Mostly taken from the albums Boothe cut with producer Lloyd Charmers in the early '70s, 18 Classic Songs represents the peak of Boothe's long career. And while both his rocksteady work for Clement "Coxsone" Dodd and early-reggae sides with Leslie Kong are classics in their own right, the marriage of Charmers' sophisticated charts and Boothe's gruff and soulful voice really hit the heights. This was Boothe's most successful stretch, too, as he scored the British hits "Everything I Own" and "Crying Over You." These and many other fine Charmers sides are included here. Along with two solid originals of his own, "Silver Words" and "Black, Gold, & Green," Boothe also makes fine work of such contemporary soul hits as Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" and Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," not to mention a worthy rendition of Marley's "No Woman, No Cry." Topped off with one of his biggest hits for Kong, "Freedom Street," this roundup of Boothe's early-'70s work is a must for fans of classic soul-drenched reggae.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook