Bob Andy: Update…and Retrospective
Jamaican singer and songwriter Bob Andy was featured on this blog in October last year when there were plans for an Unplugged tribute concert following a period of ill health. The concert in Kingston, Jamaica was held later that month and was a great success musically with many important reggae musicians taking part. It’s hoped that recordings of the concert might eventually be made available in some form. I was recently in touch with his London-based record company I-Anka and was told that Bob’s spirits were lifted considerably by the concert and that he has been feeling much better lately.
Some years ago I-Anka released the Bob Andy compilation Retrospective – subtitled Classic Tracks 1970-1975. The album is an excellent introduction and includes some of his very best songs of that period including ‘You Don’t Know’, ‘Desperate Lover’, ‘Fire Burning’ and ‘Let Them Say’.
Although he will always be remembered for the ‘Young, Gifted and Black’ hit with Marcia Griffiths, his own body of work is even more rewarding. For many years he has been a skilled craftsman of high quality songs and melodies which speak of love as well as of suffering and the underdog. He also possesses a soulful voice and while his songs have been covered by many other singers it’s his own versions that are usually the best.