Hit Collection

Hit Collection

by Eddy Grant


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"Greatest Hits Collection" would have been a more accurate title, as this two-CD set compiles just about every one of Eddy Grant's classic solo songs, from 1977's "Hello Africa," which swiftly became a live favorite, to 1988's "Gimme Hope Jo'anna." All his timeless masterpieces are here, "Living on the Frontline," "Electric Avenue," "I Don't Wanna Dance," and "Romancing the Stone" among them. The only (curious) omission is "I Love You, Yes I Love You," the sole hit not included. Bringing things smack up to date, there's also a cut from each of the artist's last two albums. Of course, this isn't the first of Grant's hit collections, but what makes this a standout is disc two, which is stuffed with nine songs culled from 12" singles. Together they are a master class in rhythm, giving the artist the room to expand the percussive elements, play with the beats, and create some of the most stunning dance singles of all time. Kicking off with "Living on the Frontline," arguably the best dance song of the decade, sweeping through the island-flavored "Hello Africa" and into the funk-fired "Walking on Sunshine," and ending with "African Kings," the gentle tribute to notable black men the world over, Grant explores funk, tribal drumming, military tattoos, Caribbean rhythms, and synthetic beats. The rhythms are still a revelation, and time has yet to dull their brilliance. Eventually, the artist would pull all these disparate rhythmic and stylistic elements into his ringbang genre, and that evolution is evident here. Grant may no longer have international hits, and thus this is a potent reminder of his creative power. Hopefully, it will prod listeners to discover his innovative sound, past and present, for themselves.

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