Frankie Paul made his record debut only in his teens. He was influenced by singers such as Dennis Brown and Stevie Wonder, but soon developed his own charismatic and more dancehall oriented style.
In the mid 80’s he scored some huge hit songs for producer Henry “Junjo” Lawes, including Jump No Fence and the ganja anthem Pass the Tu Sheng Peng. Both are included on Greensleeves’ recent Frankie Paul Most Wanted set.
After working with dancehall don Lawes he moved on and started working for a majority of Jamaica’s top producers, and he was extremely productive during these years.
Album after album and hit after hit followed. Among them the energetic Tidal Wave for George Phang, the Dennis Brown relick Cassandra for Steely & Clevie and the radio friendly Sara for King Jammy.
Frankie Paul Most Wanted contains some timeless classics and is a great introduction to this great singer.
Greensleeves’ Most Wanted compilations have up to now often been awarded to artists with a rather long career behind them, such as Johnny Osbourne, Chukki Starr and Bushman.
Now things have changed since hardcore dancehall deejay Assassin aka Agent Sasco has a Most Wanted compilation to put in his shelf.
This rough and angry deejay has made some very worthwhile efforts. A great number of them are collected on this 12 track compilation that spans over his ten years of recording for producers such as Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, Shane C. Brown and Steven “Lenky” Marsden.
Both the anthemic Hand inna di Air and Ruffest and Toughest are great examples of the new dancehall and contemporary Jamaican deejays.
As usual with compilations there are tracks that I would have selected. In this case I really miss the raw Child Molester on Birchill’s Baddaz riddim.
Assassin has proven himself during the past ten years, just check out the massive mixtape produced by DJ Waxfiend. His great flow and thoughtful lyrics will hopefully be heard for many years to come.
During the years reggae has had its share amount of artists with unorthodox delivery or singing style. Dancehall icon Tiger is one of them. He is now treated and honored with a Most Wanted compilation from VP Records.
Tiger started his career in the late 70’s as Ranking Tiger. Later he shortened his name and in 1986 he had his first hit No Wanga Gut.
His delivery is eccentric to say the least and includes vocal tricks like grunts, growls and gurgling and is off beat and off key. Just listen to Can’t Tan Me or Yu Dead Now and you will get the picture. It’s amazing that it can sound as good as it does.
His style was particularly well suited to the percussion driven riddims from Steely & Clevie, and his biggest hits When and Ram Dance Hall were produced by the duo.
Tiger Most Wanted compiles twelve of his most acclaimed tunes from a broad range of producers. Apart from Steely & Clevie, King Jammy, Winston Riley, Sonny Ochiai, Phillip “Fattis” Burrell, Patrick Roberts and Donovan Germain are represented.
Unfortunately, his work for Augustus “Gussie” Clarke is not included. I miss the bouncy duets Make Up Your Mind and I Know Love with Dennis Brown and Maxi Priest respectively.
Tiger was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident in 1994 and he was at the time on the peak of his career. This compilation shows an unusual talent that could have gone very far.
Chukki Starr, en engelsk singjay med rötterna på Jamaica, har förärats en Most Wanted-samling på Greensleeves. Det måste vara ett tecken på hans storhet. Andra Most Wanted-samlingar har nämligen förärats namn som Wailing Souls, Yellowman, Ranking Dread och Eek-A-Mouse. Chukki Starr är betydligt mer okänd än vad de är, men hans låtar håller emellanåt nästan lika hög klass.
Chukki Starr startade karriären i början av 90-talet som deejay på egna soundsystemet Echo Tone Hi Fi, tog vägen via Jamaica, för att komma tillbaka till London i mitten av 90-talet. Det var då saker och ting började ta fart. Han satte exempelvis igång att arbeta med producenterna Gussie P och Mad Professor, som även låg bakom debuten Ghetto Youth’s Livety från 1998, från vilken två spår hämtats till den här samlingen.
Most Wanted bygger även på material från plattorna Forever Shall Praise och From Crime To Kodesh samt ett antal svåråtkomliga tolvor och singlar, exempelvis Saxon-producerade Mark of the Beast och Sweet Meditation från Ruff Cutt.
Bäst blir det i Hard Fi Smile och Show Your Love som bygger på rytmerna World Jam respektive Tempo. Men det blir å andra sidan aldrig dåligt. Det här är en väl sammansatt samling med både dancehall och roots från en singjay som förtjänar betydligt mer uppmärksamhet.