Alton Ellis was one of the true originals and innovators of the Jamaican ska and reggae sound. Right up there with Bob Marley, Prince Buster and Desmond Dekker. He originated the rocksteady beat that would become the staple of the British two tone movement. He was a fine recording artist who knocked out a whole range of classic tracks in his own unique style.
Recorded in 1967 for the Studio One label, this is a fine collection of tracks. Ellis takes well known material and gives it the rocksteady treatment (the best ever version of whiter shade of pale is to be found here) or delivers some fine originals.
amaican reggae singers can sometimes be a little difficult for the English ear to hear the words, but Ellis had a very clear singing style and excellent diction that make these tracks an easy listening joy. Best of all is the backing music, utilising that famous rocksteady beat and played by a bunch of musicians who are clearly enjoying themselves. And that's what this is all about, it's laid back, grooving and just a whole load of fun to listen to. It's music designed to help you have a good time, and listening to it is really uplifting.
At the time of writing there is no track listing:
01 I'm Just a guy
02 Let him try
03 Aint that loving you
04 So much love
05 Whiter shade of pale
07 Get ready
08 I'm still in love with you
09 Mad mad mad
10 Baby now that I've found you
13 Mother and father
Classic stuff, five unreserved stars.