Various – Jamaica’s Greatest (Fabulous Greatest Hits)
1. Dennis brown – One Day Soon
2. The Heptones – Our Day Will Come
3. Dennis Brown – If I Had The World
4. John Holt – News
5. Alton Ellis – Since I Fell For You
6. Prince Buster – Still
1. John Holt – Mona Lisa
2. The Heptones – God Bless The Children
3. John Holt – If I Ruled The World
4. Alton Ellis – Good Loving
5. Prince Buster & The Ethiopians – My Happiness
6. Prince Buster – Protection
Let’s take a look at the album Jamaica’s Greatest (Fabulous Greatest Hits), an album that was licensed from Prince Buster by the London-based Melodisc label. Melodisc was one of the first UK independent record companies and released a huge volume of material over its lifetime mainly from West Africa, Trinidad, Jamaica and the USA. I cannot tell you the year of its original release as it is apparently unknown although a re-issue of the album came out in 1972.
Track 1: ONE DAY SOON – Dennis Brown. This is a mid-tempo song with the usual soulful sound of the legendary Dennis Brown and is a first-class track to start the album. Track 2: OUR DAY WILL COME – The Heptones. This song will be familiar to anyone who has followed music over the years and has been recorded by a large number of artists over the years. They include The Four Seasons, Amy Winehouse, a Reggae cover, and of course the hit version by Ruby & The Romantics. This version by The Heptones is again mid-tempo with a first-class vocal from frontman Leroy Sibbles. Track 3: IF I HAD THE WORLD – Dennis Brown. This self-penned number features one of Jamaica’s top artists, Dennis Brown, and is another mid-tempo number that features a heavy bass guitar on-and-off. As with most Dennis Brown recordings, the vocals are first-class. Credited to John Holt on the back cover, to Dennis Brown on the label. Track 4: GIANT – Prince Buster All Stars. This track is strange as it is by The All Stars, yet has a vocal that one would assume to be by Prince Buster. It is written by Cecil Bustamente Campbell (Prince Buster) and features first-class trombone playing at various stages of the recording. Track 5: SINCE I FELL FOR YOU – Alton Ellis. Alton Ellis just has to have one of the best, if not the best Soul voice from Jamaica and on this track it is very smooth and classy. Slightly more up-tempo this is possibly the best on the album. Track 6: STILL – Prince Buster. This song is adapted by Prince Buster and is a song that will be familiar, having been recorded by many singers over the years. It is somewhat of a surprise that it lends itself to being given a Jamaican treatment and with good vocals from The Prince it has a very pleasant sound.
Track 1: MONA LISA – John Holt. This is another song that is familiar having been recorded in many genres over the years. John Holt’s rendition is a classy recording with bass guitar prominent. The rhythm is mid-tempo and starts side two. Track 2: GOD BLESS THE CHILDREN – The Heptones. This track is slightly more up-tempo and features the vocal talents of Leroy Sibbles. The group was well known for covering songs and this is an example, being a song originally recorded by the writer Billie Holiday. Track 3: IF I RULED THE WORLD – John Holt. The album’s label has the writer as unknown and is not the one recorded by Louis Armstrong. It has the distinctive John Holt vocal over an up-tempo rhythm and lyrics worth listening to closely. Credited to Dennis Brown on the back cover, to John Holt on the label. Track 4: GOOD LOVING – Alton Ellis. This track features for the second time on this album the man known as The Soul Of Jamaica, Alton Ellis. This is a self-penned number and as we would expect it is superb from start to finish. The tempo is once again free flowing and Mr Ellis is helped out vocally by a soulful backing group. Track 5: MY HAPPINESS – Prince Buster & The Ethiopians. The Ethiopians will be familiar to most Jamaican music fans and feature the vocal talents of Leonard Dillon. Again, the label is unable to give the writer credits but it could be self-penned. Track 6: PROTECTION – Prince Buster. The final track is written by C Campbell (Prince Buster) and is the most up-tempo of the album’s tracks. For many Jamaican music lovers it is hard to imagine The Prince having a smooth soulful vocal, but he certainly has on this.
Dennis Brown – One Day Soon
Alton Ellis – Since I Fell For You
John Holt – News