Great music!!! Definitely not only for hardcore reggae fans!
Simone Oltolina | Morbio Inferiore, TI Switzerland | 01/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Is it me or Trojan is quickly becoming the Rhino of Reggae music? I mean, they're putting out amazing music no one else seems to care about, bundled with top liner notes and a nice packaging, just like Rhino... Enough with the label, let's get down to the music: the booklet starts off by saying that if Ken Boothe had been born in the US, he'd have probably become a star of soul music, on par with, say, Otis Redding... My humble opinion is that there might be a good deal of truth in that sentence, they didn't call him "the wilson pickett of jamaican music" for nothing! This is an highly rewarding collection of tracks. There are highlights and there are also a few songs that I don't like of course but on the whole this is an EXCELLENT release...If you liked this you might want to try "anthology: money in my pocket 1970-1995" by Dennis Brown (also on Trojan and an equally painstaking collection)"
Jamaica's golden voice
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 09/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ken Boothe is a phenomenal singer, with a soulful, gorgeous voice and a timbre that is one of the most resplendent I have ever heard.
Born in Kingston in 1946, Ken started recording as a teenager, and this 2 disc set covers the first 15 years of his career; as with all anthologies that span many years, it is uneven in quality, and the early recordings from the mid-late '60s do not compare with later recordings when his voice had more depth and richness (although on Disc 1 two songs Ken wrote, track # 6, "Live Good", and especially track # 26 "Can't See You" are spectacular).On Disc 2, the showstopper is a song from the U.K. called "Is it Because I'm Black" (Wilson/Sawyer). The artistry and power of the performance is thrilling, and the song itself is terrific, and includes a great trumpet solo.
Other songs of note on this second disc are several good covers, notably Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine", and Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff". David Gates' "Everything I Own" which was such a big hit for Bread, was a hit for Ken in the U.K., staying at # 1 for several weeks on the music charts.
More standouts are two songs by Lambert/Potter, "Blood Brothers" and "Who Gets Your Love", and a self-penned song "You're No Good", with Ken's voice at its peak of strength and emotion.Anyone who likes reggae, or soul singing, will love Ken Boothe. The sound quality in most of the tracks suffers from age and perhaps poor production, but Ken's extraordinary voice makes up for the deficiencies. There are extensive liner notes (though you will need a magnifying glass), and though the collection is a mixed bag, I feel it deserves 5 stars. Total time on Disc 1 is 72'48, and on Disc 2 is 75'21."