Scorchers from the Mighty Two
Joe Gibbs is easily one of the most influential producers in reggae history, and this large-scale compilation, released soon after his 2008 death, gives evidence as to how Gibbs became so big. After failed relationships with Lee "Scratch" Perry and Niney Holmes as sound engineers, Gibbs came upon Errol Thompson (originally from Coxsone Dodd's Studio One) and together their sound became that of "the Mighty Two." For a few years the pairing produced some of the premier examples of rocksteady, lovers rock, and roots reggae, among other subgenres. This anthology provides examples of lovers rock masters Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs, the London sound of Black Uhuru in an early form, the great Barrington Levy, an early version of Eek-a-Mouse, and plenty more. There are crooners, singers, rastas, and toasters here, all providing classic cuts. The real key period covered by this anthology predates that of the more modern dancehall crazes, so the energy may seem a bit low to some newer reggae fans. However, the foundation for essentially all reggae that followed came directly from only a couple of really large sources -- Studio One and this duo, the Mighty Two. An excellent overview for the reggae sounds of the late '70s and early '80s.