Various Artists

The Magnificent 14

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As was hinted at in the movie The Harder They Come, Westerns were enjoyed by a large number of Jamaicans, especially rudeboys. This Trojan compilation reveals the musical end of the influence, with 14 early reggae instrumentals bearing the name and inspiration of many a classic gun-fighting and whiskey-soaked films. Director Sergio Leone and his spaghetti western star, Clint Eastwood, are particularly celebrated, as the Upsetters ("The Good, the Bad, and the Upsetters"), Derrick Harriott & the Crystalites ("Fistful of Dollars"), and Gladstone Anderson ("Dollars and Cents") pay homage to the Italian director and Man With No Name on some mean and dusky grooves packed with sinuous organ lines and tight rhythm accompaniment. Other movies and actors also get their due, thanks to Clancy Eccles' "Van Cleef," Rupie Edwards Allstars' "Magnificent Seven," and Richard Ace's "Hang 'Em High." Deftly incorporating various western themes into the mix -- and nicely providing "ghost-town" atmospherics on an array of instruments -- all the contributors here do right by celluloid's modern Wild West heroes.

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