Peter Tosh

Premium Gold Collection

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How "premium" can a Peter Tosh collection be when it totally ignores the likes of "Get Up, Stand Up," "Equal Rights," and "Stepping Razor"? One look down the track list of this compilation, and it's immediately evident that what Premium Gold Collection is offering up is yet another trawl through the five studio sets that comprised Peter Tosh's post-Virgin career, and thus, for the uninitiated, omitting anything off of the former Wailer's masterful Legalize It or Equal Rights albums. Taking that into consideration, however, the selector created a splendid set that showcases the diversity of themes and eclectic styles Tosh employed down the years. The sweet rub-a-dub that infects "Reggaemylitis," the lavish orchestral strings that sweep across "In My Song," the extravagant brass and gospel-inflected chorus that explode across "No Nuclear War," and the Afro-beat-styled "Mama Africa" stand on one side of the spectrum, while the funk-fired "Where You Gonna Run," the sensational blues-meets-reggae of "Johnny B. Goode," the militant roots of "Bush Doctor," the fiery roots reggae of "Mystic Man," and the sharp-edged reggae of "Wanted Dread and Alive" stand on the other, showcasing the breadth of Tosh's music, and his ability to please both his hardcore Jamaican fans as well as northern audiences. Thematically too, Tosh was extraordinarily versatile. From highly introspective personal numbers to slap-downs to the opposite sex, touching paeans to his African homeland to scathing indictments of Babylon and her "Vampire"s, get-the-party-started pieces to heavyweight societal issues, Tosh's pen encompassed them all. Too many compilations tend to focus on the lightest and brightest of his canon, Premium Gold Collection, in contrast, presents a much more comprehensive look. Not reaching the platinum standard by any means, this collection is still worthy of a gold rating.

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