(4 / 5)
A bumper three album set on two discs offering 44 tracks from one the most accomplished harmony groups on the Jamaican music scene in the late 60s and 70s.
The set includes some of Jamaica’s biggest hits from 1970 to 1975 from The Chosen Few – a bit of a ‘best kept secret’ over here.
They gave Jamaican producers, Derrick Harriott and ‘Prince’ Tony big success.
The quartet of Franklyn Spence and the three Browns – Busty, Noel and Errol – put out three acclaimed LPs between 1973 and 1975 – issued in the UK by Trojan Records.
They later had a collaboration with Florida-based ex-pat, Noel Williams aka King Sporty, which spawned the reggae-funk masterpiece album, “In Miami”, featuring backing from K.C. & the Sunshine Band, that album found here in full as the last 10 cuts on CD # two.
For this Doctor Bird two-CD set, the trio of original albums also offers another 11 bonus tracks from the period. Their “Hit After Hit” LP makes its CD debut here on disc one. There are 10 tracks new to CD.
They were billed as reggae’s most soulful vocal group and wore smart suits and dickie bow ties, more akin to slick cabaret than reggae music. Afro hair styles and no sign of dreadlocks!
The first set includes covers of “Shaft” and “Stranger On The Shore”. Two versions of their hit “You’re A Big Girl Now”. Four songs close disc one under the title: “Lloyd Charmers Selection”.
Disc two “Everybody Plays The Fool”, features two versions of “I Love The Way You Love”, ans covers of “I Second That Emotion”, “Tears Of A Clown” and “Hang On Sloopy”.
Not sure I have ever come across any poor stuff on the Trojan label so far, and this pleasing package does nothing to change that fact.
By Christopher Weston
(1 / 5) ‘Dull Zone’
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’