Frankie Paul

20 Massive Hits

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The title is a misnomer; there aren't 20 Massive Hits here, not that even that many would begin to do justice to Frankie Paul's prolific propensity for placing discs in the charts. A more appropriate title would be 20 Classic Vintage Cuts, because that is what you get. With a distinct lack of information provided, buyers are left to work out for themselves just what they're getting. And what precisely is that? A set drawn exclusively from the mid-'80s, and culling mainly from three magnificent Paul albums, one cut for Junjo Lawes, and the other two for George Phang. The Lawes cuts bundle up five numbers off the singer's mighty Pass the Tu-Sheng-Peng set, backed by the Roots Radics and including the smash hit title track (under an alternate spelling), the equally impressive "Jump No Fence" (retitled "Curfew in the Dace"), the magnificent "War Is in the Dance" (aka "Worries in the Dance"), "Hooligan," and the equally crucial "If You" (mistitled "It's You"). Also tossed in is the fabulous "Fire de a Mus Mus Tail," a hit not included on the Tu-Sheng set. The Phang productions are drawn almost exclusively from Paul's equally classic Tidal Wave set and the excellent Alesha album, and include both sets' hit title tracks. Phang made his name off the back of a batch of superb militant rootsy rhythms supplied by Sly & Robbie and their Taxi Gang, and their rhythms fire the rest of this compilation. Thus, even if this isn't the ultimate collection of Paul's greatest hits, this is one of the best roundups from this period in the singer's extraordinary career. Admittedly a stream of spectacular Jammys singles was still to come, but these earlier hits and crucial cuts have their own inestimable charms and power.

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