Wicked Ago Feel It

by: Sugar Minott

When Sugar Minott recorded this album for the American reggae producer Lloyd "Bullwackie" Barnes in the early '80s, he was at the peak of his international popularity (primarily thanks to his smash single "Good Thing Going," which had yielded a number of invitations from major labels, all of which he declined). It remains one of his finest efforts, one which most reggae fans were unable to hear for almost 20 years due to the low profile of Barnes' Wackies label during that period. It was thankfully reissued on CD in 2002 and sounds as fresh as it did in 1984. Minott is in strong voice and delivers roots-and-culture material and lovers rock with equal confidence and aplomb, aided beautifully by the cream of New York's crop of studio musicians. Highlights include a version of "Good Thing Going" that differs substantially from the version that had been an international hit, the strangely gleeful title track, and his free adaptation of the Bob Marley composition "So Much Trouble in the World." Very highly recommended, though the Spartan packaging of the Wackies reissue CDs is especially disappointing in this case -- some new liner notes (and hey, maybe even a bonus track or two) would have been welcome. [Dub fans should note that the Wackies release African Roots, Act 3 is actually the dub companion to this album.] ~ Rick Anderson

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