I was wondering what box sets were for. It turns out that THIS is what they're for! 95 hit songs from the planet Jamaica, dated from 1958 to 1993, so all the way from Blue Beat to Ska to Rock Steady to Dub and Dancehall and Ragga - I guess it's all reggae but the beats definately move and change with the times, and the great songs continue to pour out of these 4 discs, from Oh Carolina in 1958 (Folkes Brothers) to Oh Carolina in 1993 (Shaggy). Let me namecheck some of my personal favourites - Simmer Down (Wailers), 54-46 That's my Number (Maytals), Police and Thieves (Jr Murvin), Under me Sleng Teng (Wayne Smith) - no, how pointless. Even the obscure ones are good, sometimes great. It's an alternative version of the history of pop and it's just a wonderful collection. Play it loud, you won't annoy the neighbours, they'll just come round to find out what it is so they can buy a copy.
Bought this fifteen years ago and I remember worrying at how much it had cost me. Best purchase ever. Barely a duff track and so much good stuff that I had never at that point encountered. I'm only sorry that it seems no longer to be available. Best track? Impossible to choose - but Hard Man Fe Dead must be among the best. Highly recommended. Go haunt second hand record shops for a copy.
With the exception of Shaggys' somewhat duff cover of "Oh Carolina" this is an excellent reggae collection. Of interest to collectors and casual listeners alike. Now commands high prices owing to it's excellent track listing, arranged in chronological order. My personal favourite being Uptown Top Ranking by Althia and Donna. With the recent resurgence in reggae's popularity due to the likes of Lily Allen, this collection is more relevant than ever.