Various Artists

Sir Lee's Rock Steady Party, Vol. 3: At Greenwich Farm

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This is the third volume in the Jamaican Gold label's series of Bunny Lee productions dating from 1967 through 1968. And if a disc stuffed with 20 tracks wasn't enough to grab your attention, the booklet alone is worth the price of admission. In an extensive interview, producer Lee provides a detailed history of his career, with particularly entertaining reminiscences of his early days as a record plugger that shed light on the rather dubious practices employed at the time. Bios of each of the artists are also included, as well as recording data on each of the tracks. In all, a mother lode of information. The album heavily features Glen Adams, who had just revived his solo career after stints with the Heptones and then the Pioneers. He subsequently established himself as a keyboardist, and here listeners find him in both roles -- he has three vocal tracks and is also the featured player on the instrumental "My Argument." That song's rhythm was utilized by the Uniques for their "My Conversation" hit, and the vocal group itself appears with two cuts, while former member Roy Shirley, another Lee pet, is showcased across four. Don T. Lee, the producer's brother, helped set the scene for rocksteady's shift to reggae with the hit "Regay Time" (aka "It's Reggae Time"), one of two of his songs found here. Add Max Romeo, Cynthia Richards (later of Zappow and Skin Flesh and Bones), Lester Sterling, and a number of equally talented artists who have since been mostly neglected, and you have one hell of a party, where hits, rarities, and previously unreleased material mingle happily.

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