Jimmy Riley

20 Classic Hits

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As a member of classic Jamaican vocal groups the Sensations and the Uniques in the 1960s, Jimmy Riley had his share of timeless hits. As a solo artist, however, Riley has been steady and professional without being particularly innovative or explosive, as this collection of tracks from the 1970s and 1980s, many of them produced by the team of Sly & Robbie, makes obvious. Included is Riley's biggest solo success, "Love and Devotion," a sincere bit of lovers rock, along with some compelling covers (Curtis Mayfield's "My Woman's Love," Hall & Oates' "Every Time You Go Away"), some not so compelling covers (Sting's "Set You Free"), some mild dancehall ("Come Back Baby"), and a trio of solid conscious roots originals, "World for Everyone," "Trigger Happy," and "Poor Immigrant." Truthfully, Riley is probably best appreciated in a group context, where his sweet voice and knack for harmonies comes across strongest. Still, 20 Classic Hits is pleasant and professional and covers the highlights of his early solo years in competent fashion.

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