This is a pretty good record put out by Essouldun. This is a record showing of the Skatalites as a backing band for singers at Treasure Isle (though pretty much any ska compilation you pick up with have the Skatalites pretty much on every track anyways. This one just advertises it). The singers are all as great as the musicians on this too and this one proves to be yet another great album from Treasure Isle.
The record opens with the only track here by the Maytals. The song featured is the ska stomper "John James". You really can't do wrong with any track by the Maytals (in my opinion, theyre ska stuff is way better than anything they recorded later in their carreers) and this song proves to be no different.
The next song is the first of the three songs by Stranger and Patsy. The song is called "Yea Yea Yea Baby" and it's one of my personal favorites matched maybe by their third offering "When I Call Your Name" which is classic in my opinion. Their other song on the album is the title track for the album "Hog In A Cocoa" which still stands up to standards set by the other two songs.
Stranger Cole also appears here backed by the legendary Techniques haronizing around him. The song is called "Run Joe" and is probobly my favorite song on the entire album with a nice lead guitar and funny lyrics to boot. I really can't stress how much a album of Stranger Coles ska is needed.
Moving along though, Justin Hinds and the Dominoes show up here on two tracks, "Higher the Monkey Climbs" and "Over The River" both are great songs which are full of old Jamaican proverbs like most of songs. "Over The River" has to by my favorite of the two just for the fact that its a real uptempo stomper.
Shanley Duffus is also on this with "Rukumbine" which is a pretty good song with some nice horn playing courtesy of the Skatalites of course. Its not really one of my favorites on this album, but it is a good song all in all.
Next up is Owen Grey with Leon Silvera. They perform "Next Door Neighbour". This is a really good song. Owen and Leon really mix well together with the harmonies. I'm not really sure if these guys recorded anymore songs together but if so then I would love to hear them because i think this is a really good song.
Eric Morris is on here three times. First with "What A Man Doeth" which is kind of boring in my opinion but has a nice trombone solo by Don Drummond. He's also on here with "Sampson" which is a pretty good song, but the best of the three would have to be "Penny Reel" because of the lyrics. Eric Morris is a great vocalist though and anything recorded by him is worth picking up.
Patsy (from Stranger and Patsy) returns here with a duet sung with the great Derrick Morgan. I wish this album has more from Derrick Morgan actually, but what can you do? This song is "Housewifes Choice", a real well known song that I don't really need to say anything about except that it is really, really good.
The last song to be talked about on this is by Marguerita and the Skatalites. This song is really bad and I'm not a fan of this at all. The only thing that makes this song interesting is that Marguerita was in fact Don Drummonds girlfriend, who, as is well known, was also murdered by Don. It was this action that pretty much ended The Skatalites as well as sending Don Drummond to spend the rest of his short life in a mental institution.
All in all this album is pretty good. It dosent contain anything really new but its great to have all these songs on one collection. And of course you can't really go wrong with anything by the Skatalites.
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