Various The Kings of Reggae — Compiled by David Rodigan and Sting International

There’s a new reggae compilation released roughly every five seconds. How does this one, the seventh in the The Kings of Reggae series, compare? There are two CDs here, one compiled by British sound clash master and radio DJ David Rodigan and the other by hit producer Sting International. Both discs have examples of seminal material that should be in any collection, but while the Sting disc will introduce you to hidden gems, Rodigan’s is basically just an introduction to reggae for beginners. For instance, who doesn’t already own multiple versions of the Abyssinians’ "Satta Massa Gana,” John Holt’s "Police in Helicopter,” Jimmy Cliff’s "The Harder They Come” or Junior Murvin’s "Police and Thieves”? Even a casual fan has most of the tunes Rodigan has selected. The second disc, however, delivers the goods. Sting’s list draws mainly from the ’80s and even if you have already bubbled to Dennis Brown’s "Here I Come” chances are you haven’t heard Josey Wales deejay over John Holt’s "A Love I Can Feel” riddim (both tracks are here), or you may have forgotten Tenor Saw’s criminally overlooked "Roll Call.” Influential dancehall stars Lone Ranger ("M16”), Yellowman ("Over Me”) and Toyan ("Stylee”) are also represented, as well as Little John’s "smoke ganja hard” response to dealing with the struggles of life in "Work Us So Hard.” (BBE)