Toots & The Maytals: Frederick "Toots" Hibbert (vocals); Raleigh Gordon, Jerry Mathias (background vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Ernest Ranglin, Jerome "Jah Jerry" Hinds (guitar); Lester Sterling (alto saxophone); Roland Alphonso (tenor saxophone); Baba Brooks (trumpet); Don Drummond (trombone); Jackie Mittoo, Harold Butler (piano); Steve Winwood (organ); Wally Badarou (keyboards); Lloyd Brevett, Lloyd Mason, Robbie Shakespeare (bass); Lloyd Nibbs, Paul Douglas, Sly Dunbar (drums); Densil Laing (percussion).
Producers include: Warrick Lynn, Chris Blackwell, Byron Lee, Prince Buster, Leslie Kong.
Compilation producer: Dana G. Smart.
Includes liner notes by Dana G. Smart.
Recording information: Ardent Studios, Memphis, TN; Dynamic SOunds Studio, Kingston, Jamaica; Federal Studios, Kingston, Jamaica; Harry J Studio.
For those who don't want or can't afford to plonk out for the Toots & the Maytals' Time Tough: The Anthology, The Very Best Of provides the perfect solution, distilling down that two-CD, 41-track set to a single 19-song disc. There are a few subtle differences, however; for starters this set boasts two different versions of the band's reggae smash "54-46, That's My Number," as well as the original ska version of their Jamaican Song Festival winner "Bam Bam," unlike the anthology, which included only a later remodel. However, the "Never You Change" found on this set is not the trio's original ska hit, but a reggae-fied remake. The rest of the album pulls directly from the anthology, with the disc divided almost evenly between the trio and a solo Hibbert's pre- and post-Island career. Thus, for those who prefer the Maytals' ska and/or reggae hits, this is not the collection for you, as there are much better compilations of those periods. But for fans looking for a larger overview of both the band and Hibbert himself, this is an excellent place to start. ~ Jo-Ann Greene