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Dread Meets Greensleeves: A Westside Revolution

Dread Meets Greensleeves: A Westside Revolution

Dread Meets Greensleeves: A Westside Revolution

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There's something awfully familiar about Greensleeves latest celeb selection.


The celebrity endorsed compilation has become a key player in the drive to get people buying reggae in the current climate, enticing newbies and bothering fanboys in equal measure. The main grumble is that the famous person in question selects little that is rare or unusual, instead putting their name to the same perennial reissues from the vaults.

At first glance Greensleeves latest entry in the field, bearing the approval of filmmaker and DJ Don Letts, looks particularly guilty of this. Many of the tunes have already appeared on one - and in some cases several - Greensleeves retrospectives in the last 12 months (The Wailing Souls’ War, Eek-a-Mouse’s Wa Do Dem, Michigan and Smiley’s Diseases, Home T, Cocoa T & Shabba’s Pirates Anthem, Frankie Paul’s Pass The Tu Sheng Peng, Wayne Smith’s Sleng Teng, Shaggy’s Oh Carolina, Krystal & Shabba’s Twice My Age, Mr Vegas’ Heads High, Beenie Man’s Who Am I, and Alozade’s Under Mi Sensi) suggesting Mr Letts simply agreed to an assortment of tracks deemed most likely to sell.

Dread Meets Greensleeves: A Westside Revolution

However, closer inspection does reveal a few more interesting and personal choices – none of them lost gems – but certainly indicating a touch more imagination than several of Trojan’s efforts. Ras Michael’s None Of Jah Jah Children, the daily bread of many a roots sound devotee, makes a welcome appearance, as does Johnny Osbourne’s killer Fally Ranking, and Junior Delgado’s serene Love Tickles Like Magic. Wayne Wade’s Poor & Humble is another solid choice that hasn’t graced any recent Greensleeves collections, although it can’t match the absent later cut on the same rhythm by Junior Reid, Who A Di Big Man.

All in all, Letts takes the rep of the “sleb comp” up a notch with some of his less hackneyed picks, creating a disc that placates and educates in one go. Here’s hoping though that one day – be it through the rise of dubstep or a solution to the filesharing issue – there’ll be enough interest in reggae to render chucking out the same old hits ad infinitum obsolete.

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