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4.8 out of 5 stars28
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 10 February 2001
Toots Hibbert and his band ruled Reggae's classic era back in the late 1960's & early 1970's and inspired a whole spectrum of reggae and ska bands. 'Pressure Drop' was covered by The Clash in their rise to punk stardom, and 'Monkey Man' played by many a would-be Two-Tone/Ska revivalist band.
This is one of the best of many Toots and The Maytals compilations on offer. Their catchy, uplifting tunes are well documented here, and with the addition of 10 bonus tracks this has to be a 'must-buy' for anyone who likes Jamaican music, or anyone who likes to get up and dance!
From the opening track, their biggest hit '54-46 Was My Number' (about Toots' time in prison) through 23 more spine-tingling, hard-to-get-out-of-your-head classics, emotions from hearbreak, poverty, to love and romance, with a dash of politics, are given the Toots treatment and jammed into one excellent CD. May they continue to inspire and entertain!
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on 9 June 2012
Please be warned that this is NOT the CD to which the other reviews refer...they seem to be talking about the 2005 Trojan double CD Pressure Drop. This is a Delta Records 1999 release. The sound quality is to my ears quite poor, and apart from the usual staples - Pressure Drop, Monkey Man, Sweet and Dandy, 54-46 and Bam Bam - most of the other tracks are not that great, and with one or two exceptions do not appear on the Trojan compilation.

I was disappointed by this album - I also think that Amazon should ensure that the reviews for the CD are actually for that product. I would advise avoiding this CD and opting for another compilation - the Reggae Greats (Island or Spectrum issues) is an OK introduction or the Trojan Pressure Drop compilation.
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on 2 August 2006
First time I heard Toots (this CD compilation version) was a Sunday morning sometime in April. I had been for a coffee with the new girl in our shared house. We came home, I made lunch, she put on Toots loud on my big Mission Speakers, the sun was shining and we both pottered around spring cleaning the flat. This CD immediately made me happy.
For me, my favourite song is Time Enough for the bittersweet beautiful refrains and backing vocals.
Consequently, the CD has shaped my summer well, me and said girl went to see them live in London for her birthday in June. It was ace. I suppose personally it will always make me think of her but I cant stress how amazing nearly every song on this CD is!
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on 11 November 2014
As a jazz fan I am usually suspicious of most kinds of pop music but having heard a couple of tracks by toots and the Maytals on Youtube I was intrigued enough to hear more. The earlier material is easily the best and it is quite staggering to compare the authentic and genuine approach to popular music from over forty years ago to the slick, vapid rubbish of today. It's bizarre how history plays tricks with pop music as the social commentary on a lot of these tracks reminded me a lot of country blues.

As in any collection, there are those tracks which are better than others but the better efforts are terrific. My favourite is "Beautiful woman" which is a nice demonstration of why this music works. As in some of the best jazz, this track uses polyrhythms so that there is a lot to latch on to musically - listen to the bass line on this track and the way the chord punctuations dovetail in to it. You don't get anything quite as sophisticated as this in pop music these days. Of course, there is a degree of repetition as you would expect with reggae and some tracks like "Dilly dally" almost end up in Chas n' Dave territory. However, it is tracks like "Pumps & pride." "54-46 was my number" and "Reggae got soul" which define this collection as opposed to the later records where the edge is worn off by the use of keyboards. I remember reading somewhere that the origins in this music that reggae had it's roots with a alto saxophonist from Jamaica who was a Charlie Parker disciple. The earlier tracks on this record actually allow some of the backing horns to solo (the trombonist is pretty good) and whilst this band doesn't have the finesse of a jazz group, it does share the feeling of spontaneity which is sadly lacking in today's music. All in all, the joyous quality of the music is highly infectious and I can't think my any music fan would not enjoy this disc. It would have be nice to have had more detailed liner notes.
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on 21 July 2006
If you wanted to demonstrate everything that's great about reggae music, you would only need this album. The best compilation of tracks by the greatest exponent of the art. The only way this collection could be improved for me, would be by the inclusion of 'Watermelon', an old personal favourite. However, even without that track, if I could only keep one reggae album, this would be it.
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on 7 May 2005
This album is a must have for anyone who wishes to build a history of music, or anyone who is simply a lover of reggae. Frederick "Toots" Hibbert was a true master of his art. An innovator, colourful, and I think, a musical genius. This CD contains all of the tracks which a collecter or fan needs, from classics like 'Monkey man' through to the simply amazing cover of John Denver's 'Take Me Home Country Roads'. On top of this there are 10 (yes, ten) bonus tracks.
For me the highlights have to be (apart from the 2 tracks already mentioned) 'Time Enough', 'Funky Kingston', 'Pressure Drop', '54 - 46 Was My Number', 'Peeping Tom' and the superb 'One Eyed Enos'. But it's hard to pick a favourite because Toots was quite simply brilliant, and this album contains most of his very best work.
Don't miss out on this. If you are a reggae fan, or even someone who is simply interested in music, buy this and see where the more famous exponents of the art got all of their ideas from. And yes, I do mean Bob Marley!
Toots and the Maytals were, and still are, the very BEST in the business.
A fantastic CD which is a real bargain at the price Amazon are charging!!
I love it to bits.
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on 21 September 2013
An excellent collection of Toots and the Maytals tracks which are very bouncy and uplifting for any party, bbq or just chillin at home..
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on 14 April 2014
Brilliant album strongly recommended heard them before but only briefly would advise any one who likes ska and reggae to buy it
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on 24 May 2013
The first time I herd this band was from watching this is England such a good film such a good album
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on 8 September 2014
Had a whole listen to CD -fantastic, jumped a bit on last track, but no prob - prompt delivery
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