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Original DJ
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  • Another mix-and-match U-Roy compilation that bundles together recordings from the '70s in willy-nilly fashion, Original DJ combs through the DJ's work with only two producers (as is too often the case), and to no one's surprise, it's Duke Reid and Prince Tony Robinson whose back catalogs are rifled. The Reid material has been bundled together many times over the years, starting back in 1971 when Trojan pulled together an album's worth of the toaster's Treasure Isle singles for Version Galore. That set was reissued by Virgin in 1978, with further Reid productions compiled on the following year's With Words of Wisdom. In 1990, Virgin, having annoyingly deleted both these albums, pulled tracks from them for the CD compilation Version of Wisdom, which is where you can find all the Reid productions and then some. Thus, the Originator's early recordings are dispensed with. In the mid-'70s, U-Roy began working with Robinson, a particularly successful partnership highlighted by more hit singles and a quartet of crucial albums. Virgin released 1975's Dread in a Babylon, with their Frontline imprint putting out Natty Rebel, Rasta Ambassador, and Jah Son of Africa over the following three years, all of which have been subsequently reissued on CD. Oddly, though, this compilation pulls tracks off only the first three sets, thus bringing this compilation to a premature conclusion in 1977. Not that one particularly notices, as the tracks bounce around the years and records. Regardless, there's still a mouthwatering selection of numbers within, and while Original DJ is by no means a career-spanning set of the DJ's '70s work (equally seminal singles were cut for many other producers as well), it's still a particularly worthy collection. ~ Jo-Ann Greene
Professional Reviews
Q (4/04, p.138) - 4 stars out of 5 - "U-Roy paints a grin on every groove he touches."
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