The Early Sessions: 1974-1982

The singer-producer permeates reggae’s history, and select few rank with Linval Thompson, whose distinct vocal talent led him to his illustrious production career. That dual proficiency resulted in some of Thompson’s self-productions, now coveted by collectors, being examples of his best work. This release plays a potent selection of his deepest and greatest self-productions next to some equally sought-after aces recorded for other producers. Reaching back to 1974, “No Other Woman” is emblematic of what’s compiled here. It’s an exceedingly rare cut that (more importantly) showcases the power and the touch of Thompson’s voice as he weaves heartfelt lyrics over a heavy, sparse rhythm. “Another Man” chases similar form and sentiment, for another killer result. Following those are a heap of gems, many in alternate versions or extended mixes. The 16-song CD remains strong throughout, and is coupled with a DVD combining interviews and live concert footage.