Various Artists

Now This is What I and I Call Version

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This is what you might call taking the concept of the 12-inch single to extremes: 14 versions of the same reggae song, utilizing the same backing track from the "original" version, Slim Smith's 1969 cover of the Temptations' "Everybody Needs Love." Smith's rendition was a nice record, with a high soulful vocal, organ, and sensual rhythm track. It's included here, as well as 13 variations by 13 different artists, most of which sound like they were waxed in the early to mid-'70s (the liner notes are vague about exact dates). It's almost like running the track through a series of lab tests, altered with the addition of horns, dub reverb, and DJ rapping. The sheer lunacy of placing all these versions together makes it an ideal selection for that moment when party guests have overstayed their welcome and you need to clear the room. As a listening experience, though, it's better than you might think, because the bed track is very good, and the manipulations of it are mostly imaginative.