The Beatles, The Doors, The Bee Gees, Curtis, Kris and Willie etc, are treated to a first-class passage to heaven thanks to Green’s matchless ability to inhabit his material. Buy it for yourself, soul brothers and sisters.
IN FROM THE COLD
The Prisoners spearheaded an early ’80s Medway garage scene that spat in the eye of synth-pop ubiquity. Their fourth LP was released just as their parent label, Stiff, went bust in 1986. A souped-up basement sweat where Dexys’ Stax meets The Hives’ urgent swagger. The Charlatans, for one, were eternally indebted.
Hamell On Trial
MERCUROYALE: THE BEST OF THE MERCURY YEARS
Hamell, with his stinging vocal attack, takes prisoners and then invites them to walk on scorched earth. He’s not all spleen; there are black comic moments here. If an anarcho-punk with a Bill Hicks sense of absurdity appeals then Ed’s waiting down a dark alley for you.
Joe Gibbs & The Professionals
NO BONES FOR THE DOGS
Combining heavy rhythms with a surprisingly light touch, the powerhouse production duo of Joe Gibbs and Errol Thompson found success with Dennis Brown and Althea and Donna. No Bones…, though, draws on earlier dubs (’74-’79), with Culture’s classic “Two Sevens Clash” rhythms forming the backbone.
STARS ON 33
Barrow’s Andy Turner rolls out his debut mix CD and, true to his production style, it’s full of chunky jazz-laced instrumentals. Despite an over-reliance on sister label Grand Central’s catalogue, it’s the washed-out psychedelia of “We All Together” and “King Biscuit” which prove the pick.
Retroactive traces Stereo MCs’ career from hip hop wannabes to crusty-edged funk apostles. “Lost In Music” is the key track, bridging the transition from their ill-advised early incarnation to the heyday of “Connected” and the triumph of their loose-limbed shuffle.