Virgin's budget release The Best of Reggae looks like a tool of the Babylon system for a couple reasons. First, the FBI warning concerning piracy is twice as big as the credits. Second, the title and the scattershot track list just don't jive since so many important names are missing, up to and including Bob Marley. All that said, the tunes are huge, pulled from all over the place with no context given, but huge nonetheless. There's the serious rasta music of Burning Spear and the Abyssinians, the effervescent DJ stylings of I-Roy and U-Roy, plus the crucial sound of the "Stepping Razor" himself, Peter Tosh. As great as the music is, the lack of liner notes doesn't give the music any context. It would be helpful to know that the Jacob Miller-era Inner Circle is represented here, rather than the later, more pop-oriented outfit. The Sly Dunbar track is a dub of Miller's big hit "Baby I Love You So," and the Althea & Donna cut ruled the U.K. when it was released, but you won't learn any of this from the booklet. Still, it beats the budget-priced competition with its original artists and original recordings, so in this case, you get slightly more than you pay for. ~ David Jeffries
15853GVarious Artists - The Best Of Reggae (CD)http://oldies.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/i/boxart/large/75/094638751526.jpg?v=45.985.35USDInStock/Genre/Reggae/Music Categories/Reggae-Dj-ToastersVirgin Records UsCDReggaeVarious-Artists2007-04-26
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