Sunday, April 26, 2009

This and that : Fire and Rain

The Gaylads : Fire and Rain


Boyhowdy's post deefinitely directed me to the Jamaican section of my collection, and this amazing 3-CD set issued by Trojan. 50 songs, 50 reggae covers of singer-songwriter or soft-rock hits from the '70s. "Fire and Rain" is the opening track, and one of the highlights. Take a song that you've heard a billion times on adult oriented radio stations, and make it something totally different and new, although strangely familiar. Like James Taylor with dreadlocks. And a hundred times more danceable, by the way.

Toots Hibbert, on the same compilation delivers a joyful version of "Country Road, Take Me Home" (with West Virginia, of course, becoming "West Jamaica"). There's also a great dub cover of Neil Diamond's "Solitary Man", and dozens of other more or less successful reggae versions of Kris Kristofferson, Carole King, Elton John or Paul Simon songs. As the AMG review says, reggae ryhthms are amazingly cosmopolitan and adaptable.

This box set is both fun to listen to and a great party starter. A good way to end the week end, and my vacations.

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