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Joe Gibbs Scorchers From The Mighty Two

Joe Gibbs Scorchers From The Mighty Two

Joe Gibbs Scorchers From The Mighty Two

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Yet another Joe Gibbs reissue from 17 North Parade, but with tunes this good, who's complaining?


Joe Gibbs Reggae Anthology 2008 Mighty TwoThe furious onslaught of posthumous Joe Gibbs reissues continues with this two-disc set-devoted to the golden age of productions by Joe and his spar, (former engineer for Clive Chin at Randy’s) Errol Thompson. That the Chins are reissuing Gibbs work through an offshoot of VP strengthens the historic ties between the dynasties, which once operated from the same street.
Right now it seems like every largish label is reaching for their back catalogue to snare the first time reggae buyer. So we get Culture’s 'Two Sevens Clash', Dennis Brown’s 'Money In My Pocket' (the 1978 Thompson engineered version, not the 1972 original chaired by his predecessor, Niney Holness) Marcia Griffiths recut of 'I’m Still In Love', and its UK chart topping deejay piece 'Uptown Top Ranking' - ensuring nobody has to hear the unfamiliar for too long!

But once the first disc is in full swing, the killers come thick and fast. Gregory Isaacs sounds as weary and deliberate as the rhythm he sings over for 'Babylon Too Rough', while Naggo Morris wails above a hobbling brittle arrangement for 'Su Su Pan Rasta’s' sombre lament. The American dread Dhaima – who in all honesty couldn’t quite sing in tune most of the time – is at her very best for her masterwork 'Inna Jah Children', whose breakdown of tough clavinet and swooping sax, along with keyboards that wouldn’t have sounded out of place in a progressive rock epic show a complexity that suggests Gibbs productions “meat n two veg” reputation is not entirely deserved. Also present are two stone cold classics from the equally untrained – yet somehow always successful - Sylford Walker: 'Jah Golden Pen' (with a different lead vocal and additional harmonies to the arguably superior 7” release) and guitar driven nod along classic 'Burn Babylon'.

This being a 17 North Parade reissue, you’ll find the usual bonus extras. 'Money In My Pocket', Lloyd Parks’ 'Officially', Ruddy Thomas’ 'Loving Pauper', 'Su Su Pon Rasta', Culture’s 'See Them A Come' and JC Lodge’s cover of Charley Pride’s 'Someone Loves You Honey' all segue into strong deejay cuts, so you can imagine listening to them on a sound.

VP have really saturated the market with Gibbs material of late, and there is a danger some of these great works getting lost in the rush. But, like their sister company Greensleeves, they deserve praise for slipping a few underrated jewels into these anthologies rather than taking the easy route of releasing the big tunes over and over again Groundhog Day style.

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