Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Best of Studio One [Heartbeat, 1983]
Never an aficionado of medium-tempo vocal groups, second-level soul men, or for that matter '60s reggae, I don't find this loving first-U.S.-release compilation of Coxsone Dodd tracks especially transcendent. "Oh Mr. D.C." and "Row Fisherman Row" are the finest Sugar Minott and Wailing Souls ever to come my way, and the Termites "My Last Love" is a sure shot ina one-shot style. But the Heptones ain't the Mighty Diamonds, Dennis Brown ain't Perry Como, and Alton Ellis ain't Tyrone Davis, a second-level soul man if ever there was one. And so it goes. B+