Rewind and Come Again
This is a reggae compilation of a different kind. Instead of being assembled by a record company, a DJ or collector, this set features 15 tunes from the early, formative reggae era selected by one of the music’s best producers, Harry Mudie. From the album’s kickoff sweet and heavy instrumental cut “Strong Back,” to the excellent vocals of Winston Shand and the Sheiks on “Life is But a Dream,” featuring harmonies so nice they almost hurt, to the Jamaican R&B cut “Wedding Day” from Carlton Moore, there is a nice mix of tunes here that play well together. Mudie, who remains active in production today, has done well in choosing tunes not just because they are rare or old-school, but because they really do deserve a rewind and another play. Sound quality varies a bit from tune to tune—but based on the stock that’s to be expected, and after the good mastering work, is no problem. You might have to seek this one, but when you find it you’ll be rewarded.