SWEET AND NICE (2LP, 140 G VINYL)
2x12" Vinyl, 140 g vinyl UK
140g vinyl, remastered, double LP with the original LP along with a second record of 14 rare tracks Sweet And Nice is the vital debut album from JamaicaÕs undisputed first lady of song Marica Griffiths.
It’s reggae at its most soulful. Slinking through a tight ten tracks of R&B and pop-sourced material, it became an instant best seller. 45 years after its initial release the LP is available again on vinyl, now as a double LP, with an extra record collecting 14 rare tracks. Sweet And Nice has appeared over the years with a revised running order and under different titles. But the original’s opening sequence of loping soul is legendary, even beyond reggae circles. These songs are now returned to how they were presented on that first Jamaican release, and under their intended album title. Be With doesn’t mess with magic. Marcia’s version of “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” has long been lusted after, played by genre-hopping selectors to snapping necks for decades now. It’s followed by the sophisticated, rollicking wah-wah funk of “Everything I Own” and the slice of smooth lovers soul par excellence that is “Green Grasshopper” and her ace, lilting Neil Diamond cover “Play Me”. The thundering, humid funk of “Children At Play” “sounds uncannily like a precursor of Massive Attack”, as FACT Mag astutely noted when they put Sweet And Nice at number 16 in their list of the 100 best albums of the 1970s. Otherworldly, moody and essential. Side two keeps the fire burning. “Sweet, Bitter Love” should leave you swooning, and is also one of the album’s alternate titles. Curtis Mayfield’s already-eternal “Gypsy Man” is up next, recast as proto-lovers rock. “There’s No Me Without You” is elevated to canonical status by the majestic, forlorn horns of the Federal Soul Givers and Marcia’s heartbreaking delivery. [info sheet from distr.]