Delroy Wilson

The Best of Delroy Wilson [Anthology]

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Even at the time, fans must have been scratching their heads at this collection. How could one possibly title this set The Best of Delroy Wilson when it doesn't include "Better Must Come," "I'm Still Waiting," or "Cool Operator," his biggest hits from the '70s? Perhaps if United Artists had called it "The Best of Delroy Wilson at Studio One," aficionados would have been less confused, but then they'd still want to know why his much-loved "Dancing Mood" was missing. But never mind that, because the dozen songs bundled up here are all just as good. This set is drawn exclusively from the Studio One archives, with numbers recorded between 1966-1968, thus encompassing Wilson's late ska, rocksteady, and early reggae recordings. And what a spectacular series of songs it was. Virtually every number was a hit, with the brooding "Riding for a Fall," adamant "Trying to Conquer Me," and exuberant "True Believer" among the biggest smashes of the batch. Also of note are "(We're) Gonna Make It," a sensational duet with Hortense Ellis, the dreamy "Feel the Spirit" (aka "Mr. DJ"), and the evocative "Run Run Free" (aka "Run Run"). From Wilson's own stunning compositions to sensational covers (check out his superb take of the Temptations' "Get Ready"), every track is a standout. Amazingly, Wilson was still in his teens when the bulk of these songs were recorded, and it says much about his phenomenal talent that even better was to come.