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Johnny Nash
"The Reggae Collection"

© Epic/Legacy

April 24 - 30, 2022

Year of Release: 1993
Rating:
  • Intro
    (Northwest Speedway
    Remote) Wolfman Jack
  • I Can See Clearly Now
    (Alternate Version)
  • Guava Jelly
  • Stir It Up
  • You Poured Sugar On Me
  • Comma Comma
  • Nice Time
  • Duh What A Feeling
  • Cream Puff
  • Let's Be Friends
  • Hold Me Tight
  • Reggae On Broadway
  • Birds Of A Feather
  • Cupid
  • Tears On My Pillow
    (I Can't Take It)
  • All I Have To Do Is Dream
  • Mellow Mood
  • Can I Come Back For More
  • What Kind Of Love Is This
  • The Fish And
    The Alley Of Destruction
  • Rock It Baby
    (Baby We've Got A Date)

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    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
    Johnny Nash is most remembered for his #1 hit from 1972, "I Can See Clearly Now." But my best memory of him, is having a 45 by him - "Hold Me Tight" / "Cupid" (the Sam Cooke song). Little did I know back then, that this was "Reggae Music," That 45 record was spinning mercifully back in the day. The Reggae Collection has both those songs from the 45, and (with a little intro by the great Wolfman Jack), the reggae version of "I Can See Clearly Now" are all part of the Reggae Collection. Hearing the reggae version of his #1 hit, there isn't a big difference, except the music is a bit more upbeat, and in reggae form.

    The reggae music (especially the vocals of Johnny Nash) here is a bit different than that of the most famous reggae artist, Bob Marley. There are quite a few songs written/co-written by Marley. "Guava Jelly" is one of those Marley-penned tunes, as Nash has his own reggae style to it. However, on "Stir It Up" (one of Marley's most famous and favorite songs), the Marley-style is there, but again, Nash has a more soulful (vocal) sound to it. "You Poured Sugar On Me" was written by Johnny Nash & Bob Marley, and the reggae music is there, with Nash's soulful voice.

    "Comma Comma" and "Nice Time" were both written by Marley, and they are in top reggae form. Nash wrote the next track, "Duh What A Feeling" as it starts out more of a Pop song (Bruce Channel's "Hey Baby" comes to mind), yet it does travel into the reggae roads. "Cream Puff" definitely drives down that Reggae road, musically and vocally. "Let's Be Friends" has a more soulful approach, with just a touch of reggae. (It reminds me of Stevie Wonder's "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday.")

    "Hold Me Tight" brings back the memories in hearing this tune again... Hearing it on CD, it's more clearer, maybe there was more echo on the 45? But it is the song I remember, and great to hear it again. (This song was written by Johnny Nash himself.) Bob Marley's "Reggae On Broadway" also has a more definite soulful sound. "Birds Of A Feather" brings back the reggae style, both musically and vocally by Nash, as this song was written by Joe South.

    Pure reggae gets the Sam Cooke tune "Cupid." Like "Hold Me Tight," hearing this song again brings back the memories as I had played the 45 of these two songs at a much younger age. Hard to believe both these songs were recorded in 1968, as reggae music (especially with Bob Marley) was a major sound heard in the 1970s. My only complaint of these two songs on this collection - that they were not followed together, one after another. But, both songs are here, which is far more better. "Tears On My Pillow (I Can't Take It)" has Nash's soulful voice, with the reggae music background. His soulful voice here reminds of Otis Redding; and if Otis could record a reggae song, this could be it. The Everly Brothers' "All I Have To Do Is Dream" gets the reggae treatment, with the soulful voice. And on this one, another voice comes to mind, Aaron Neville, and another artist, who had a hit in the mid-1980s, Gregory Abbott ("Shake You Down") And another Bob Marley-penned song is next - with it's reggae sound and Nash's soulful voice.

    "Can I Come Back For More" has Nash's voice in more reggae form, yet the music is more soul than reggae. (Imagine that!) It's a good mix of Soul & Reggae. "What Kind Of Love Is This" has the reggae style, with some soul touches. "The Fish And The Alley Of Destrucion" (what a title, sounds like a movie title...) is a more laid-back song, and gives this collection a good feeling. Ending this reggae collection, is another Marley written song, "Rock Me Baby (Baby We've Got A Date)," as it has the Marley-reggae style that Marley fans are familiar with.

    Johnny Nash's The Reggae Collection is definitely Reggae, yet Nash puts soul into most of the songs. With Bob Marley's written tracks, Nash puts his own reggae and soul styles. "Hold Me Tight" and "Cupid" are the standouts for me, and great to hear these songs again, as I had them in my much younger years on vinyl (45). The reggae version of what would be his signature song, "I Can See Clearly Now" is also a standout.

    Johnny Nash passed away in 2020 from natural causes. He was 80, and was previously in ill health. He was married three times, and had two children.

    But for those who thought that Johnny Nash was a "one-hit wonder" you are mistaken. He started in music in 1956, and also had an acting career (1959-1971). In his later years, he had hired Bob Marley to write songs. Marley's reggae influence is heard on "Hold Me Tight" which was solely written by Nash. His version of "Cupid" also has the definite Reggae sound. As mentioned, both these songs were recorded in 1968, Nash had met Marley a year earlier. I'd be curious to know, if Marley recorded "Hold Me Tight" -- I tried looking that up, but it looks like he didn't. Marley died in 1981, of cancer. He was 36. THe recordings on this collection were from 1968, and most were from 1972 to 1975, and 1976.

    The Reggae Collection is a good compilation of Johnny Nash's reggae songs. You'll find it refreshing to listen to, with the reggae sounds, and Nash's soulful voice. And those three songs I mentioned, and the music of Bob Marley. Ya' Mon... Reggae On, Baby.




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