John Holt - 1000 Volts Of Holt - Trojan - 2CD
Commercial Reggae peaked with this set. Trojan had experimented with The Pioneers, Nicky Thomas, Bruce Ruffin, Tito Simon using strings and pop cover songs. This album was the most successful in terms of sales and construction but reggae direction had already changed, and nothing could alter that. This 2 CD set is more interesting to John Holt fans because of the bonus disc, a 25 track set that's got most of John Holt big hits. Some of them do sound a little strange here - perhaps that could be looked into. While back on Disc One you have 8 bonus tracks that are free of string arragements - a sort of before and after thing.
John Holt - In Symphony With The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra - With Special Guest Freddie McGregor - Jet Star - Video/DVD/CD
Wouldn't be nice to see this on TV! Big People's it called. That is an insult. It's music that was made with a different spirit. All of the great Jamaican singers grew up listnening to Nat King Cole and the great singers of the fifties. That tradition - was Big. Big Bands. It was a full sound. It made big record companies a lot of money, and it cost a lot of money to do. Yet John Holt was given that treatement back in the early seventies. It worked very well for a time and the man made lots of new fans. John Holt returned to his roots, but this video was about those few years when John could and should played Las Vegas. The London Apollo is not Las Vegas, but this project was given all that respect that it could be given, and for one night only it could have been! A special mention to Freddie McGregor who played a very vital part in a great night of good old fashioned entertainment.
John Holt - The Very Best Of - Hallmark - CD
John Holt is having a bit of a renaissence at this time, what with the re-issuing of four titles on two CDs with Trojan (Dusty Roads & the a couple of the "Volts of Holt" series, and the See for Miles re-issue on CD of the Still in chains & Holt albums back to back, this compilation (retailing for a healthy £2.99) carries on the tradition.It is all to east to dismiss Mr. Holt for his plethora of love & pop covers as he has been popular with the Reggae buying public since his days with The Paragons at Treasure Isle.The currently compilation covers the mid 70s with do-overs of his own and others material including "Stick by me", a Reggae version of Delroy Wilson's Ska, "Riding for a fall", a cut of Slim Smith's "Everybody needs love" (on the original Bunny Lee rhythm), a tinny re-cut of his classic Rock Steady and Reggae hits "Stealing, stealing", "I'll be lonely", "Left with a broken heart" and The Gaylads' "She want it".
The tunes start out being backed by musicians then move on to soapy digital rhythms (listen to the musical murder of Wilson Picketts' "In the midnight hour" (although the vocal delivery is faultless) !
All in all this album lacks the strong material making it feel more like a cash-in album of covers cheaply put together. Unless your a John Holt fan that has to have everything he has recorded, then this best be avoided
John Holt - Up Park Camp - Channel One - 1977
Despite all the success that John Holt, had with the Paragons, and producers Coxsone, Prince Buster and Duke Reid The simple fact remains that John Holt is best known for his '1000 Volts Of Holts' pop reggae album. Yet by the time this album was released he badly needed to regain some crediabilty within the reggae audience and with Channel One probably being the hottest studio in Jamaica at the time, this was a good place to start. A great selection of songs, well sung and well produced.
John Holt - Sweetie Come Brush Me - Volcano - 1982
Channel One was a good place to start, but it didn't continue. And within a couple of years, he was out of step again with the music of the time. He really needed a top producer to work with again. In the early eighties no one was bigger than Henry Junjo Lawes. And this album is one of his best production works. Well built Roots Radics rhythms, lift John Holt's singing and songwriting up to new heights. Songs like the title track was something new to John Holt, and yet he sung them with true respect and style.
John Holt - Police In Helicopter - Greensleeves - 1983
A year later, and look at the title track of this album! All the goodness of his last album is built upon for this set, also produced by Junjo. With a major difference being that the title track was a massive reggae hit in the UK, followed by another a recut of 'A Love I Can Feel' which isn't on the album. Still enough great track are. Great songs like 'Last Train', one of the best 'Train' songs of recent years, likewise with 'Reality' a moving song of Rastafarian faith - sung from the heart.
John Holt - Why I Care - Greensleeves - 1989
Every new era in the music provides a certain group of artists, John Holt included, a chance to show once again what great singers they are. What troubles me is that they never seem to be able to build on any new found success. Let's be clear, these singers have nothing to prove. They are respected by one and all, but why wasn't this album produced by John Holt? Good love songs and life songs all written by John, great production from Red Man - a magnificent LP. How about produced by Johh Holt on the next LP?