Label: Trojan Records - TJDDD177 • Format: 2x, CD Album, Compilation • Country: UK • Genre: Reggae • Style: Reggae, Ska, Rocksteady
Bruce Ruffin's solo career wasn't that of a typical Jamaican singer in the late '60s and early '70s. He began singing rocksteady with the Techniques and dipped his toes briefly in the new sound of reggae, but after that his path is one that few others followed, one of syrupy conservative pop.
Almost all of Ruffin's solo material is gathered here on Mad About You, titled after the song that shaped the singer's legacy of reggae-pop. The title cut had a novelty sheen, with chipmunk backing vocals and sappy strings, and was an embarrassment to Ruffin -- but its success convinced him and his producers at the time, Tony Cousins and Bruce White, to run with it. That summery material with breezy melodies and light brass and string arrangements is K-Otix - Take A Breather / The Word the singer is best known for, and in the pantheon of pop-soul and reggae-pop Ruffin falls somewhere between R.
Greaves and Johnny Nash. Reggae power!! The transformation is visible in easy steps from the rough Kong sessions that included covers of Paul Simon's "Cecilia" and the Five Stairsteps "O-o-h Child" to the smooth Chin-Loy-produced hit "Rain" and finally the glossy sheen of "Mad About You" and the other Cousins and White productions.
It's a mixed bag, but there are enough gems, both in the rough and cut to perfection, to make it worthwhile. Title Description. Don't you just wish this were a real message?
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