Harry Belafonte

Island in the Sun [Pair]

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Vintage Belafonte, this compilation of two separate '50s albums is named after the 1957 film in which Belafonte co-starred with James Mason and Joan Fontaine. There are some familiar hits here, including "Mama Look-a Boo Boo" (a song from the novelty side of the calypso coin), "Matilda" (about a girl who takes the money and goes to Venezuela), and the proto-feminist "Man Smart (Woman Smarter)."

Less familiar but no less worthy tracks include the politically astute "Brown Skin Girl," the completely (and deliberately) silly "Scratch, Scratch" (the song's protagonist is bummed out at a party because he's got an itch). The concluding "Land of Sea and Sun," however, is a ringer--a late '60s track with a Memphis soul feel, it's hard to imagine why it's been included in this collection.

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