2LP released: Jul 05, 2024

1. Here I Am Baby (Come And Take Me)
2. Everything I Own
3. Green Grasshopper
4. Play Me
5. Children At Play
6. Sweet Bitter Love
7. Gypsy Man
8. Thereæs No Me Without You
9. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
10. I Just Donæt Want To Be Lonely
11. Mark My Word
12. The First Cut Is The Deepest
13. Melody Life
14. Work And Slave
15. Working To The Top (My Ambition) (Part 1)
16. Donæt Let Me Down
17. Band Of Gold
18. Put A Little Love In Your Heart
19. I See You
20. My Love
21. Itæs Too Late
22. Baby If You Donæt Love Me
23. Love Walked In
24. When Will I See You Again
25. Play Me (Part 2)
Barcode: 4251648412533
Packaging: 2LP

Sweet And Nice is the vital debut album from JamaicaÆs undisputed first lady of song Marica Griffiths. ItÆs 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 originalÆs 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 doesnÆt mess with magic. MarciaÆs version of ôHere I Am (Come and Take Me)ö has long been lusted after, played by genre-hopping selectors to snapping necks for decades now. ItÆs followed by the sophisticated, rollicking wah-wah funk of ôEverything I Ownö and the slice of smooth lovers soul par excellence that is ôGreen Grasshopperö and her ace, lilting Neil Diamond cover ôPlay Meö. The thundering, humid funk of ôChildren At Playö ôsounds uncannily like a precursor of Massive Attackö, 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. ôSweet, Bitter Loveö should leave you swooning, and is also one of the albumÆs alternate titles. Curtis MayfieldÆs already-eternal ôGypsy Manö is up next, recast as proto-lovers rock. ôThereÆs No Me Without Youö is elevated to canonical status by the majestic, forlorn horns of the Federal Soul Givers and MarciaÆs heartbreaking delivery. And if this doesnÆt get you then surely the next track will: arguably the definitive version of Ewan MacCollÆs ôThe First Time Ever I Saw Your Faceö. Yes, seriously. ôI Just DonÆt Want To Be Lonelyö re-takes its rightful place at the end of the LPÆs second sideà but we couldnÆt leave it at that. So we added an entire second record of rare material recorded around the same time as Sweet And Nice, much of it unavailable since it was originally released. Some of these songs have only ever been found on now unattainable 7' singles and no, rarity doesnÆt always correspond with quality, but in this case weÆre talking about some seriously jaw-dropping music. Amongst 14 extra tracks youÆll find the exquisite late-60s singles ôMelody Lifeö and ôMark My Wordö which, along with the sumptuous reading of ôBand Of Goldö, are now ú100 records, if you can find them! Just sayinÆ. Thereæs also a fantastic version of ôThe First Cut Is the Deepestö and an alternate take of ôPlay Meö with producer Lloyd Charmers adding his own vocals. EverythingÆs been remastered of course, including the original LP, so Sweet And Nice now sounds even sweeter, and even nicer.

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