Delroy Wilson

Doing My Own Thing: Hard to Find Hitpicks 1971-75

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Jamaica's diminutive Delroy Wilson was as soulful a singer as the island ever produced, and like Marvin Gaye, whose phrasing and timing Wilson much admired, he made almost everything he recorded sound casually sincere. Arguably his most striking tracks were done in the late 1960s at Studio One, but there's nothing wrong with this set, either, most of which was recorded in the early- to mid-'70s with producer Bunny Lee (two tracks here, "Rascal Man" and "Dub Stairs," were actually produced by Niney). Wilson's two most famous songs with Lee from this period, "Cool Operator" and "Better Must Come," are absent from this collection, but don't let that stop you from giving Doing My Own Thing a try, since cuts like the title track and "I Can't Explain" are every bit as strong. There are even two Gaye songs here that Wilson makes his own, the little known "I'm Yours, You're Mine" and the funky, ominous "Baby Don't You Do It." That Wilson isn't better known outside of Jamaica seems criminal, and this single-disc compilation makes an excellent attempt to rectify that. Truthfully, Wilson deserves a fully annotated box set, but until then Doing My Own Thing combined with Heartbeat's Original Twelve selection of Studio One material will give listeners a fair sense of this wonderful singer.

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