Top positive review
6 of 6 people found this helpful
on 1 April 2012
This nattily-presented budget release is the follow up to the decent Ska Madness. Like that introductory compilation it features cuts of late 1960s ska, rocksteady, and reggae which heavily influenced the leading lights of the late 1970s and early 1980s British revival of those forms (with choices and sequencing also again assigned to Rhoda Dakar of The Bodysnatchers, and The Special AKA). Some songs she has opted for are hardy perennials of releases like this: Desmond Dekker & The Aces 'Israelites'; Toots & The Maytals 'Pressure Drop'; and The Upsetters 'Return Of The Django' all feature here. But other selections are slightly less prevalent - such as British act Symarip's hugely endearing 'Skinhead Girl', and Boris Gardiner's intricate instrumental 'Elizabethan Reggae'. Ska Madness 2 is all the better for the inclusion of tracks like these. But I did find myself perplexed by a trio of tracks situated near to the conclusion of this 60 minute-plus compilation. 'Wonderful World, Beautiful People', 'Young Gifted And Black', and 'Love Of The Common People' are records which come swathed in sweet string arrangements, smooth production values, and sentimental messages. These undoubted classics seem slightly incongruous when they are set against some of the rougher-sounding skankier material that is featured here. Otherwise, Dakar should be commended for a highly-listenable 22 track album, which is in the spirit of the series of popular budget-priced compilations such as Tighten Up, Club Reggae, and Reggae Chartbusters, that were released by Trojan Records in the late 1960s.