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Bobby Bobylon [Bonus Tracks]

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Freddie McGregor 5/16/2006

Review

Bobby Bobylon was Freddie McGregor's debut album for Studio One when it appeared in 1980 (McGregor's album debut proper was a Niney the Observer-produced set that came out a year earlier) even though he had been contributing vocals and drums to Clement Dodd productions for close to 20 years and had released several successful singles under the Studio One imprint during that time. Maybe Dodd knew what he was doing, though, because Bobby Bobylon, featuring McGregor's smooth and seemingly effortless vocals gliding over re-versioned Studio One rhythms, was an immediate and obvious classic. From the first cut, the lovely and hopeful "Bandulo" (sung over the rhythm track from the Invaders' "Soulful Music" from 1968), to the last, "I Am a Revolutionist" (a recut and retitled version of McGregor's own "I Man a Rasta" from 1976), Bobby Bobylon exhibited a grace and balance rare for an album in any musical genre, but particularly so in the ragtag, singles-driven, here today and gone tomorrow swirl of Jamaican popular music. Heartbeat first reissued the LP on disc in 1991 and the label has added eight bonus tracks of period singles and extended mixes for this 2006 expanded version, which doubles the running time of Bobby Bobylon to nearly 70 minutes. Among the new tracks (none of which have been available on CD before) are an extended mix of "Rastaman Camp" which is even more spooky, ominous and relentless than the LP version and a likewise extended mix of the title tune, "Bobby Bobylon," which slides into dub halfway through the song before emerging into the original Jackie Mittoo instrumental, "One Step Beyond," on which McGregor's song is based. Bobby Bobylon was already an essential Jamaican album at half the length of this revisit, and with the bonus material, it becomes even more so. ~ Steve Leggett
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Bandulo Freddie McGregor 2:10
  3. 2 We Need More Love Freddie McGregor 2:34
  4. 3 What Difference Does It Make Freddie McGregor 2:49
  5. 4 Go Away Pretty Girl Freddie McGregor 2:32
  6. 5 Tomorrow Is Like Today Freddie McGregor 3:27
  7. 6 Bobby Bobylon Freddie McGregor 2:25
  8. 7 Wine of Violence Freddie McGregor 3:22
  9. 8 Gonna Take Over Now Freddie McGregor 2:21
  10. 9 Rastaman Camp Freddie McGregor 4:36
  11. 10 I Am a Revolutionist Freddie McGregor 3:33
  12. 11 Freddie [Previously Unreleased] Freddie McGregor 3:3
  13. 12 Homeward Bound [Previously Unreleased] Freddie McGregor 2:51
  14. 13 Little Girl [Previously Unreleased] Freddie McGregor 2:25
  15. 14 When I'm Ready/Jacklyn Freddie & Lone Ranger [Mix][Previously Unreleased] Freddie McGregor 7:17
  16. 15 Come Now Sister [Mix] Freddie McGregor 7:52
  17. 16 I Man a Rasta [Mix] Freddie McGregor 3:23
  18. 17 Rastaman Camp [Mix] Freddie McGregor 5:14
  19. 18 Bobby Bobylon/One Step Beyond [Mix] Freddie McGregor 6:45

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