Between his late '70s stint with Public Image Limited and the mid '80sfoundation of Invaders of the Heart, Jah Wobble released a number ofsolo and collaborative singles, EPs and albums. This 2 CD compilationselectively revisits that period.
Included are the original"Invaders.." 12" (the cream of the crop), the "Voodoo" 12" with OllieMarland and Polly Eltes, the "Blowout" 12", the title track from the"Tradewinds" LP with Ollie Marland, the "Fading" and "A Long, Long Way"12"s (minus the instrumental versions) and the entirety of the aptlytitled "Bedroom Album". Noticeably missing are all of the releases fromthe same era for Virgin and Island, the ones I'd much rather hear, suchas the collaborations with Don Letts, Keith Levene, Holger Czukay, JakiLiebezeit and The Edge. Wobble's work with PiL and of the past 2-3years is by far my favorite, thus my low expectations for "Early Years"were not surpassed. There are some pleasant and promising moments butnothing on par with his previous post-punk and later, more seriousoutput. Goofy, cheesy pop tendencies (least of which are often silly ortrite lyrics and vocals) and not so interesting experimentationspredominate, while the dub wise world sound he is best known for isonly in it's fledgling stages. Recording quality is a bit dodgy hereand there too, some tracks obviously mastered from inferior masters.It's somewhat curious that Wobble would choose to re-issue these ratheramateur recordings now. I recommend PiL's "Metal Box"/"Second Edition"and Wobble's other recent 30 Hertz discs instead. -