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Encore for Boothe's 'Everything I Own'

Published:Tuesday | August 3, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Ken Boothe

Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer

TROJAN RECORDS is reissuing singer Ken Boothe's Everything I Own album, which was a hit in Great Britain 36 years ago. The 12-track set, which will be released this month, contains the title track which topped the British national chart.

"Unavailable since its original release, this essential LP is now available on compact disc, with the use of the original analogue masters and artwork ensuing complete authenticity," a release from the label said.

The album is part of a massive reissue campaign by Trojan, which was once the leading distributor of reggae music in Britain. Albums by Millie Small and Desmond Dekker have already been reissued by the company.

Produced by Lloyd Charmers, Everything I Own was recorded at the studios of Federal Records in Kingston. It followed on the heels of another lovers rock reggae album, 1,000 Volts of Holt by singer John Holt, which was also a hit in Britain.

Smash hit

The lead track was a cover of a smash hit originally done by American blue-eyed soul group Bread. Boothe's version took Britain by storm, sailing to number one and earning the singer a spot on the top-rated television show, Top of The Pops.

The album produced another Top 20 British hit in Crying Over You.

The Denham Town-born Boothe had considerable success as a rocksteady act in the 1960s with producers Clement Dodd and Leslie Kong, for whom he cut songs like The Train is Coming and Freedom Street, respectively.

He made the transition to reggae in the early 1970s, scoring a chart hit with the Winston 'Niney' Holness-produced Silver Words. However, the soulful Everything I Own was the crowning point in Boothe's career, as it took off at a time when roots-reggae and punk rock were the sounds of choice in Britain.

Boothe never enjoyed that level of solo success again, though Boy George covered his version of Everything I Own in 1987. That version also entered the British national chart.

Eight years later, he and Shaggy put a new spin on The Train Is Coming for the Wesley Snipes/Woody Harrelson movie, Money Train.