Total Reggae ~ Roots
July 29, 2013
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4/5|
Over the years VP Records has become the major player in reggae music, and boasts what is reputedly reggae's largest back catalogue. In recent times the company has issued several interesting releases from that huge catalogue. The 'Reggae Anthology' series is a truly impressive effort from the company, with outstanding releases such as Barrington Levy's 'Sweet Reggae Music 1979-84' and Yellowman's "Young, Gifted & Yellow", the latter even with a bonus DVD! Now they have released a brand new series called 'Total Reggae', a truly budget priced collection of double cd's, focusing on several sections in reggae music.
One of the most beloved section is roots reggae that deals with the everyday lives and aspirations of the artists concerned, including the spiritual side of Rastafari and with the honouring of Jah, but is also identified with the life of the ghetto sufferer and the rural poor. Lyrical themes include spirituality and religion, poverty, black pride, social issues, resistance to government and racial oppression, and repatriation to Africa. The genre came to prominence in the mid 70s, but Emperor Haile Selassie's state visit to Jamaica in 1966 was a major point in the 'uprising' of roots music. In the early nineties contemporary artists such as Garnet Silk, Tony Rebel, Luciano, Sizzla, Admiral Tibet and Yami Bolo became the pioneers of the second roots reggae wave.
This collection brings us 40 rootical gems from the initial roots wave, some of them are truly classics that need no further introduction, but there are also some interesting lesser know slices, which makes this collection worthwhile checking out. We're glad that they have included the Bob Andy tune Fire Burning, he's one of those pivotal artists that shaped reggae music over the years. Junior Delgado's Devil's Throne is an unexpected, but excellent choice and the same goes for Gates Of Zion by The Mighty Diamonds, one would have expected a tune from their crucial mid 70s Channel One days! Delroy Wilson was one of the most prolific artists, the amount of recordings for Bunny 'Striker' Lee was enormous, but yet the compilers have chosen to include a lesser known gem, the Keith Hudson production Place In Africa (Addis Ababa). Some of our favourites: Freddie McGregor's Joggin' stays one of his most finest outings ever, and Leroy Smart's Ballistic Affair, his comment of the strife going on at the time (1976) between the various garrisonized sections of Kingston, most notably Arnett Gardens (Concrete Jungle) and Wilton Gardens (Rema) and the raw version of Black Uhuru's Natural Mystic.
Don't hesitate, get your copy asap!