Various Club Dread Soundtrack

Since time immemorial (ok, the ’60s) the pundits of reggae have considered it a singles market and publicised it as such, doing the music a great disservice in the process. The ubiquitous "greatest reggae album ever” has propagated like horny bed lice and as such many fans’ reggae collections have nary an artist's full LP. And so it happens that Hollywood's soundtrack gods are trying their hand at a reggae compilation. Club Dread, as bad as the movie may be, has turned out a moderately decent compilation offering dancehall, roots reggae and old time ska. Hooking buyers with a few name brand hits — Toots & the Maytals' "Funky Kingston,” Dillinger's "Cocaine In My Brain" — and then introducing some more obscure selections, the compilation will at least lead new reggae fans to essential artists like Desmond Dekker, Yellowman and Gregory Isaacs, even if some of the track selections could have drawn from the artists' stronger material (Yellowman's "Party,” for instance, pales in comparison to his best work in the early ’80s, and the included remix is just embarrassing). The lesson here is that what we need to see is more full-album reissues and less of these grab bag compilation albums. To its credit though, the soundtrack isn't stacked with Marley hits. The only track by reggae's Supreme Being is an alternate version of "Soul Almighty" called "Shocks of Mighty Pt. 2.” (Trojan)