Horace Andy - Feel Good All Over (2xLP Earmark)
The moment those familiar falsetto tones appear, there isn't a dry eye in the house. Good natured at heart, Andy's vocals and sentiments are unsullied by cynicism. With an extensive history behind him, working with the likes of Sir Coxsone at the mighty Studio One, Bunny Lee and King Tubby, Andy's sound strides the twin homes of reggae - Jamaica and London. The fusion of his Rastafarian beliefs and his political views form a constructive, inclusive view of life. One that leads to the binding of disparate people rather than division. It's a bedrock on which he's formed all his music and way of living.
Maybe it's that youthful voice that did it but hearing him sing is a joyful, positive experience, one devoid of complication. Love, love, love. It's that simple.
It's a strange label for the album to appear on. They're tied in with Sanctuary, Abraxas and their Get Back label. Better known for putting out records by comedy bands like Black Sabbath and some vaguely good ones like Nico, they've done a good job here of collecting some of Andy's singles and tricky to find extended versions recorded between 1970-1975, a prime period for reggae generally. The bulk of the album is taken from his work with Bunny 'Striker' Lee, containing a few originals and a few covers like Bob Marley's 'Thank You Lord' and an outstanding version of Bobby Darin's 'Dream Lover.' I never thought the original could be topped.
Presented in a sturdy gatefold cover and 180g vinyl with sleeve notes by Harry Hawke, it's a well assembled compilation that does justice to Andy's extensive back catalogue. I'd also recommend the releases by Andy that the impeccable Blood and Fire label have put out over the years. HM