Desmond Dekker

Gimmie Gimmie

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Desmond Dekker, the original rude boy, was instrumental in taking reggae out of the Jamaican ghettos and bringing it to the world. Bob Marley gets all the credit, but the Wailer walked through a door that Dekker pushed wide open back in the '60s. Dekker's producer Leslie Kong unlocked the door for him with an unerring ear for twigging Jamaican music for international audiences. Myriad compilations were built around the two men's music, and truthfully they're all virtually interchangeable, as Dekker's canon is so high caliber that even new fans will never get burned. Gimme Gimme, is a case in point. It includes a trio of crucial hits -- "The Israelites," "You Can Get It If You Really Want," and "It Mek" -- and some notable omissions, with the rest swinging from much compiled popular numbers to relatively rarer songs like the mistitled title track (aka "Gimme a Divorce"), "Coconut Water," and "Fu Manchu." Nothing here for the hardcore fan nor for those looking to expand their collection, but it's as good a place to start as any for those just discovering the many delights of the legendary Desmond Dekker. ~ Jo-Ann Greene, Rovi