Adding considerably to their stock of rocksteady and early reggae releases under Joe Gibbs' name, Trojan has released this 26-track collection spotlighting the producer's 1967-1968 output for his own Amalgamated label. While other discs cover more of Gibbs' early reggae and reggae sides, here the focus is on his earliest rocksteady material. And while Lee Perry actually oversaw most of the sessions these cuts were culled from, Gibbs' unerring ear for talent and taste in backing bands is felt throughout. Stellar vocal groups like the Pioneers and the Versatiles were regular Gibbs artists, while unique solo singers like Errol Dunkley and Roy Shirley made some of their best records with the producer. In addition to fine contributions by these acts, the collection also includes fine instrumentals by Tommy McCook and Neville Hinds, as well as more vocal treats by the Overtakers, the Mellotones, Dennis Walks, and Jackie Robinson. The rock-solid support comes from guitarist Lynn Tait & the Jets (who come up with some fine instrumentals of their own here), which featured such Jamaican musical luminaries as pianist Gladstone Anderson, organist Leslie Butler, drummer Joe Isaacs, tenor saxophonist Felix "Deadly Headley" Bennett, and trumpeter Bobby Ellis. A fine disc tailor-made for the discriminating fan of vintage Jamaican sounds.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook