John Holt

I Can't Get You Off My Mind: 18 Greatest Hits at Studio One

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Although the phrase "18 Greatest Hits" appears as a subtitle on the cover, this by no means concentrates exclusively on John Holt's most popular recordings; you won't find "Help Me Make It Through the Night" here. Rather, it focuses on the Clement Dodd-produced material he cut for Studio One in the late '60s and the early '70s. Not that there's anything wrong with such a compilation, as this period yielded some of Holt's most enduring recordings, whether alone or (as was the case for three of the tracks) with the Paragons. With most of the songwriting is credited to the team of Holt and Dodd (though there's a dandy cover of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord"), it's a fine set of sweetly sung tunes from the time when rocksteady was changing into early reggae music, sometimes moody ("Strange Things"), sometimes happy-go-lucky ("Happy Go Lucky Girl," natch), sometimes with early dubbish effects ("Change Your Style"), sometimes with echoes of Drifters-like soul ("Depth of Love"), sometimes even with light orchestration ("Tonight"). Two of the tracks ("Anywhere" and "My Sweet Lord") make their CD debut here, while seven others are, in the words of the track listing, an "original stereo mix previously unreleased on CD." The appeal of I Can't Get You off My Mind: 18 Greatest Hits at Studio One isn't limited to the collectors who care about such distinctions, however; it's top-notch, varied early reggae, and more consistent than the usual single-artist anthology of the genre.

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