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Norman Jay MBE Presents Good Times - 30th Anniversary Edition

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Album Review

Looking at the picture of legendary sound system DJ Norman Jay on the cover of this album, with a Notting Hill street behind him and a huge, dreadlocks-covering tam on his head, you'd naturally expect this album to be a reggae collection. But if you've ever attended his Good Times parties at the Notting Hill Carnival, you would know better; they range all over the place, with a particular emphasis on vintage soul and rare groove, and this 30th anniversary celebration mix does exactly the same thing. It opens with a stone classic: Mark Capanni's original version of "I Believe in Miracles," later made popular by the Jackson Sisters; then it segues directly into a nu-soul hit by Avery Sunshine before jumping back to the '70s with Ted Taylor's "Ghetto Disco." Just about everything else on the album follows that same pattern, juxtaposing old soul, funk, and disco with newer soul, hip-hop and disco; there are appearances by Little Anthony & the Imperials, the Basement Khemist, Fries & Bridges, Curtis Mayfield, and J Boogie's Dubtronic Science, among many others. There are a couple of minor missteps: Curtis Mayfield is not particularly well represented by "Victory," and Fries & Bridges' "Forever This" is a fairly dreary house thumpathon. But just about everything else is a hoot, and for those who are feeling cheated by the lack of reggae, there's Jacob Miller's classic "Tired Fe Lick Weed in a Bush."


Born: London, England

Genre: Funk

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

One of England's foremost DJs ever since his Jamaican-style Good Times Sound System debuted at London's Notting Hill Carnival in 1980, Norman Jay pioneered the sound of rare groove, house, and acid jazz during the heady days of Britain's increasing ascendancy in the global dance scene. A native of London (though he was born of first-generation West Indian parents), Jay began buying reggae and soul singles at an early age and first DJed at the tender age of eight. During the early '70s, he branched...
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Norman Jay MBE Presents Good Times - 30th Anniversary Edition, Norman Jay MBE
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