Various Artists

Legends of Calypso

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A collection licensed from the Goombay Life archives featuring some of the greats of calypso's early days. Andre Toussaint, Calypso Mama, Blind Blake, and Mighty Panther all hand in a number of performances. As usual, the lyrical fare deals with gossip of the day and/or a good deal of sexual innuendos and double entendres. The music is a basic two-beat lope with guitars, drums, and any other nearby instrument, depending on the song. These are the classic standards of the genre -- from Mighty Panther's "Big Bamboo" to a number of songs made famous later by Harry Belafonte. The performances are all above the standard, with the legends putting out their most famous pieces. There are a number of old calypso compilations available, most of which come from the same archives. It's the song choices that separate one from the next. As such, this one makes a good show for the lead against its rival compilations, featuring the best shows of the various aspects of the old genre while staying relatively clear of non-Trinidadian items (though not completely, of course).

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