Title - Treasure Isle Presents The Hottest Hits Albums Set
Artist - Various
In the late ’70s, the influence of rock steady on the burgeoning sound of dancehall was duly recognized by a number of Jamaica’s longest-standing producers, who delved deep within their archives to re-release many of their finest and most influential works from the previous decade.
Of all the re-issues of vintage material from this period, none proved more popular than the ‘Hottest Hits’ albums series, each of which comprised a dozen rock steady and early reggae tracks from the vaults of Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle catalogue.
Now, at long last, all three original albums in the series are issued together in this essential 3CD set entitled Treasure Isle Presents The Hottest Hits Albums Collection (releasing November 19th, 2021 via Cherry Red Records, UK).
Also featured are three newly curated volumes, plus an array of bonus recordings, culminating in 84 tracks of solid gold Treasure Isle gems.
1. Those Guys – The Sensations
2. Come On Little Girl – Melodians
3. Loving Pauper – Dobby Dobson
4. Midnight Hour – The Silvertones
5. Heartaches – Vic Taylor
6. Cry Tough – Alton Ellis & The Flames
7. Queen Majesty – The Techniques
8. Get On The Right Track – Phyllis Dillon
9. I’ll Never Fall In Love – The Sensations
10. The Tide Is High – The Paragons
11. Things You Say You Love – The Jamaicans
12. It’s Raining – The Three Tops
13. Girl I’ve Got A Date – Alton Ellis & The Flames
14. Every Day Is Like A Holiday – The Sensations
15. Love Is A Treasure – Freddie McKay
16. Don’t Stay Away – Phyllis Dillon
17. You Don’t Need Me – Melodians
18. My Girl – Techniques
19. Perfidia – Phyllis Dillon
20. La La Means I Love You – Alton Ellis
21. Travelling Man – The Techniques
22. I’ll Get Along Without You – Melodians
23. Moonlight Lover – Joya Landis
24. I Wish It Would Rain – Techniques
25. It’s You I Love – Techniques
26. Happy Go Lucky Girl – The Paragons
27. Love Is All I Had – Phyllis Dillon
28. Ain’t That Loving You – Alton Ellis
One of the most popular Jamaican music album series of all time and one which now includes many of the greatest Treasure Isle tracks, this first disc opens on the gentle rhythmic hipsway of both the charming Those Guys (The Sensations) and Come On Little Girl (by the melodious Melodians) and follows those up with the rocksteady bounce of Loving Pauper (Dobby Dobson), a quite magical rendition of Midnight Hour (The Silvertones, complete with McCook’s magic horns!), a lush Heartaches (Vic Taylor), the heartwarming trio of Cry Tough (Alton Ellis & The Flames), a rocksteady Queen Majesty (The Techniques) and the forthright Get On The Right Track (Phyllis Dillon), and then we get the reggae-pop bounce and flow of I’ll Never Fall In Love (The Sensations), the warmth and richness of The Tide Is High (The Paragons, and of which only today I have realized Blondie never wrote!), and the duo of the fervent Things You Say You Love (The Jamaicans), and the melodic hipsway of It’s Raining – The Three Tops.
Next up is old school rocksteady reggae of Girl I’ve Got A Date (Alton Ellis & The Flames) and the laid back rhythms of Every Day Is Like A Holiday (The Sensations) which are in turn followed by the ska-flavored, dub bounce of Love Is A Treasure (Freddie McKay), the upbeat and perky, harmonica-driven Don’t Stay Away (Phyllis Dillon), the storytelling ebb and flow of You Don’t Need Me (Melodians), the exquisite, high pitched melodies of My Girl (Techniques), the lushly sung, and at times veritable spoken-word wonderment of the rocksteady Perfidia (Phyllis Dillon), the free flowing La La Means I Love You (Alton Ellis) and then comes the old school vibes of Travelling Man (The Techniques).
Up next is the brilliantly melodic, rocksteady hipsway of I’ll Get Along Without You (Melodians) and the lush orchestrations of Moonlight Lover (Joya Landis) and they are backed by the the harmonic reggae of I Wish It Would Rain (Techniques), with four bonus tracks no included: the Curtis Mayfield-esque It’s You I Love (Techniques), the vibrantly on fire Happy Go Lucky Girl (The Paragons), this first disc closing on the reggae-pop flow of Love Is All I Had (Phyllis Dillon) and Ain’t That Loving You, from the Bob Marley of his time, Alton Ellis.
1. Remember That Sunday – Alton Ellis & Phyllis Dillon
2. Wear You To The Ball – The Paragons
3. Love Is Not A Gamble – Techniques
4. Stealing Stealing (alt mix) – John Holt
5. Boom Shaka Lacka (alt version) – Hopeton Lewis & The Chosen Few
6. Tonight Is The Night – Claudette Miller
7. The Love That A Woman – Phyllis Dillon
8. Sinners – Justin Hinds & The Dominoes
9. There Comes A Time – Techniques
10. What More Can I Do – Clive & Doreen
11. Ali Baba – John Holt
12. Willow Tree – Alton Ellis
13. Only A Smile – The Paragons
14. You Don’t Care – Techniques
15. Angel Of The Morning – Joya Landis
16. Weather Report (Only Living Boy In New York) – The Tennors
17. True, True, True – Ken Parker
18. Last Train To Expo ’67 – Melodians
19. Woman Of The Ghetto – Phyllis Dillon
20. Baba Boom – The Jamaicans
21. The Same Song – The Paragons
22. What Does It Take – Alton Ellis
23. I’m In The Mood For Love – Techniques
24. Black Bird – Rosalyn Sweat & The Paragons
25. Tonight – John Holt
26. Rock Steady – Alton Ellis & The Flames
27. Kiss An Angel Good Morning – Ken Parker
28. Once A Man, Twice A Child – Justin Hinds & The Dominoes
The second disc opens on a track truly from the golden era of Jamaican music, the duet Remember That Sunday (Alton Ellis & Phyllis Dillon) and the rocksteady, pitch perfect vocals of Wear You To The Ball (The Paragons) and follows those up seamlessly with the beautiful melodies of Love Is Not A Gamble (Techniques), the polished reggae sound of Stealing Stealing (alt mix) (John Holt), the laid back mid-tempo vibes of Boom Shaka Lacka (alt version) (Hopeton Lewis & The Chosen Few), and the come the trio of the lushly orchestrated Tonight Is The Night (Claudette Miller), the simply divine The Love That A Woman (Phyllis Dillon) and the splendid Sinners, featuring the unique voice, the genius that was Justin Hinds (& The Dominoes).
Next up is the upbeat and friendly There Comes A Time (Techniques) and the summers breeze reggae flow of the duet What More Can I Do (Clive & Doreen) and they are in turn backed by one of Trojan records greatest ever recordings, Ali Baba by John Holt, the sweet, lovingly simple Willow Tree (Alton Ellis), the bass-tastic Only A Smile (The Paragons), the delightfully beautiful You Don’t Care (Techniques, featuring the voice of the late, great Pat Kelly), the cool rocksteady vibe of both Angel Of The Morning (Joya Landis) and Weather Report (Only Living Boy In New York) (The Tennors), and then we get the Studio 1 stylings of True, True, True (Ken Parker) and the spirited rocksteady of Last Train To Expo ’67 from the Melodians.
The last chapter of this second disc opens on the songbird vocals of Woman Of The Ghetto from Phyllis Dillon and the July afternoon sun’s rays of Baba Boom (The Jamaicans) and follows those up with the John Holt-sung The Same Song (The Paragons), the soulful What Does It Take (Alton Ellis), the legendary I’m In The Mood For Love (Techniques), with the five bonus tracks being the brilliantly joyous duet Black Bird (Rosalyn Sweat & The Paragons), the poignant Tonight (John Holt), the disc rounding out on the obvious rocksteady grooves of Rock Steady (Alton Ellis & The Flames), the countrified storytelling of Kiss An Angel Good Morning by Ken Parker, closing on the healing music of Once A Man, Twice A Child from Justin Hinds & The Dominoes.
1. On The Beach – The Paragons
2. You’ve Made Me So Happy – Alton Ellis
3. I’ll Be Lonely – John Holt & Joya Landis
4. I Can’t Hide – Ken Parker
5. Save A Bread – Justin Hinds & The Dominoes
6. You Have Caught Me – Melodians,
7. Kansas City – Joya Landis
8. Why Birds Follow Spring – Alton Ellis & The Flames
9. My Best Girl – The Paragons
10. Jimmy Brown (The Three Bells) – Ken Parker
11. Do It Right – The Three Tops
12. One Life To Live – Phyllis Dillon
13. Breaking Up – Alton Ellis & The Flames
14. Sister Big Stuff – John Holt
15. Don’t Touch Me Tomato – Phyllis Dillon
16. Help Me Make It Through The Night – Ken Parker
17. Silver Bird – Melodians
18. Oowee Baby, Baby I Love You – Alton Ellis
19. Out De Light – Joya Landis
20. Everybody Bawling – Melodians
21. Midnight Confessions – Phyllis Dillon
22. If I Could Rule This World – Alton Ellis
23. Mighty Redeemer – Justin Hinds & The Dominoes
24. Mercy Mercy Mercy – The Paragons
25. Baby Love – The Sensations
26. Boys And Girls Reggae – Phyllis Dillon
27. I Can’t Stop Now – Alton Ellis & The Flames
28. Drink Milk – Justin Hinds & The Dominoes
Features numerous major Jamaican hits from the rock steady era, the third and final disc opens on the gentle rocksteady bounce of On The Beach (The Paragons) and the straightforward, rustic You’ve Made Me So Happy (Alton Ellis) and they are followed perfectly by the blissful melodies of the duet I’ll Be Lonely (John Holt & Joya Landis), the percussion-led I Can’t Hide (Ken Parker), the inspirationally ageless Save A Bread (Justin Hinds & The Dominoes), the melodious You Have Caught Me (Melodians), a big tune from the time in Kansas City from Joya Landis, the sweet soul music of Why Birds Follow Spring (Alton Ellis & The Flames), the golden vocals of John Holt on My Best Girl (The Paragons), the reggae lite Jimmy Brown (The Three Bells) (Ken Parker), the fresh sounds of Do It Right (The Three Tops – who knew there were less than Four?!), and then come the Studio 1 gems One Life To Live (Phyllis Dillon) and Breaking Up from Alton Ellis & The Flames.
Next up is the golden oldie of high reggae status Sister Big Stuff (John Holt) and the beautiful Don’t Touch Me Tomato from the Queen of Reggae herself, Phyllis Dillon, and those are followed by an absolute belter of a track, the hipsway of Help Me Make It Through The Night (Ken Parker), the lush vibe of Silver Bird (Melodians), the reggae-pop bounce of Oowee Baby, Baby I Love You (Alton Ellis), the cracklingly authentic Out De Light (Joya Landis), then comes the dancehall flow of Everybody Bawling (Melodians), the soulful Midnight Confessions (Phyllis Dillon) and the mystical If I Could Rule This World by Alton Ellis.
This third disc continues onward with the always-fantastic-to-hear Mighty Redeemer by Justin Hinds & The Dominoes and the rocksteady beats of Mercy Mercy Mercy (The Paragons) with the four bonus tracks being the dancehall ebb and flow of Baby Love (The Sensations), the spirited reggae gold of Boys And Girls Reggae (Phyllis Dillon), the box-set coming to a close on the delightful reggae bounce of I Can’t Stop Now by Alton Ellis & The Flames, and the highly-underrated track Drink Milk from Justin Hinds & The Dominoes.
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