Although billed as a Tommy McCook album, what actually unifies this 1969 collection of commercial reggae is producer Duke Reid. Soundsystem rival to Studio One’s Clement Dodd, Reid was producer of the classic ska and reggae released on his label Treasure Isle, and then later on Trojan in the late 60s and early 70s.
We kick off with John Holt’s gently soulful Stealing Stealing, then take a left turn with Dave Barker’s Lock Jaw, a distant cousin of Barker’s Ansell Collins collaboration Double Barrel. The MC pops up again later, extolling us to “Don’t watch that! Watch This!” providing the framework for seven lads from Camden. Saxophonist McCook appears increasingly on Side 2, with keyboardist Winston Wright performing hugely danceable rocksteady instrumentals. It’s limited to 750, pressed on orange vinyl.