Roberto Delgado

Dancing Under Tropical Skies

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By 1980, the Roberto Delgado team was experienced enough to play any style they wanted, without covering original source materials. All the songs on Dancing Under Tropical Skies are written by Europeans, with Wende himself credited on eight of the twelve tracks. What results is a reggae-based album of well-produced easy listening pop. What sets it apart from other similar Delgado records is the accompaniment of the Original Trinidad Steel & Show Band, who provide steady rhythmic support, and the Birds of Paradise, sweet female backing vocalists in a white-bread approximation of the I-Threes. The result isn't half-bad. While the album certainly won't be confused with any of Lee "Scratch" Perry's recordings, the essential riddim is well-approximated, and the vibe is, for the most part, good. There are some duff songs though -- the unfortunate "Do You Voodoo" is a funky attempt at a disco hit, while the Delgado-penned "Plenty Plenty of Money" features an uncredited lead vocalist singing faux-patois. While it is obvious Delgado and his crew still had considerable talent in the studio, and his arranging ability was still top-notch, the inspiration is obviously evaporating as quickly as their fan base, leaving Dancing Under Tropical Skies a faded postcard from a long-forgotten beachside discotheque.

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