Various Artists

Tighten Up, Vol. 2

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Defiantly diverse, the second volume of Trojan's legendary Tighten Up series has something for everyone and hits galore. Instrumentals were popular in the day, and this set boasts three: a pair of Upsetters classics, "Return of Django" and "Live Injection," and Clancy Eccles' bouncy "Fire Corner," a showcase for DJ King Stitt, known affectionately as the Ugly One. The Soul Sisters, for one, were willing to take on an ugly one, or any other man for that matter, on the lewd hit "Wreck a Buddy," a tart reply to Prince Buster's "Wreck a Pum Pum," with both songs abusing the melody from "Little Drummer Boy." Clancy Eccles, back again, was more discerning, showering his affection on a jumbo-sized lady on the infectious "Fattie Fattie." Dandy Livingstone, meanwhile, gave a whole new suggestive meaning to the term reggae with his anthemic "Reggae in Your Jeggae." For those of a more romantic nature, Joya Landis offered up the sultry "Moonlight Lover," while the Bleechers showed off their seduction technique on "Come into My Parlour." The Pioneers and the Soulmates offered up equally fabulous harmonies on the classic "Long Shot Kick the Bucket" and the exuberant "Them a Laugh and a Ki Ki," respectively. The Kingstonians were just as dulcet on "Sufferer," a suitably sufferer's song, but still set to a ludicrously upbeat melody. Rudy Mills' "John Jones" is just as jaunty, but his suffering is caused by a bully, not by poverty. Volume two runs the gamut, both musically and thematically, bundling up some of the best reggae releases of the year.

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