Reggae Max

by: Luciano

In keeping with Jet Star's excellent Reggae Max series, this set rounds up a bumper crop of Luciano's early hits and crucial cuts. As this is a budget compilation, the album is severely lacking in information, but does at least list the producers. Inevitably, virtually the entire set is drawn from producer Philip "Fatis" Burrell's flood of music, with only "Time Is the Master," cut for Blacka Dread, and "Shake It Up Tonight," a huge hit overseen by Freddie McGregor and Dalton Browne, offering hints at what Luciano was doing outside the Xterminator studios. Almost half the set, nine tracks in all, is drawn from Luciano's One Way Ticket album. But that doesn't mean you can forego buying that record, such a masterpiece itself, and the other six songs here are equally crucial. A few numbers are culled from other early albums, and Reggae Max also picks up such crucial singles as "Wicked Haffe Run Way" and "Psalm 24," the latter pairing the singer with Mutabaruka. The latest number is "In This Together," another combo single featuring Louie Culture and Terror Fabulous, which was scooped up for Luciano's Where There Is Life album. There's little here that most fans won't already have; the set is cheap enough to pick up for the handful of songs not on the singer's studio albums. As an introduction to the artist, this is a real winner, filled with superb songs that will hopefully prompt buyers to purchase all Luciano's early albums. They could then dispense with this set, but the investment would have been well worth it. ~ Jo-Ann Greene

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