The title of The Original Labour of Love Collection: 25 Trojan Reggae Classics might lead reggae fans familiar with UB40's all-covers Labour of Love albums to believe that this set collects similar material. While it does contain versions of Motown classics, Neil Diamond tunes, and so on, this isn't exclusively a covers compilation; the "labour of love" in the title simply refers to the label's work in releasing ska, rock-steady, and reggae records over the years. And it is a very good collection, drawing material from throughout reggae's history and making up for its sometimes incoherent stylistic juxtapositions by choosing high-quality songs. Artists present include Ken Boothe, the Melodians, Bob Marley & the Wailers, U-Roy, John Holt, Jimmy Cliff, and more.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Huey