Phoenix City All-Stars consists of Dave Barker (the voice of Dave & Ansell Collins) and AJ Franklin (The Federals and The Chosen Few) and serve as a backing band in the UK for select ska shows and festivals. This album includes 8 tracks of UK hits converted into ‘60s Jamaican ska style.
The opening track “One Step Beyond” sounds vastly different from Madness’ version. “Stereotype” is next and is in more in tune with how the Specials did it. I liked this one a lot. This album would be great to live on in the background at a party or something. It’s a got a cool vibe and isn’t too loud.
While the first two tracks are strictly instrumental, “Tears of a Clown” is sung and sounds great! Phoenix City All-Stars’ cover of “The Prince” sounds like Jackie Mitto is playing with them. It’s got that Mitto style. While most of the tracks work for me, some don’t. Regardless of that, this is a great take on some UK ska tunes. I’m curious to see if there will be more of this; I have a feeling there will be.
Bottom Line: Interesting take on UK ska hits
Notable Tracks: One Step Beyond, Stereotype, Prince, Ghost Town
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