Various Artists

Rock On: Greatest Hits from the Observer Label

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Heartbeat continues to mine the rich vein of reggae hits produced by Winston Niney Holness for his Observer label during the 1970s with this generous collection, which offers a wealth of recently discovered singles and previously unreleased versions of familiar material from such reggae legends as Gregory Isaacs, the Mighty Diamonds, Dennis Brown, and Junior Byles. The extended disco mix of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" by Michael Rose is a completely different version than that found on Black Uhuru's album of the same name, and the extended version of "Paymaster" that leads off the program finds Isaacs working in tandem with DJ Ranking Buckner (whose delivery, it must be said, is not as strong as one might have liked). There is yet another take on Niney's own "Blood and Fire" rhythm, and Byles delivers his classic "Weeping" in combination with the great DJ I-Roy. Ken Boothe, Freddie McGregor, and Cornel Campbell all put in appearances as well. Very highly recommended.

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