There is a plethora of Toots & the Maytals collections out there, many of which are more comprehensive than this. Having said that, this collection oozes the kind of class to which very few musicians are able to aspire.
For those who don't know, Toots & the Maytals are among the most established and respected musicians Jamaica has ever produced. This is most easily recognizable as Reggae (though the early stuff is heavily rooted in Ska and Rocksteady), but what sets these guys apart from the abundance of Reggae musicians now recognised is the soul behind this music. Toots is truly a singers' singer, a voclaist with not only chops but also a huge amount of conviction, who has influenced countless singers in the 40+ years since his music first hit the airwaves of Jamaica.
It's hard to pick highlights from such a flawless set, but the rootsy 'Monkey Man' and a joyous cover of John Denver's 'Country Roads' must be mentioned, along with the classic '54-46', the hugely uplifting 'Time Tough' and the two tracks taken from the soundtrack for The Harder They Come - in which Toots and the guys appear.
Why the 4 stars, you ask? Well, my gripe with this collection is that the sound quality is rather poor. Yes, I know these are very old recordings, but I also know that there are many better-remastered CDs of this work out there. Alas, this is bearing in mind that I am a producer and engineer myself, and my ears are now much more fussy than they used to be. By no means is the sound awful, it's just not quite as good as some of the more recent (and more costly) Toots collections.
This collection is now out-of-print so, if you see it at a good price, grab it while you can. You'll thank me later.