Dennis Brown – The Ever Reigning Crown Prince Of Reggae [1 February 1957 – 1 July 1999]

by Jul 1, 2019Articles, Obituary

Dennis Brown

Artist Info

Dennis Brown 1957-1999

Career: Solo artist, producer, musician

Facebook: Original Dennis Brown

Selective Discography

Albums

  • 1970 – No Man Is An Island (Studio One)
  • 1971 – If I Follow My Heart (Studio One)
  • 1972 – Super Reggae & Soul Hits (Crystal/Trojan)
  • 1975 – Deep Down (Observer), Reissued In 1979 As So Long Rastafari (Harry J)
  • 1975 – Just Dennis (Observer/Trojan)
  • 1977 – Superstar (Micron)
  • 1977 – Wolf & Leopards (Deb/Weed Beat)
  • 1978 – Westbound Train (Third World) aka Africa (Celluloid)
  • 1978 – Visions Of Dennis Brown (Joe Gibbs)
  • 1979 – Joseph’s Coat Of Many Colors (Deb)
  • 1979 – Words Of Wisdom (Joe Gibbs/Atlantic)
  • 1980 – Spellbound (Joe Gibbs/Laser)
  • 1981 – Money In My Pocket (Trojan)
  • 1981 – Foul Play (Joe Gibbs/A&M)
  • 1982 – Love Has Found Its Way (Joe Gibbs/A&M)
  • 1982 – More (Yvonne’s Special)
  • 1982 – Stage Coach Showcase (Yvonne’s Special)
  • 1982 – Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow (Joe Gibbs)
  • 1983 – Satisfaction Feeling (Yvonne’s Special/Tad’s)
  • 1983 – The Prophet Rides Again (A&M)
  • 1984 – Love’s Got A Hold On Me (Joe Gibbs)
  • 1984 – Revolution (Taxi/Yvonne’s Special)
  • 1985 – Slow Down (Jammy’s/Greensleeves)
  • 1985 – Wake Up (Natty Congo)
  • 1986 – Brown Sugar (Taxi)
  • 1986 – History (Live & Love)
  • 1986 – Hold Tight (Live & Learn)
  • 1986 – The Exit (Jammy’s)
  • 1987 – Visions (Shanachie)
  • 1988 – Inseparable (Wks)
  • 1989 – Death Before Dishonour (Tappa)
  • 1989 – Good Vibrations (Yvonne’s Special)
  • 1990 – Over Proof (Two Friends/Greensleeves)
  • 1990 – Unchallenged (Music Works/Greensleeves)
  • 1990 – Sarge (Yvonne’s Special)
  • 1991 – Victory Is Mine (Legga/Ras)
  • 1992 – Another Day In Paradise (Trojan)
  • 1992 – Beautiful Morning (World Record)
  • 1992 – Blazing (Two Friends/Shanachie/Greensleeves)
  • 1992 – Friends For Life (Black Scorpio/Shanachie)
  • 1992 – Limited Edition (Artistic/VP/Greensleeves)
  • 1992 – If I Didn’t Love You
  • 1992 – Cosmic (Observer)
  • 1993 – Cosmic Force (Heartbeat)
  • 1993 – The General (Vp)
  • 1993 – Rare Grooves Reggae Rhythm & Blues (Body Music/Yvonne’s Special)
  • 199? – Rare Grooves Reggae Rhythm & Blues Vol. 2 (Yvonne’s Special)
  • 1993 – Songs Of Emanuel (Yvonne’s Special/Sonic Sounds)
  • 1993 – Unforgettable (Jammy’s)
  • 1993 – Give Praises (Tappa)
  • 1993 – It’s The Right Time
  • 1994 – Light My Fire (Heartbeat)
  • 1994 – Nothing Like This (Greensleeves/Ras)
  • 1994 – Vision Of The Reggae King (Gold Mine/Vp)
  • 1995 – I Don’t Know (Grapevine/Dynamite)
  • 1995 – Temperature Rising (Trojan)
  • 1995 – The Facts Of Life (Diamond Rush)
  • 1995 – You Got The Best Of Me (Saxon)
  • 1996 – Could It Be (Vp)
  • 1996 – Lovers Paradise (House Of Reggae)
  • 1996 – Milk & Honey (Ras)
  • 1998 – One Of A Kind (Imaj)
  • 1999 – Believe In Yourself (Don One/TP)
  • 1999 – Bless Me Jah (Ras/Charm)
  • 1999 – Generosity (Gator)

Dennis Brown – The Ever Reigning Crown Prince Of Reggae | July 1, 2019, it’s 20 years ago Dennis Brown passed away.

Twenty years after his untimely death we look back and pay tribute to one of the greatest Reggae artists, the still sorely missed Dennis “Emmanuel” Brown. Most text of this article comes from Steve Barrow’s sleevenotes from the Blood & Fire cd release “The Promised Land : 1977-79” (BAFCD039), one of the best and most significant writings published after Dennis Brown’s passing on to Zion. The beginning of this article includes parts from an article published in the Jamaican Gleaner after he had died.

Cardiac Arrest

Dennis Brown, hailed as the “Crown Prince of Reggae” in deference to Bob Marley’s kingly rating, died at the University Hospital in Kingston on Thursday, July 1st, 1999. A spokesman for Brown’s camp said the 42-year-old entertainer had been ailing for several weeks, and his condition worsened last night when he was rushed to hospital. Doctors reportedly worked throughout the early morning hours, trying to save his life, but he succumbed at about 7:00 0’clock in the Tony Thwaites Wing of the hospital. Hospital sources told THE STAR that Brown went into cardiac arrest and died. A post mortem has been ordered to determine the cause of death.

Illness

It is understood that Brown became ill while touring Brazil in May with Gregory Isaacs, Max Romeo and Lloyd Parkes and We the People band. There have been claims that some members of the group who went to Brazil and were detained beyond their intended stay by promoters, have taken ill since returning home. But, Romeo and Isaacs are understood to be okay and are travelling abroad. Lloyd Parkes was not available for comment this morning.

Dennis Brown 1987
Dennis Brown 1987 | Photo: Beth Lesser
Dennis Brown 1987
Dennis Brown 1987 | Photo: Beth Lesser
Reactions

News of the sudden death this morning of reggae superstar Dennis Brown, popularly called the Crown Prince of Reggae has rocked the local entertainment industry. Early reactions were gathered by THE STAR from persons who knew the boy wonder who started his career at age 12, and developed his craft, to be dubbed unofficial “Crown Prince.”

Derrick Harriott

Derrick Harriott, who was Brown’s first producer back in the ’60s described him as: “One of the greatest exponents of reggae music.” He said. Brown, whose last public performance locally was in December at the Best of Heineken Startime, was always smiling and never shrugged off anyone.

Michael Barnett

Michael Barnett, promoter of the Heineken Startime series, in remembering Brown said this: “Next to Bob Marley this is the greatest loss for the Jamaican music industry. I don’t think we will see a second to him in our lifetime.” The promoter said he had been working with Brown on a project and later this evening they were to have done an interview and photo shoot. “He is a man that always delivers. It is unfortunate that this time he couldn’t deliver physically, but I am sure he will be there in spirit,” he said. Barnett said at the time when he heard the news of his death he was listening to Brown’s album ‘Inseparable’ which was being played by his neighbour.

Richie Stephens

Local singer Richie Stephens said he had always seen Dennis as one of the greatest reggae artists. “He has always been my idol, the person I wanted to sound like, to be like and wish to meet,” Stephens said. He said when he met Brown he came to know that he was a great person- humble, respectable and kind. “Reggae has lost a great asset, may his soul rest in peace,” Stephens said.

Wonderful Voice

With the wonderful voice that earned him the title ‘Crown Prince of Reggae’, Dennis Brown has thrilled many reggae fans worldwide with his records and live performances. Dennis Brown was born on February 1st 1957 in Kingston JA, right at the corner of Orange Street and North Street. In an interview with Roger Steffens, done on October 22nd 1980, he says… There you have a big tenement yard, that was where I grew up, really… Slim Smith and the Techniques used to come in my yard and rehearse… I didn’t record as the Falcons. You see, each of us recorded separately. Like Noel Brown and Scotty, they recorded as the Chosen Few, and I recorded as Dennis Brown then… Well, the first record was a song called “Love Grows” which wasn’t released until after the second record I did for Coxsone, which was “No Man Is An Island”… The rest is Reggae history.

People’s Choice

It is extremely difficult to objectively evaluate the life and work of Dennis Brown because what he always represented in real terms to the world of reggae was of far greater importance than how the rest of the world saw him. For the best part of thirty years he was the people’s choice, ‘The Crown Prince Of Reggae’, Jamaica’s most consistently popular singer. In his own way he was the voice of reggae yet to outsiders he was a competent singer who had achieved a couple of crossover hits during a long career. Dennis Brown’s tragic death in 1999 brought forth a series of hastily turned out obituaries that focused on a career supposedly blighted by missed opportunities and alleged inherent weaknesses. They tended to concentrate on what might have been but, for Dennis Brown’s entire life, he sang for his public and not for any notions of what might have helped to make him into a ‘pop’ star or for the demands of an international audience. Of course if he had ‘crossed over’ then the same critics would have accused him of selling out. In order to be ‘authentic’ the ‘grittier’ and ‘rougher’ an artist sounds then the more ‘real’ they are perceived to be but a consummate craftsman will continually polish the veneer to a high gloss. To further get his message across they will seduce the listener with the beauty and quality of the sound before the actual message hits home. The international audience seem to prefer their artists to be as far removed as possible from anything that could ever be described as ‘easy listening’.

Hero To His Public

Dennis Brown’s work could never be described as ‘easy listening’ but the crossover audience somehow remained unappreciative of and largely unmoved by his iron fist in a velvet glove approach. When they finally started to take an interest in Reggae music it was invariably the more obvious forms such as dub and deejays that they latched on to. The obituaries missed the point completely and demonstrated once again how little is really understood about Reggae music by mainstream commentators. The emphasis should have been on the celebration of the life of a man who had given the world some of the greatest music ever and the point made that the deceased is important because of what they have achieved in their lifetime rather than because they are now dead. Instead his memory was insulted by demeaning defamation and meaningless criticism and because he was deemed to have ‘failed’ in the obituary writers’ estimation then he must have been a failure. Dennis Brown was a hero to his public and he always will be. This isn’t to say that if his achievement was good enough for the Reggae audience then it was good enough. The point is that if it was good enough for them then it should have been good enough for anyone for, as notoriously fickle and hard to please as they can be, Dennis Brown was loved by the Reggae music audience like no other singer. He spent practically the whole of his life singing and he never lost sight of the fact that he was dependent on his public. He loved his people and they loved him back.

Dennis Brown – Roots Selection

Dennis Brown – Lovers Selection

‘Real’ Person

A certain amount of interest in an artist’s private life away from their work is inevitable and we all like to see the ‘real’ person behind what it is they are celebrated for. But at what level does this become prurience? Unfortunately with the current cult of celebrity with people simply being famous for being famous the only thing it seems the public are interested in salacious details of the shortcomings and mistakes of their stars. The background details can be interesting and illuminating and can highlight aspects of an artist’s work and outlook but in the end, and this is the most important thing of all, it’s their work that has to stand up or fall down on its own merits. Unfortunately for the memory of Dennis Brown the obituary writers seemed only interested in dirt digging and muckraking. They never understood his work in the first place and failed to realise that Dennis Brown’s music is essential to an understanding of Reggae. His incredible influence and popularity, both as a singer and as a person, have been seriously overlooked and woefully misunderstood.

Warmth and Friendliness

Reggae writer and producer Chris Lane recounts the story of travelling to Jamaica for the first time in the mid-seventies and meeting up with Dennis Brown in Lee Perry’s studio. Whenever they subsequently crossed paths down on Orange Street or North Parade or anywhere else in Kingston Dennis greeted and treated Chris like an old friend. He was one of the in-crowd by association and the goodwill and friendliness that this created for Chris was immeasurable – if he was Dennis Brown’s friend then he was our friend too. His trip was a resounding success. Everyone who was fortunate enough to meet Dennis Brown will tell similar stories of his warmth and friendliness. He was genuine. As for his influence too far back to even remember exactly when it was I can recall a Talent Night at The Bouncing Ball Club in Peckham when it seemed that every youth who got up to sing that night had studied every last nuance of Dennis Brown’s style and delivery and many years later youth singer Yami Bolo would formalise this when he told Boom Shacka Lacka fanzine: Every youth want to sing like Dennis Brown.

Voice of Jamaica

He was a charismatic, gifted and supremely confident live performer and as he ran through selections from his vast repertoire his adoring audience would sing along note for note. Backed by bands that would have kept the most demanding audience happy even if the main attraction had failed to show his appearance on stage caused the crowd to erupt and the pressure never let up. He was the voice of Jamaica filtered through the works of Curtis Mayfield and Nat ‘King’ Cole and his songs of love for everyone were indivisible and inseparable from his love songs. He triumphed at them all.

DENNIS BROWN : JUST DENNIS
(Trojan, UK 1975)

Dennis Brown like so many artists has a lot to thank Studio One for. Yet more often than not it was the smaller independent producers like Lee Perry, Bunny Lee and Niney who turned those very same artists into stars. This album produced by Niney is a collection of D.Brown hits that really and truly gave him the reggae superstar status. The balance of Dennis’ smooth voice against those powerful Soul Syndicate riddims is superb. A truly excellent production from Niney ‘The Observer’ Holness.
(Ray Hurford)

track listing: Show Us the Way, Cassandra, Run Too Tuff, Westbound Train, Africa, Love Jah, No More Will I Roam, Some Like It Hot, Conqueror, Only A Smile, Silver Words, Yagga, Yagga (You’ll Suffer)

DENNIS BROWN : WOLF & LEOPARDS
(Weed Beat, JA / Joe Gibbs Music, US / Blue Moon, D.E.B. Music, UK 1977)

By the late seventies Dennis Brown was ready to go into self production. With years of experience and a good knowledge of the business it made perfect sense. With the help of Niney and Castro Brown (his cousin) he put together this album which is a classic. It includes huge hits like ‘Wolf And Leopards’ and ‘Here I Come’ plus other very popular tunes like ‘Whip Them Jah Jah’ and ‘Party Time’. Production wise it is very rough. The riddims are raw and ragged, but Dennis sounds great on them, and that’s what is important.
(Ray Hurford)

track listing: Wolf & Leopards, Emanuel, Here I Come, Whip Them Jah Jah, Created By The Father, Party Time, Rolling Down, Boasting, Children Of Israel, Lately Girl

Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow

DENNIS BROWN : YESTERDAY TODAY & TOMORROW
(Joe Gibbs Music, US / Blue Moon, UK 1982)

The early eighties found Dennis on the A&M label being produced by Joe Gibbs. The results were very smooth and by all accounts very successful. Great, but it didn’t really suit Dennis. A night club singer the man is not. He returned to reggae music to work with Sly & Robbie and to self-production. The tracks on this album and the follow up, are some of the best music the man has ever made. Powerful rocking riddims, great songs beautifully sung by Dennis. Jointly produced by himself, Sly & Robbie and Gibbo.
(Ray Hurford)

track listing : A Little Bit More, Tribulation, Rocking Time, Caress Me Girl, Love Light, Hold On To What You’ve Got, Little Village, Have You Ever Be In Love

DENNIS BROWN : LOVE’S GOTTA HOLD ON ME
(Joe Gibbs Music, US / Blue Moon, UK 1984)

Another collection of hit singles produced by Joe Gibbs and Errol Thompson and presented in a showcase style. 6 tracks in all. The bit hit here is the title track, but all the tracks are just as good. This is the sort of material that should have been presented to an international audience on the A&M albums. Strong memorable lyrics, great melodies, thoughtful arrangements and superb production. All very inspiring. Perhaps one day albums like this will be enjoyed by a wider audience.
(Ray Hurford)

track listing: Souls Keep Burning, Let Love In, Your Love’s Gotta Hold On Me, Right Fight, Hoolingan, I Can’t Stand It

DENNIS BROWN : SLOW DOWN
(Jammy’s, JA / Shanachie, US / Greensleeves, UK 1985)

It’s been a long time since Dennis has had a brand bew set of music that was worthy of the man. ‘Joseph’s Coat Of Many Colours’ was the last such album. Now this Prince Jammy’s album joins the likes of ‘Just Dennis’ ‘Visions’ ‘Wolf’ and of course ‘Joseph’.Don’t misunderstand me, Dennis has proved years ago that he was a major talent. Recently though when it came to albums, you wasn’t sure what to expect. Yet on this magnificent work you will find crisp riddims, great songs and that superb voice of the one D.Brown.
(Ray Hurford)

track listing: Slow Down Woman, Joy In The Morning, They Fight I, Let’s Build Our Dreams, Come On Over, Love By The Score, Icy Road, Africa We Want To Go, Now And Forever, Can’t Keep A Good Man Down

DENNIS BROWN : REVOLUTION
(Yvonne’s Special, JA & UK 1985)

A new Dennis Brown collection is always welcome, yet if only Dennis would channel or contain the many great songs found here into a single new album. The full success he truly deserves would come. Just imagine if he had held onto 8 songs like these on this album. Let’s say ‘Revolution’ ‘Get Myself Together’ ‘Armagedeon’ ‘Breaking Down The Barriers’ ‘Weakman’ ‘It’s Magic’ ‘Your Love Is A Blessing’ ‘I Like It Like That’ and ‘Have You Ever Been In Love’ Then put them out altogether as new works… What an album!
(Ray Hurford)

track listing: Revolution, Get Myself Together (New Style), Armagedeon, Breaking Down The Barriers, Weak Man, It’s Magic, Your Love Is A Blessing, I Like It Like That, Have You Ever Been In Love, The Promise Land, The Long And Winding Road

Hold Tight

DENNIS BROWN : HOLD TIGHT
(Live & Learn, UK & US / RAS, Canada 1986)

Since the ‘Slow Down’ LP of 1985, Dennis has been in the kind of form that took him to the top of the music some ten years ago. Like those great LP’s from the mid 70’s, this LP has received no recognition, or very little. And that causes problems, none of which Dennis or the music as a whole can solve. All he can do is keep putting out great music like this album, produced by the very talented Delroy Wright. Between him and Dennis they give us superb tunes like ‘Let Him Go’, ‘Things In Life’ and the excellent title track.
(Ray Hurford)

track listing: Hold Tight, Indiscipline Women, Footstool, Let Him Go, When Spring Is Around, I’ve Got Your Number, Worried Man, Things In Life

DENNIS BROWN : THE EXIT
(Jammy’s JA / Live & Love, US / Trojan, UK 1986)

One thing about the likes of people like Dennis Brown and Prince Jammy is that they are not easily discouraged. They know that the ‘Slow Down’ LP was something special. Very few LP’s get played track by tracks on sound systems in Jamaica – yet ‘Slow Down’ did, and not by King Jammy’s alone. This follow up LP ‘The Exit’ (originally called ‘History’ when on Jammy’s in JA) is just as good. It’s also fully computerized/electronic. Real songs can be made over such riddims; this LP is more proof.
(Ray Hurford)

track listing: Too Late, We Should Make Love, History, Tracks Of Life, Material Girl, The Exit, Dance All Night, I’ll Be Waiting There

DENNIS BROWN : BLESS ME JAH
(Jet Star, UK 1998)

In 1996 US-based RAS Records released the Dennis Brown album “Milk And Honey” and the concept of this album is quite the same: do-overs of tunes drawn from Dennis Brown’s own extended catalogue, covers from other artists and some fresh written material. The album features his usual mix of reality and sultry love songs all handled with his customary aplomb delivered over Flabba Holt’s programmed, tinny-sounding drum tracks with live bass and guitar. The ‘Crownprince Of Reggae’ is in fine form and delivers a strong steady vocal set. No shocking or innovative deliveries can be expected from this reggae veteran, but Dennis Brown’s albums are, for whatever reason, always well worth checking out and this one is no exception!
(Teacher)

track listing: There Is No Love And Understanding, Take Me To The Top, Bless Me Jah, Your Love Is Amazing, Something’s Been Bugging Me, If You Should Loose Me, Black Cinderella, Decorated My Life, Once Upon A Time, Black Magic Woman, The Half, Everybody’s Talking At Me, No Man Is An Island, My Heart Is Gone

DENNIS BROWN : TRIBULATION
(Heartbeat, US & Europe 1999)

‘Tribulation’ is a varied, skillfull produced and sophisticated album – credits go to veteran producer/arranger Alvin Ranglin – that unmistakably showcases the unique talent and skills of D.Brown. His vocal deliveries are underpinned by full sounding ‘live’ riddims (originals as well as do-overs) laid by some of Jamaica’s finest musicians like Errol “Flabba” Holt, Keith Sterling, Tony “Asher” Brissett, Bopee, Sticky, Mikey Chung, David Madden and Dean Fraser. Besides cover versions like Slim Smith’s ‘Rougher Yet’ and Buffalo Springfield’s sixties flower power pop anthem ‘Stop That Sound (For What It’s Worth)’, this album includes reworkings of his own tunes (e.g. ‘Tribulation’ and ‘This Love Of Mine’) as well as fresh written material. Some of the standout tracks are ‘Border Line’, ‘Count Your Blessings’, ‘Make It Easy’ and ‘Love Keep Us Together’.
(Teacher)

Love Keep Us Together, Make It Easy, Tribulation, Go On Now Girl, I Don’t Know Why, Rougher Yet, Stop Your Fighting, Border Line, Count Your Blessings, Are You Ready, In The Mood For Love, This Love Of Mine, Watch This Sound (For What It’s Worth), Summer Time Again, You Lied, Heart Breaking Girl

DENNIS BROWN : STONE COLD WORLD
(VP Records, US 1999)

This CD contains unreleased tracks produced by Augustus ‘Gussie’ Clarke, the veteran producer for whom Dennis had recorded so many classics in the past, and to whom he had returned in the months leading to his untimely death. Dennis’ distinctive voice, singing over Gussie’s ‘rich’ riddims is, as always, a musical treat. Included on this set is a new lick of his old Joe Gibbs disco ‘Running Up And Down’.
(Teacher)

Life Is A Mystery, Stone Cold World, I’ll Never Leave You Alone, Showers Of Blessing, Pure And Simple, Let’s Start Something Serious (Tonight), Merry Go Round, This Morning, Friends, Running Up And Down, Now I Wanna Honor You, I Did It All For You, Mi A No Bad Boy

DENNIS BROWN : LET ME BE THE ONE
(VP Records, US 2000)

This album was Dennis Brown’s last work before his untimely passing and contains 14 brand new tracks, including singles like ‘Keep Your Love A Coming’, ‘Never My Love’, and the title track ‘Let Me Be The One’. Do not expect any innovative or shocking deliveries here, but this is Dennis Brown at his best : singing from the heart over some fine riddims. Producer Don C. Hewitt almost succeeded in producing the ultimate Dennis Brown crossover album!
(Teacher)

Let Me Be The One, Catch Me If You Can, I Dig You Baby, Gee Baby, Keep Your Love A Coming, What’s New Pussycat, Honor The Lord, Keep It Up Girl, Baby, I’m A Want You, Clean Up Your Heart, Never My Love, Give Peace A Chance, Say A Prayer, A Song For Dennis

Dennis Brown - May Your Food Basket Never Empty

DENNIS BROWN : MAY YOUR FOOD BASKET NEVER EMPTY
(RAS, US & Europe 2000)

The album is produced by Errol ‘Flabba’ Holt who shares that “all royalty go to Dennis Emmanuel Brown family. Featured on the album are excellent reworkings of some of Jamaica’s finest classic tunes like Israel Vibration’s ‘The Same Song’, Ken Boothe’s ‘Just Another Girl’ and some of Dennis’ own vintage tunes such as one of his greatest hits ‘Money In My Pocket’ and ‘How Could I Live’, which was written by Dwight Pinkney. Furthermore the album contains some recordings from the past – with added instruments – like the 1983 recorded ‘Brotherman Unite’, a tune across the ‘Shank I Shek’ riddim, and ‘Praise Without Raise’ both from the ‘Satisfaction Feeling’ album.
(Teacher)

The Same Song, Just Another Girl, How Could I Live, Make It Easy On Yourself, Money In My Pocket, Why Did You Leave?, Straighten My Life, Heartache, Emanuel, Brotherman Unite, Praise Without Raise, Lady Madonna, Joy In The Morning

Dennis Brown - Anthology 'Money In My Pocket 1970-1995'

DENNIS BROWN : ANTHOLOGY ‘MONEY IN MY POCKET 1970-1995’
(Trojan, UK 2001)

Dennis Brown was one of Jamaica’s most sweet-voiced singers, who has never limited himself to one style. Whether it is Lovers Rock, Roots & Culture or Dancehall, he truly can handle it all and this anthology proves it once again. Featured here are most of his enduring tunes recorded for an array of producers, except for the recordings he cut for Coxsone Dodd and Sly & Robbie. It’s just impossible to compile a definitive anthology of Dennis Brown, because the man has laid down such an enormous amount of quality tunes for a variety of producers, but this double cd is a truly decent effort.
(Teacher)

Disc One: Lips Of Wine, Baby Don’t Do It, What About The Half, Things In Life, He Can’t Spell, Concentration, Musical Heatwave, Silhouettes, Changing Times, Let Love In, Black Magic Woman, Don’t You Cry, Cheater, It’s Too Late, Song My Mother Used To Sing, At The Foot Of The Mountain, Money In My Pocket (1973 version), Show Us The Way, Cassandra, Westbound Train, Africa, No More Will I Roam, Some Like It Hot, I Am The Conqueror, Only A Smile || Disc Two: Yagga Yagga (You’ll Suffer), When You Are Down, Why Seek More, Moving Away, On The Dock Of The Bay, Change Your Style, Wolf And Leopard, Whip Them Jah Jah, So Long (Rastafari Calling), Why Must I, My Time, Tribulation, Here I Come, Funny Feeling, To The Foundation, Equal Rights, Money In My Pocket (1978 version), Man Next Door, Ain’t That Loving You, Just A Guy, The Closer I Get To You, Temperature Rising, Rainbow

DENNIS BROWN : ANY DAY NOW
(Heartbeat, US & Europe 2001)

This Bunny Gemini produced album consists of lovers tunes and the two roots tunes ‘Wake Up And Live’ (across a remake of Glen Brown’s ‘Youthman aka Wicked Can’t Run Away’ riddim) and ‘Could It Be Me’, performed over the classic ‘Love Me Forever’ riddim. The album opens with a ballad called ‘Giving Up On Love’, a version of the famous soul classic. Next comes ‘Bad Love Affair’ across Studio One’s ‘Swing Easy’ riddim. And also ‘Make Me Your Slave’ uses a relicked Studio One riddim: ‘Sing Jah Stylee’. The cover tune Any Day Now is a weak effort, while ‘Stay In My Corner’ – featuring a backdrop reminiscent of Errol Dunkley’s ‘A Little Way Different’ is a solid effort. The album closes with nice dub versions of ‘Stay In My Corner’ and ‘Bad Love Affair’.
(Teacher)

Giving Up On Love, Bad Love Affair, Any Day Now, Stay In My Corner, If I Can’t Be Close To You, Make Me Your Slave, Long Distance Lover, Could It Be Me, Wish It Was Me, Wake Up And Love, Dub Love Affair, Dub My Corner

DENNIS BROWN : IN DUB
(Heartbeat, US & Europe 2002)

The album is filled with top dub shots produced by Niney the Observer and mixed by the legendary King Tubby. It includes the original dub release of ‘Cassandra’ as well as nineteen other scorching dubs taken from the vaults of the Observer label. Niney was the top militant producer and Dennis Brown was his number one artist. Together they chalked up hit after hit with some of the greatest songs of their respective careers. Niney’s riddims were made to be dubbed and King Tubby was the legendary dub mix master who took the Observer tracks to new heights of mutated intensity. The album includes rare 7″ mixes never released on CD. Also included are a sampling of tracks from the ‘Dubbing With The Observer’ set, as well as alternate mixes of several songs found on that album. Songs like the dubs of ‘Yagga Yagga’ and ‘Take A Trip’ are extremely rare and some versions like the alternate mix of ‘Wolf And Leopards’ are previously unreleased. The tracks were recorded in several Jamaican recording studios such as Joe Gibbs’, Randy’s Studio 17, Black Ark Studio and even at Chalk Farm Studio in the UK.
(Teacher)

Land of the Father (Africa), Fire from the Observer (Cassandra), Lock and Key (Open The Gate), Youth Man (Conqueror), Sir Niney’s Rock (Give A Helping Hand), Worthless Trap (You’re No Good), No Mercy (My Time)
Take A Dub (Take A Trip), Dubbing With The Observer (Live After You), Thief (Yagga Yagga), Pay The Rent (Tenement Yard), Revelation Fulfill (Tribulation), Come Dub (Here I Come Again), Jam Down (No More Will I Roam), Fire From The Observer Station (Westbound Train), Mischievous Dub (Wolf And Leopards), Mr. D Brown Dub (Rock It With Me), Dub Around The World (Traveling Man), Silver Bullet (Silver Words), One In The World Style (Westbound Train)

DENNIS BROWN : LIPS OF WINE (THE ROOTS OF DENNIS BROWN)
(Trojan, UK 2007)

‘Lips Of Wine (The Roots Of Dennis Brown)’ compiles a large amount lesser-known sides for producers such as Derrick Harriott, Alvin Ranglin, Lloyd Daley, Phil Pratt, Bunny Lee, Herman Chin-Loy, Sly & Robbie, Joe Gibbs, and, mainly, Niney the Observer. Dennis Brown fans will know and love this selection of tunes. Outstanding tracks here are the duet ‘Wild Fire’ with John Holt which they recorded in 1985 for ace producer Bunny Lee. The fabulous ‘Lips Of Wine’ opens the album. A lesser known gem is ‘Song My Mother Used To Sing’ produced in 1971 by Herman Chin Loy of Aquarius Records. Being fond of soul and pop music, Dennis recorded several covers such as ‘Pretend’, ‘Wichita Lineman’ and ‘Stick By Me’. A satisfying compilation set.
(Teacher)

Lips Of Wine, Don’t You Cry, Baby Don’t Do It, Stick By Me, Let Love In, Song My Mother Used To Sing, Pretend, Wichita Lineman, I Didn’t Know, Run Too Tuff, Lightning & Thunder, Why Seek More, Go Now, Rock With Me Baby, Show Us The Way, My Mama Say, Love Jah, Live After You, Moving Away, You’re No Good, Only A Smile, Tenement Yard, Have You Ever, Hold On To What You Got, Wild Fire (with John Holt)

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