Clarke. The riddim was build by Clevie Brownie (drums), Dalton Brownie (guitar) and Danny Brownie (synthesizer bass), while all other instruments were played by Robby Lyn except lead sax on Choice & Snacking which was played by Dean Frazer. Further hit tunes were Single Life by Home T and The Mighty Diamonds with Heavy Load.

Disc 2 features a sublime remake of 'Love Is Not A Gamble', a rocksteady tune recorded by The Techniques, here renamed 'Wicked Inna Bed'. It was produced by Bobby 'Digital' Dixon in 1991, an influential reggae and dancehall producer. He began working with King Jammy in Kingston in 1985. He was given his nickname Bobby 'Digital' because King Jammy had begun experimenting with digital rhythms at around the same time. Bobby struck out on his own in 1988 and formed the Digital B label. The popular Shabba Ranks version is not included here (although it was found on the original LP), but the album rightfully includes the hilarious answer version Soft Inna Bed by Josey Wales. Further noteworthy interpretations come from Sugar Minott with Real Raggamuffin and Gregory Isaacs Heartical Don. In 2003 the riddim re-surfaced on the Rashanco Music label with modest success.

Disc 3 shines the light on producer Jeremy Harding. It's said that he was the producer who discovered and managed Sean Paul. He started his career as a guitarist, moved on to DJing, then to mixing and producing. Two riddims are presented here, first there are 9 tracks pon the 1997 'Playground' riddim, and next comes the 'Fearless' riddim with 7 tracks. The 'Playground' riddim was made famous by Beenie Man's Who Am I. The riddim was produced by Jeremy Harding, then DJ NuMark. After hearing the beats, Beenie Man demanded to voice the riddim. The track helped to introduce Beenie Man to the world as a new reggae star in the pages of Newsweek and other major media outlets. He used a portion of this song in his reggae fusion single "Girls Dem Sugar" featuring Mya which was released in 2000. Sean Paul's Infiltrate is another scorcher across the riddim. The 'Fearless' riddim was a lesser known riddim. It also surfaced in 1997 and artists like Sean Paul, Don Yute and Round Head voiced the riddim.

The last CD is all about the Main Street imprint from Danny Browne and D-Juvenile. The label was very popular during the 90s. This disc features two riddims. The first one is the extremely popular 'Filthier' riddim, followed by the rock flavoured riddim 'Heavy Metal'. The hit bound 'Filthier' riddim stormed the charts in 1998. Mr. Vegas scored large with his version called Heads High (Kill Dem Wid It), while Beenie Man topped the charts with Let Him Go. Our personal favourite remains Degree with Traffic Blocking. Boom Tune! The 'Heavy Metal' riddim is not our cup tea, the mix of rock guitar riffs and a dancehall riddim is something you either love or hate.

All in all, its s nice collection of 80's and 90s dancehall hits.