Entertainment Weekly - 6/28-7/5/96, pp.106-107
"Singer Toots Hibbert has spent four decades proving that the U.S. hasn't cornered the market on lusty, lion-chested soulmen. His explosive signature songs...are as mellow as hand grenades." - Rating: A-
Toots & The Maytals: Toots Hibbert (vocals, guitar, harmonica, clavinet); Raleigh Gordon, Jerry Mathias (background vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Carl Harvey, Teenie Hodges, Hux Brown, Lynn Taitt, Rad Bryan (guitar); Roland Alphonso (saxophone); Bobby Ellis (trumpet); Rico Rodriguez (trombone); Ansell Collins, Gladstone Anderson (piano, keyboards); Steve Winwood (organ); Winston Wright (organ, keyboards); Wally Badarou (keyboards, synthesizer); Robbie Shakespear, Lloyd Parkes, Jackie Jackson (bass); Sly Dunbar, Paul Douglas (drums).
Producers Include: Joe Boyd, Jim Dickinson, Chris Blackwell, Sly Dunbar.
Engineers include: Sylvan Morris, John Hampton, Steven Stanley.
Recorded between 1963 and 1988. Includes liner notes by Vivien Goldman.
Digitally remastered by Joseph M. Palmaccio (Polygram Studios).
Personnel: Toots Hibbert (vocals); Eddie Hinton, Ernest Ranglin, Rad Bryan, Junior Kerr, Lyn Taitt, Mabon "Teenie" Hodges, Mikey Chung, Barry Reynolds, Hux Brown, Carl Harvey (guitar); Chicago Steve (harmonica); Roland Alphonso (saxophone, tenor saxophone); Jim Spake (saxophone); Ray Allen, Dudu Pukwana, Lester Sterling, Andrew Love (alto saxophone); George Lee, Tommy McCook (tenor saxophone); Gary Topper (baritone saxophone); Joe Mulherin, Johnny "Dizzy" Moore, Baba Brooks, Dick Cuthell, Eddie Quansah, Bobby Ellis (trumpet); Don Drummond, Jerome Francisque, Rico Rodriguez (trombone); Gladstone Anderson, Harold Butler, Ansel Collins (piano, keyboards); Jackie Mittoo, Theophilus Beckford (piano); Winston Wright (organ, keyboards); Emmanuel Rentzos, Sonny Binns, Pablove Black, Steve Winwood (organ); Wally Badarou (keyboards, synthesizer); Franklyn Waul (keyboards); Arkland "Drumbago" Parks, Lloyd Knibbs, Sly Dunbar, Paul Douglas (drums); Rebop, Tony Uter, Larry McDonald, Denzel Laing, Brother James, Bruce Rowland (percussion); Zab£, Debra Hall, Raleigh Gordon, Nathaniel "Jerry" Matthias (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Chris Blackwell; Godwin Logie; John Burns ; Karl Pitterson; Keith Harwood; Norman Mighell; Steven Stanley ; Toots Hibbert.
Unknown Contributor Role: Scully.
Arranger: Toots Hibbert.
Toots Hibbert has consistently been one of the most popular and influential reggae performers of all time. Hibbert was a favorite of both Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, as well as an influence of '90s performers like Shabba Ranks, not to mention British rockers Pete Townsend and Robert Palmer. This superb compilation spans his entire career, from the uplifting mid-'60s ska of "Never You Change" to the gospel-inflected reggae classic "Pressure Drop" to his '80s tributes to the American soul/R&B sound, covering Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle."
Hibbert's deep, soulful voice, with its slightly ragged delivery, conveys devotion of both the secular and the sacred kind, weaving tales of financial poverty and emotional richness with the fervency of James Brown, Rufus Thomas, and Marvin Gaye. He adapts such unlikely tunes as John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" to the Jamaican experience as effortlessly as he channels Gaye's influence with the original "Spiritual Healing." This wonderfully annotated two-CD set contains some of the best roots-reggae ever recorded.