- Liner Note Author: Daddy Lion Chandell.
- Author: Winston Riley.
- Photographer: Beth Lesser.
- The Reggae Anthology series from VP Records' reissue imprint 17 North Parade continues to produce absolutely exquisite vintage reggae compilations, and this is among the best of them so far. It focuses on the work of Winston Riley, both as a singer and founding member of the Techniques, and as a producer responsible for such deathless rhythms as "Stalag 17" and "Double Barrel." Attentive fans of early hip-hop will hear on this two-disc collection some of the most heavily sampled recordings in reggae history, as well as a good number of worthy obscurities. As a band, the Techniques were very good, but the compilers of this set were wise to limit the Techniques tracks to only two: "You Don't Care" and "Love Is Not a Gamble." Even in the rocksteady years, Riley's real genius was as a producer of other singers, and it's the songs by Dave & Ansel Collins, Alton Ellis, and Denise Brown that really shine on disc one. It's the final track on that disc, Sister Nancy's classic "Bam Bam," that introduces the "Stalag 17" rhythm in preparation for the first four tracks on disc two, all of which are based on the same rhythm and one of which is Tenor Saw's "Ring the Alarm," one of the three or four finest dancehall tracks ever recorded. The remainder of the second disc is given over to classic dancehall of the late '80s and early '90s, and includes more brilliant material (plus a few puzzling clunkers) from the likes of Red Dragon, Little Kirk, and Frankie Paul. Buju Banton brings the slackness and Gregory Isaacs teams up with Tiger for an outstanding combination version of "Hic Up," and a very young Yami Bolo offers a preview of what his future career would hold. Listened to from beginning to end, this collection provides an excellent cross section of reggae styles spanning nearly three decades, represented by some of the music's strongest recordings. ~ Rick Anderson
Record Collector (magazine) (p.94) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Some selections are presented in their full 12" mix form, most tellingly Jackie Paris' 'Run For Your Life,' with toasting by Ranking Trevor and dubbing by Mr. Riley..."