Various Artists - Songs For Reggae Lovers - Greensleeves - 2 CD.
A very good selection of music aimed at a wider market. Its got a love tune for everyone here By a wide selection of artists - Jacob Miller, Johnny Osbourne, John Holt, Dennis Brown in fact every major singer of love songs in the last 25 years! But what makes these kind of compilations interesting - are the the little known gems that often pop up on them. The first is Gregory Isaacs's 'Caught You In A Lie' where did that come from? It could be a Blacker Dread production from Gregory's last album on Greensleeves's- but that just a guess. But its one of Gregory's best. One CD2 the mystery tune for what of a better description is Freddie McGregor's ' 'Night Nurse' where did this comes from? Its a got a early nineties feel - but once again its a very good tune perhaps it might be an idea for someone to get Freddie to sing Gregory and Gregory to sing Gregory!!!
Various Artists - Spring Sampler 08 - Greensleeves
Good to see the Greensleeves Sampler back! Now its quarterly as well! This first shows that reggae is not lacking in talent. It might be lacking everything else but not talent. Thankfully the singers are back on form as well. O'Neil Peart is the first of them here that shows a lot of promise. First of all, I wonder if O'Neil Peart is the one called O'Neil Shines who used to record for the one called Prince Jazzbo? Anyway its a great song, and its a great vocal. Next up is Alborosie - he's got that Sizzla rambling vocal style - but this is a good tune - and bodes well for his debut album. Demarco is another new name. And its another great reality tune 'Better Jamaica' really does say it. Its been said before of course but until it happens it worth saying. Finally we reach Zareb. A vocal cut produced by Matt Downs taken from the up and coming dub set 'The Cake Must Slice' its a nice tune with a solid rhythm - recalling the sound of Derrick Harritt's Crystal production from the late seventies.
Various Artists - This Is Lovers Rock - Greensleeves
Never have been a great fan of Lovers Rock, the productions from Leonard Chin (Santic) and Sir George were always outstanding - but the combination of slow UK built rhythms with soft lyrics and even softer vocals never really made much sense to me. Thankfully Santic is present on this set with Donna Rhoden's 'Its True', and so is Carrol Thompson's 'I'm So Sorry' if the Lovers Rock producers had been able to maintain that kind of standard Lovers Rock would probably still be around today a genre. But as it stands it was just a 3 year romantic trip - that was unable to stand up to big change in the music that came with the arrival of dancehall.
VA - Greensleeves - Annual Report 2007 - Greensleeves
You can how much as changed at Greensleeves by a CD like this - 14 tracks and half of them are old - but this is no bad thing. No record company would leave this kind of material in the vault for as long as Greensleeves. The inclusion of John Holt 'Police In Helicopter' can only mean that the album can't be far behind for a reissue. But its the new tracks that show what Greensleeves are all about. Its so good to see Chezidek, Ras Shiloh and Natural Black with releases on Greensleeves three of the brightest talents in reggae without a doubt. And each with a classic album on the label. Very few labels could say that about there releases in one year. So based on all of this the Annual Report is a very very good one - and bodes very well for the future. Keep up the good works!
V/A - Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2007 - Greensleeves
When you said Dancehall for a while back in the eighties you know what that meant - with Ragga it was the same - from sometime in the early nineties its been going off in all directions - this latest set from Greensleeves is a good example of that - the opening tracks sound like rap - then when it hits Mr Vegas its more Soca than anthing else. Anthony B pulls it back together again - Ward 21 with Timberlee get it right back on track - even the next track from Beenie Man keeps that vibe going - but if you really want to hear Dancehall/Ragga at its very best - the excitement - the vibes call it what you want - its track 8 - Cham's 'Wha Dem Feel Like' produced by Dave Kelly - its like a masterclass in Dancehall production - Yes its ragga/dancehall - but you also know its reggae as well!! Hopefully the Madhouse will now be having regulary days out on the Greensleeves. The rest of the album is good as well - a shame that the DVD doesn't feature the Cham track - but that would be asking to much!
Various Artists - The Biggest Reggae One Drop Anthems 2007 - Greensleeves.
You had a feeling from day one that this was going to be a great series from Greensleeves. Its a very good idea - anything with a one drop rhythm can make it into this series. It could be a reality tune, it could be a love song - it just needs that one drop made famous by Carly Barrett of the Wailers (sorry the hired help) and sung about by Bob himself. 18 tracks of audio are available here - and then Greensleeves by giving away a bone fide DVD which contains 10 videos. Both audio and DVD are truly essential. New singer Ray Darwin is great on both formats great song/great DVD. Likewise is Chezidek his 'Call Pon Dem' is not only a great tune - but video is even better - its probably the best video I have seen - a marvel of FX. Hollywood comes to Jamaica! Etana a new woman reggae singer also comes out of nowhere with a great tune and video. A truly remarkable package - worth every penny.
Various Artists - From Dubplate to Download - Greensleeves
Companies like Trojan and Island - are given a lot of credit for breaking reggae music in the UK. But both of them only operated for a small amount of time in the reggae market. Trojan ceased to release new music from the mid seventies. A few great albums in the late seventies early eighties doesn't really count. Likewise with Island, dipping in and out of the reggae market from the early seventies to the present day. When it comes to Greensleeves, its a different. 30 years of outstanding - unbroken service. They deserve a gold watch or something! But this 30 track selection is a great celeberation of that service. Its the sort of thing that non reggae fans would buy to have some reggae in there collection - its that good. But even for reggae fans this a gathering of a lot of big hits in one place. Long may Greensleeves continue. Would be nice if they could have another big hit before the year is out.
Various Artists - Greensleeves 12" Rulers - Greensleeves
While the oldies market as grown and grown, one label as kept well from it - Greensleeves. And yet there catalogue is second to none from the late seventies onwards. That's a long time ago now. And the 12" release so popular back then is now in great demand. So what better way to present that era and the history of the label than to start this series. And what a way to start to it! Henry Junjo Lawes gave Greensleeves more hits than anyone else. And 11 track selections features some of his greatest productions. Yet what really appeals to me are tunes by people like Flick Wilson, Triston Palmer, and Barry Brown. These tunes played there part in the history of that era and are truly magnificent.
Various Artists - XXX Dancehall Anthems - Greensleeves.
Very much a state of mind kind of album. Trojan used to knock one of these kind of sets out every few years. This is probably something knew for dancehall in terms of never as so much slacknesss been in one place at the same time. With the massive growth of the sex industry in recent years - you could probably see every dj who works in a pole dancing place wanting one of these. For the rest of us - perhaps a free DVD or a sample of Chiney Brush or some kind of sex aid might make it more interesting! The tracks that work best comes from Ward 21 ' Da Pum', Lexxus 'Good Hole' also as its moments. But if you like slackness and need 18 tracks of it, this is for you!
Various Artists - Ragga Ragga Ragga 2o07 - Greensleeves
If you want to get a feel for what is going on in reggae music at any one time. Greensleeves's Ragga Ragga Ragga series is the best place to start. And if you come away wondering - you are not alone. One of the best tracks here Shaggy's 'Ruba Dub Wi Want' could have dropped out of some eighties compilation, but it works on every level. Lyrics, Vocal, Rhythm, its a very good tune. Another great tune is byMavado you can see why people are getting excited about him. Its another duo tune with Serani, but its a reality tune 'Dying' and is truly outstanding. Mavado pops up again with Busy Signal on 'Badman Place' another solid tune. Others present are Collie Buddz, Mr Vegas, Firelinks, who all make good contributions to a very good set.
Various Artists - Hi Grade Ganja Anthems - Greensleeves
This theme as been popular for a while now, and with Greensleeves sitting on a stack of such tunes - it was only a matter of time. Its funny to see John Holt alongside Wayne Wonder, who is alongside Jah Mason who is alongside Capital Letters. Whose's tune 'Smoking My Ganja' sounds really good. Its a shame that none of these UK bands - didn't make it beyond a few years. Each and everyone of them - have some kind of hit to their name which is a real credit to them. Other highlights would have to include Wayne Smith's 'Under Me Sleng Teng' sometimes the lyrics and they are very clever get forgotten about - yes it s a great rhythm, but it needed good lyrics and a great singer and Wayne Smith is both. And in a mini tribute to Junjo who help make Greensleeves the label that it is we get three massive hits produced by him on this theme. Frankie Paul 'Pass The Tu Sheng Peng', Josey Wales 'It A Fi Burn' and John Holt's 'Police In Helicopter'. You could not get any Higher Grade than them!!!
The Biggest Dancehall Anthems 2006 - Greensleeves
Even though the roots scene as not been as active as last year. The Ragga scene is still behind it. But with artists like Ding Dong, Busy Signal, Voicemail, and a few others - the Roots Scene as got to keep on its toes. Its a bit sad that the roots camp and the ragga camp are so far apart. But its been going in that direction for a long time. The type of rhythms found here could not be used by roots artists. This compilation from Greensleeves puts all the current ragga/dancehall artists on show - plus a few newcomers. People like Supahype is a good example. Old timers like Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Sizzla and even Ninjaman, Buru Banton and Yellowman are also present on this massive 40 track 2 cd set. The best tracks come from people like Ding Dong and Busy Signal.
Various Artists - The Biggest Reggae One Drop Anthems - Greensleeves - CD
The first One Drop Anthems was an event album from last year, in a year full of great solo debuts - that made it very special. It had a great mix of themes, new artists and producers. This two CD set is a worthy follow up to that album. Once again its the new artists that shine the most. Marlon Asher 'Ganja Farmer', Alaine 'Heavenly' and 'Jah Jah Cry', Alborosie 'Herbalist'. The newcomers from last year Gyptian, Fantan Mojah, and Natural Black are here. While artists like Richie Spice Jah Cure, and Ras Shiloh - are the link back to the cultural revolution of the nineties. Lots of new producers are included, Wayne Morris, Carl Henderson, Alborosie, and Matt Downs. You put all of this together and it creates a very positve vibe. 40 tracks presenting the very best of current roots music from Jamaica.
Various Artist - Ragga Ragga Ragga 2006 - Greensleeves
A quick listen to 'Ragga Ragga Ragga 2006' could lead one to thinking that one had gone back in time. This set is as got a very strong eighties feel to it. Its full of real bass lines as well. All the best tunes come from new artists as well. Busy Signal, gets three tunes here. He's going to big - very very big. Indonia is another one on the rise. Voicemail are already big. 'Get Crazy' is yet another great tune from them. Tony Mattherhorn and Dr. Evil are just weird. Both of them are probably fully paid up members of Lee Perry's fan club. Macka Diamond is coming along nicely - her debut album is now out. While on the veteran side of things its good to see Shabba with Vybz, that’s a nice touch. Likewise with Bounty Killer on the rampage.
Various Artists - Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2005 - Greensleeves - 2 CD.
2005, will go down as the year that the roots reggae scene finally came back into contention in reggae music. Even so the Ragga Dancehall is still going strong. Thankfully with a new set of heros lead by Voicemail, but which would also includeBusy Signal and people like Ward 21 who are always outstanding. Vybz Kartel is still coming along nicely as well. This is what this 2 CD set is all about. A celebration of the big dancehall hits of 2005 as well picking up on the trends. Anthony B came back well in 2005, and so did Bounty Killer, Macka Diamond still is very promising. While if you want to hear some really weird dancehall check out Dr Evil's 'No STD'!!! Still its music with a message.
V/A - The Biggest Reggae One Drop Anthems - Greensleeves 2CD. This set came as a total surprise, it was possibly the last thing you would expect Greensleeves to release, but they have, and what a collection this is! Jah Cure is featured seven times over the 40 tracks. And the man is great on every track. He's a real talent - lets hope his time in jail, will make him a better person. For there are enough people out deh who should be where he is - but who never will be. Such is the nature of justice in western so called society. Gyptian is another name now getting attention and its easy to see why. His two contributions are excellent roots tunes. Fantan Mojah whose's debut album is due for release on Greensleeves comes forward with three great tracks - once again superb roots music - well sung and produced. And there are many many many more on this set which is excellent. Finally perhaps the biggest surprise is the return of Little Hero, now called Hero, who was once simply known as Hero! His 'In The Ghetto' is yet another excellent reality song - that says it all!!
Various Artists - Ragga Ragga Ragga 2004 - Greensleeves CD
Compilations are now probably the mainstay of the reggae business and when that happens its probably means we are in for a massive shake up - and to be honest the business needs it. A V/A set should be a celebration of what is going on, but tunes like Richie Feelings 'Dancin; Class Part 2' and Tony Matterhorn & Richie Feelings 'All About Dancing 2' are just gimmick tunes. They have been around from time in all kinds of music. Out of the eighteen tracks Vybz Kartel gets 5 shots - whick kinda shows his status at the moment. He's big, but he needs something to make him a big bigger. Ward 21 with Bounty Killer provide the best track of the set, when they break - that will be something.
Rhythms dominate reggae music today, the one rhythm album as gone from a small time thing to a big business. Sooner or later someone needed to put together a selection of these rhythm, just the rhythms on one cd. And Greensleeves have, and this is it, 18 big rhythms from the last year or so. Starting with 'Divali' what else, and including, Mad Ants, Clappas, Mad Ants. Its a great idea. It would be interesting to see how many of these producers were around 5 years ago, or ten years ago. Jammys are still hot, sons, uncles, nephews included.King of Kings is up there with four mentions, Don Coreon, is after that with three and so. Hopefully this will turn into a series, its great to have the instrumental cut of this rhythms.
Forty massive hits dancehall tunes over two cds. With more stars than you can shake a stick at, (not that you would want to). Vybz Kartel is present with 'Sweet To The Belly' , Beenie Man gives us 'Row Like A Boat',TOK talk in ' Unknown Language', Elephant Man protests on 'No Hail Me', while Capleton jumps in with 'Roughest King'. The highlights on Disc Two would have to be. Elephant Man's great 'Genie Dance', Bounty Killer militant 'Sadda Dem' , TOK 'Goodas', Predator angry 'Mad'. A great selection from a great year in reggae music.
Various Artists - Ragga Ragga Ragga 2003 - Greensleeves A mixture of released and unrelased tracks from a wide range of Jamaican finest artists and producers - all the big stars are here, Beenie Man, Sean Paul, Ward 21, Elephant Man, Bounty Killer, Buju Banton. The best tracks come from Ward 21, the interplay on the Jammy James produced 'Petrol' is incredible. In times past Ward 21 would have a dozen albums by now, we don't need a dozen - but its time for acts like Ward 21 to be given a little bit more push. You can't keep these youths on the bench.
Various Artists - The Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2002 - Greensleeves - 2CD's
Greensleeves have now released more ragga/yard core material than anyone else in the UK. They know this market inside out and backwards. So if anyone is looking for the very best in yardcore look no more. Here it is. 40 tracks featuring hits, old stars, young stars, newcomers. A little bit of everything. The 'Diwali' rhythm pops up a number of times here and its no wonder being one of the biggest sellers of this year. Wayne Wonder's cut 'No Letting Up' still sounds like a pop hit, a big pop hit. Also on Disc one is T.O.K's 'Pengaleng' would like to know the full story of this song, its lyrics are so strange. Bounty Killer's 'Sufferer' one of his best tunes ever - is yet another cut of 'Diwali'
Disc two lights up with Tanya Stephens 'Mi Want Yuh' this woman must be due for a break somewhere along the way - her singjaying is so good. And she can write lyrics as well. T.O.K. jump up for another great tune 'Galong Gal'. They must be due for another set soon, and with tunes like this, its going to be a big hit. Elephant Man finsihes off the CD with 'The Bombing' There had to be some comment from reggae music about the events in NYC and this man says it all with great understand and respect.
Various Artists - The Biggest Dancehall Anthems - Greensleeves 2 CD set
With the Dancehall era now over twenty years old, it was clear that a lot of stuff would soon be on the streets again. But there was not a set that pulled it altogether - that had the big hits. Now there is. And only one company could pull this off Greensleeves. And with this two CD's set they have done the business. A truly magnificent collection, and if you think you have them all, think again. Such was the volume of the hits coming from Jamaica then it just wasn't possible to keep up. Barrington Levy pops up time and time again, and that's only right. The man was a massive hit making machine. So of course was Yellowman. Its a great selection - Line Up And Come as they would often say way back then. If you thought it sounded good then, its sounds a lot better now.
Various Artists - Reggae Sampler 23 - Greensleeves - CD
Meanwhile back in Jamaica a different set of names are keeping the place hot. And the hottest tune as got to be T.O.K 'Pengeleng' on the 'Hard Drive' rhythm sets it stands out, but the real shock value can really only be heard here. Nothing really comes anywhere near it. And there is some great music on this set. Elephant Man, Shabba Ranks. Capleton. Even Ward 21's 'President Of Hoochie Land' which is another hit waiting to hit. But its the vocal groups that are leading the way. Big time.
Various Artists - Ragga Ragga Ragga 16 - Greensleeves - CD
Greensleeves have taken the Ragga V/A to new audiences in recent years. It never looked like ragga was going to get this kind of widespread appeal - but 16 years after it first shocked out of the dance hall of Jamaica it as - big time. My favourites are here as well. People like Lexxus and Elephant Man. Good to see that Shabba can still rise to the occassion as well. Gold Voice and Spice are something new - which is nice. The producer list is remarkable as well - none of the big time producers from even five years ago are present. Reggae music is on the move again?
Various Artists - Conscious Ragga 3 - Greensleeves
Greensleeves started this series years ago. That's its taken so long for it to reach vol 3 could be looked upon in a negative way, but its better to celebrate its release. Greensleeves are only following a trend with regards to compilation albums, they didn't start it. It will be great when the label gets back to releasing more solo albums than anything else, because in the UK they have released more of them than anyone else. Anyway back to this 18 track set. It's got all the big names. And some fantastic tracks. My favourite track is Beenie Man's 'Ganja Farm' produced by Richie Stephens - what a tune. Also outstanding is the Garnett Silk track 'Hard Nut To Crack'.
Various Artists - Reggae Sampler 22 - Greensleeves.
These days its become hard to work out the difference from between the this series and the 'Ragga Ragga Ragga', series both contain x amount of big hits. But to reinforce the idea that the sampler is supposed to be a bit different they pulled in music from the likes of Garnett Silk, Morgan Heritage, Luciano, Bushman, and Sanchez for this selection. So once again those looking for an up to date selection of reggae that covers all the styles - can find it all in one place! Perhaps not the strongest in the series, but still worth having.
Various Artists - Ragga Ragga Ragga 15 - Greensleeves
Now when it comes to Ragga this series is still one of the leaders in the field. All the big names along with all the big hits are here. Bounty Killer, Capleton, Sizzla, Ward 21 (What happened to their debut album?) Mr Vegas, Lexxus, Red Rat. And it's good to see Wayne Marshall with three tracks on this set. He's a great singer/songwriter who's move to Jamaica makes sense - but does make me wonder why he can't get a real break in this country. A fantastic selection of tracks 18 in total from a wide range of producers.
Greensleeves Records - The First 25 Years
It just seems impossible that it was 25 years ago when Greensleeves released its first records, but it is. And to celebrate this fact, the company have gone into promoting their huge back catalogue - well some of them at a very special price. It's like a birthday present to all reggae fans. The label is full of classic releases. And it wouldn't be possible to mention them all, but here are just a few outstanding releases.
Dr Alimantado - The Best Dressed Chicken In Town.
The very first album release on Greensleeves. The good doctor had taken the reggae world by storm in late seventies. He was singing/deejaying and everything else in between. The title track recorded at Lee Perry's Black Ark studio pulls it all together. 'I Killed The Barber' though is a true classic as well. All the rest of the 14 tracks just confrim how great Alimantado was and still is.
Augustus Pablo - Original Rockers
One of the first great compilations - of the late great Augustus Pablo. The tunes on this set were all classics but were so hard to find, it made perfect sense for someone to put them altogether. Just look at the credits mixed at King Tubby's by Phillip Smart, King Tubby and Prince Jammy. These engineers took Pablo's instrumentals and turned them into dub - a sound which even today cannot be reproduced!
Eek A Mouse - Wa Do Dem
By 1982 The Dance Hall Style was in full swing, nothing could stop it, Henry Junjo Lawes had all the big artists, and he was adding new artists to that roster all the time. With Eek A Mouse he was changing things up in a big way. First of all what was this giant of a man. A singer a deejay! Eek knew, he was a singer, and he was but not in thr traditional sense. What a set! Rough rhythms, great mixing and Eek!
Here is the full list of Greensleeves Reggae Classics
Dr. Alimantado - Best Dressed Chicken In Town
Augustus Pablo - Original Rockers
Ras Michael - Rastafari
King Tubby/ Roots Radics - Dangerous Dub
Wailing Souls - Firehouse Rock
Eastwood & Saint - Two Bad DJ's
Scientist - Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires
Eek A Mouse - Wa Do Dem
Yellowman - Mister Yellowman
Freddie McGregor - Big Ship
Don Carlos - Day To Day Living
Various Artists - Live At Aces
John Holt - Police In Helicopter
Half Pint - One In A Million
Dennis Brown - Slow Down
Gregory Isaacs - Red Rose For Gregory
Barrington Levy - Here I Come
Shabba Ranks - Rappin With The Ladies
Various Artists - Hardcore Ragga
Capleton - Alms House
Shaggy - Pure Pleasure
Bounty Killer - Jamaica's Most Wanted
Garnett Silk - Lord Watch Over Our Shoulder
Beenie Man - Maestro
Bush Man - Nyah Man Chant
The current ragga scene is a fast moving here today gone tomorrow situation that makes the orgins of it back in the mid-eighties look very genteel. Beenie Man, Bounty Killer and Buju are almost regarded as veterans in a scene like this. The problem for anyone wanting to keep up with this scene is how to do it, you can buy the pre’s coming in from Jamaica every week (or try do) but 2,60 a pop it’s going to become an expensive excercise. The alternative is to check out ‘Ragga Ragga Ragga’ and ‘The Samplers’ series both from Greensleeves.
Various Artists - Ragga Ragga Ragga 13’ - Greensleeves- CD.contains hit tunes from the likes of Mr.Vegas, Red Rat, Sean Paul, Ward 21, Scare Dem, Lady Saw, Beenie Man, Goofy, Hawkeye, Elephant Man and Harry Toddler, but the star here is without doubt , The African Horseman, Mr Black & White _- the one and only Zebra. His own special form of madness can be heard twice, once on ‘Right Type Of Love’ and again on ‘Unfair You Know’.
Various Artists - Ragga Ragga Ragga 14 - Greensleeves - CD. In the past big rhythmic changes in reggae music have always been given a name. The last big change was of course 'Ragga' in 1985. The problem is now, that is not ragga, never was, never could be. Its deepest root is the work done by Lee Perry and Andy Capp back in late sixties. Both these producers were mixing two musical forms together dub and deejaying.This here is more deejaying than dub, but it's the same idea. More culture can be found on Bush Man’s excellent ‘Fire Bun A Weak Heart’ and Sizzla & Luciano’s ‘In This Time’.
Various Artists - Sampler 19 - Greensleeves - CD
Traditionally Greensleeves ‘Samplers’ have been more restrained. Not so this volume(19) Included here are virtually all the above with the addition of Burro Banton ‘Boom Wah Dis’ which is probably the comeback tune of the decade. Alongside more from Zebra, who this time is in a more cultural mood with ‘Selassie Warning’.