Frankie Paul

Most Wanted

BY Brent HagermanPublished May 31, 2011

Greensleeves' Most Wanted series has benefited from the company's purchase by VP Records, as it now has a larger vault from which to choose material. One of Jamaica's most beloved voices, Frankie Paul was a chart-topping singer at a time when deejays ruled dancehall. He was recorded by the era's most important producers ― Hoo-kim, Junjo, Jammy, Phang, Steelie and Clevie ― so the riddims are all top shelf. "Worries in the Dance" and "Jump No Fence" are classic slices of '80s dancehall, with their themes of rammed dances infiltrated by gangsters and shut down by soldiers. Signature tunes "Pass the Tu-Sheng-Peng" and "Tidal Wave" sound every bit as good today as they did in the '80s, when digital reggae's crisp production was still cutting edge. Saccharine covers "Sara" and "Casanova" haven't aged as well, but they were Paul's bread and butter in the day so they deserve inclusion. The only complaint is that Greensleeves needs to offer fans something they can't easily access elsewhere. These compilations would benefit from something more than the budget packaging they're known for. A thick booklet with rare photos, researched liner notes and track-by-track commentary would do the trick.

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