When they say, “they don’t make good reggae” anymore, Yellowman would be an example of both the maligned post-Marley ragga-come-dancehall and the “good” stuff of old.
Whilst the sexually explicit lyrics have lost their shock value over the past 20 years, back in the day, Yellowman could always guarantee attention as much for that as for being an albino. Perhaps he didn’t get the acclaim as a DJ he deserved at the time, but he led the way for all the toasters that followed. A good time to re-issue the 1991 compilaton 20 Super Hits? Of course it is even if I’d say YT would buck the assumption that DJs can’t make good reggae anymore.
Inevitably, there’s the boasts and braggin’ that typified the time but having said that, the first half of the album are good examples of him finding his feet and there is more ‘roots’ inspiration than you might think; ‘Good Will Always Follow You’ and ‘Natty Sat Upon A Rock’.
And when was the last time you heard “Ribbit”, “Oink”, “Slang dung-a-diddley” and”Murderer!” on CD? Try, ‘Mr. Chin’ and ‘A Lie But A True’.
‘Nodbody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’ and ‘Girls Them Pet’ are perhaps his best-known tracks and they stand out along with ‘Ram Jam Master’.
There is a big tradition in reggae of popular ‘joke’ tracks which I’ve never really enjoyed, like the adaption here of the trad. ‘I’m Getting Married’ (in the morning). Similarly, the ‘covers’ of ‘Going To The Chapel’ and ‘No Luck Gambling’ (he had a bit of a thing for ”Take Me Home Country Roads’ as on ‘Jamaica Nice’) are truly awful. And then there was the disco-mix period, although, ‘Tarzan’ isn’t too bad as it’s a bit afrobeat-disco.
Even if the classic ‘Zungguzungguguzungguzeng’ is missing from this set, ‘Soldier Take Over’ and the rest of 20 Super Hits should be enough for those old time fans to get the memories flooding back.
Arguably Eek-A-Mouse was the master of the Rub-A-Dub stylee but Yellowman was the ragamuffin Beenie Man of his time. After overcoming two attacks of cancer, apparently his latest albums have concentrated exclusively on spiritual and social concerns; sort of brings me back to YT. 20 Super Hits is currently for sale a bargain price at Sterns (see Links below). Oink!
Reviewed: Yellowman – 20 Super Hits (EMI) Cat. No. CDFL2041 Released: 28 June 2006
01. Ram Dance Master (3:47)
02. Mr Chin (2:59)
03. Natty Sat Upon A Rock (3:18)
04. Lost Mi Lover (4:27)
05. Two To Six Supermix (3:47)
06. I’m Getting Married (4:06)
07. A Lie But True (3:22)
08. Woman A The Root Of All Evil (2:31)
09. Good Will Always Follow You (3:56)
10. Soldier Take Over (3:48)
11. Nobody Move (3:15)
12. Ram Jam Master (3:29)
13. Tarzan (3:52)
14. Girls Them Pet (3:07)
15. Watch It (3:13)
16. Chat Politics Pon Sound (3:24)
17. Going To The Chapel (3:56)
18. No Luck In Gamblling (3:33)
19. Walking Jewlllery Store (3:25)
20. Reggae Get The Grammy (3:56)
Yellowman – 20 Super Hits @ Stern’s Music www.sternsmusic.com Stern’s Music, 74/75 Warren Street, London W1T 5PF, UK
www.myspace.com/100sexygirls “This is a Yellowman TRIBUTE page”
Yellowman at Wikipedia
Club Paradise (1986) Soundtrack ‘Soldier Take Over’ @ http://imdb.com