Opinions about the reissue releases from Blood and Fire, Pressure Sounds, Soul Jazz etc are mixed. Sometimes facts and details are incorrect, sometimes the selections are a bit baffling. One thing they did do, was to force re-issue LPs to up their games presentation wise.

That is the first thing that hits you with this release. This package consists of 3 CDs with 56 tracks, a very nice fold-out CD box with some nice label scans (I do love a label scan!), and a 27-page booklet with interviews and discography. Very impressive. 

I rarely get time to sit down and listen to LPs but a recent house move meant I had plenty of trips in a bouncy old van with this CD playing. My first worry was that in recentish years there has been the Jesus Dread box set from Blood and Fire, and two Deeper Roots collections of odds and sods on Pressure Sounds. While there are a few tracks duplicated, each of these compilations are different.

The tracks on this collection are divided. The first CD is classics. Stand-out tracks for me are ‘Carnal Mind’, ‘Anti Christ’ (a tune I have never seen on original), ‘Pound Get a Blow’ and ‘Free Africa’. It’s tunes like ‘Free Africa’ that send you scuttling to the collection to dig it out. This is the mark of a good compilation.

CD Two is entitled ‘Many Moods of Yabby You’ and is a bit more varied. Stand-out tracks for me are ‘Economical Crisis’, Trinity’s ‘Gwaan and Lef Me’, ‘Get Lost Babylon’ (I forgot how good this tune was!), and The Melodians ‘Stop Your Gang War’ (one of the heaviest tracks ever!). Also, a lovely instrumental, ‘never heard’ track, ‘Peace’. Yabby You also did a few digital tracks which are represented here. They’re not really my cup of tea but decent for digital roots.

The third CD, titled ‘Rarities’, is a bit of mish-mash of dubs, some good, some average, but certainly good enough to hold your attention.

To sum up, a very good compilation. Top marks for presentation and the obvious time and love put into this release. Tracks are good. With this many there are always going to be some fillers but I very much enjoyed listening. Booklet is first class as well. Not sure if it is coming on vinyl but my advice would be, sell your soul to the devil temporarily and buy the CDs!

Plattsie OneVoice

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