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You Can Get It If You Really Want: The Definitive Collection

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Desmond Dekker 4/26/2005

Review

What Desmond Dekker fans really want is a comprehensive compilation of the legend's back catalog, but they've been disappointed time and time again. However, You Can Get It If You Really Want: The Definitive Collection finally delivers the goods with a two-CD, career-spanning overview. The set begins at the beginning, with Dekker's 1963 debut single, "Honour Your Mother and Father," then charts his progress across the ska years and into rocksteady. As usual, there's a bit of scrimping on the former era to make room for the rude boy icon who emerged in the latter. Reggae's arrival created a rough break with the past for many producers, but not Dekker's mentor, Leslie Kong, and the set flows seamlessly from rocksteady into reggae. By now Dekker had begun his climb to international stardom, with disc two opening with his 1970 hit "Pickney Gal." The singles just kept coming, with the title track another international smash. In 1971, Kong died of a heart attack; the second half of disc two is given over to the aftermath, as Dekker tried to regain his footing and his international standing. He never really did, but never faded away entirely either, with occasional new albums, a stream of compilations, and exultant live performances helping to maintain his reputation. While this is a definitive overview, it's not a complete collection of Dekker's work, not even of the Kong years. The omission of "Bongo Gal" is surprising, the lack of "Writing on the Wall" perhaps a matter of taste, but inevitably a few of your faves will be missing as well. So, not the perfect collection, but pretty close. ~ Jo-Ann Greene
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Honour Your Mother and Father Desmond Dekker 2:22
  3. 2 Parents Desmond Dekker 2:28
  4. 3 Labour for Learning Desmond Dekker 2:35
  5. 4 Jeserine Desmond Dekker 2:37
  6. 5 King of Ska Desmond Dekker 2:41
  7. 6 Get Up Edina Desmond Dekker 2:39
  8. 7 This Woman Desmond Dekker 2:30
  9. 8 Mount Zion Desmond Dekker 2:41
  10. 9 Soldering Desmond Dekker 2:30
  11. 10 It's a Shame Desmond Dekker 2:22
  12. 11 Wise Man Desmond Dekker 2:13
  13. 12 007 (Shanty Town) Desmond Dekker 2:31
  14. 13 Rudy Got Soul Desmond Dekker 2:46
  15. 14 Rude Boy Train Desmond Dekker 2:15
  16. 15 Mother's Young Gal Desmond Dekker 2:55
  17. 16 Young Generation Desmond Dekker 2:8
  18. 17 Unity Desmond Dekker 2:21
  19. 18 Keep a Cool Head Desmond Dekker 2:1
  20. 19 Mother Long Tongue Desmond Dekker 2:8
  21. 20 Sabotage Desmond Dekker 2:44
  22. 21 Pretty Africa Desmond Dekker 2:29
  23. 22 It Pays Desmond Dekker 2:59
  24. 23 Beautiful and Dangerous Desmond Dekker 2:47
  25. 24 Mother Pepper Desmond Dekker 2:20
  26. 25 Don't Blame Me Desmond Dekker 2:23
  27. 26 Intensified '68 (Music Like Dirt) Desmond Dekker 2:43
  28. 27 Fu Man Chu Desmond Dekker 3:17
  29. 28 Israelites Desmond Dekker 2:33
  30. 29 It Mek Desmond Dekker 2:18
  31. 30 Problems Desmond Dekker 2:40
  32. 31 Medley: Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da/Wise Man [Medley] Desmond Dekker 2:44
  33. 1 Pickney Gal Desmond Dekker 2:52
  34. 2 Generosity Desmond Dekker 2:58
  35. 3 Perseverance Desmond Dekker 2:44
  36. 4 You Can Get It If You Really Want Desmond Dekker 2:35
  37. 5 Coomyah Desmond Dekker 2:8
  38. 6 You Got Soul Desmond Dekker 2:18
  39. 7 Polka Dot Desmond Dekker 1:44
  40. 8 (Where Did It Go) The Song We Used to Sing Desmond Dekker 3:4
  41. 9 Get Up Little Suzie Desmond Dekker 3:10
  42. 10 My Reward Desmond Dekker 2:20
  43. 11 Archie Wah Wah Desmond Dekker 2:34
  44. 12 Hippopotomus Desmond Dekker 2:51
  45. 13 Licking Stick Desmond Dekker 2:12
  46. 14 Live and Learn (The More You Live) Desmond Dekker 3:16
  47. 15 Warlock Desmond Dekker 3:54
  48. 16 Life of Opportunity Desmond Dekker 2:41
  49. 17 It Gotta Be So Desmond Dekker 2:45
  50. 18 First Time for a Long Time Desmond Dekker 2:27
  51. 19 Mother Nature Desmond Dekker 3:33
  52. 20 Beware Desmond Dekker 3:5
  53. 21 Sing a Little Song Desmond Dekker 2:59
  54. 22 (I'm A) Busted Lad Desmond Dekker 3:16
  55. 23 Money and Friends Desmond Dekker 2:43
  56. 24 Moving On Desmond Dekker 2:40
  57. 25 Book of Rules Desmond Dekker 3:5
  58. 26 Hot City Desmond Dekker 3:36
  59. 27 Dance the Night Away Desmond Dekker 2:35
  60. 28 Jamaica Ska Desmond Dekker 2:21

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