Cornell Campbell – Natty Dread: Anthology

by Aug 30, 2018Artist, Reviews

Cornell Campbell - Natty Dread: Anthology
Logo Trojan Records

Release Info

Cornell Campbell – Natty Dread: Anthology

Label:  Trojan Records | Format: DBL CD | Street date: April 4, 2005 | Website label


Disc 1

  1. Girl Of My Dreams
  2. Stars
  3. The Gorgon
  4. Dance In A Greenwich Farm
  5. The Conquering Gorgon
  6. Gun Court Law
  7. They Can’t Get Me Out
  8. Natty Dread In A Greenwich Farm
  9. Press Along Natty Dread
  10. Give Me Strength Oh Jah
  11. The Gorgon Is The Ruler
  12. Stay Down Babylon
  13. Jah Jah A Go Beat Them
  14. I’ll Mash You Down
  15. Please Be True
  16. Wherever I Lay My Hat
  17. I’ve Got To Keep Running
  18. Duke Of Earl (original)
  19. The Sun
  20. Whenever You Need Me
  21. Heading For The Mountain
  22. Wolf In Sheeps Clothing
  23. Rasta Come From Jail
  24. Natty Dread

Disc 2

  1. My Sweet Baby
  2. Go To Tell The People
  3. Malicious World
  4. I’ll Never Let Go
  5. Press Along Natty
  6. Fight Against Corruption
  7. Trick In The Book
  8. Boxing
  9. Rope In
  10. Chatty Chatty Too Much
  11. My Love For You
  12. Everybody Want Promotion
  13. Hypocrites
  14. No Man’s Land
  15. Jah Jah Me No Horn Yah
  16. The Gorgon Is Back
  17. Confusion On The Land
  18. My Guiding Star
  19. The Drifter
  20. Queen Of The Minstrel
  21. Be True To Me
  22. Hard Headed Israelites (aka Follow Instruction)

Trojan Records was originally set up by Island Records to handle their reggae catalogue, distinct from the main Island label. Celebrating 50 years of the London based reggae specialist label, we are going to bring to mind some of their releases.

This is a spiritual collection of stoic roots music, featuring the soul influenced vocal styling of Cornell Campbell.

“King In My Empire” 12″ (released on Basic Channel with Rhythm and Sound) has kept his profile high with roots lovers — The track was distinctive due to its stripped minimalist structure and “roll off” sub lows, contrasted with ethereal vocals. This collection from Trojan is stylistically mixed, combining his soulful output with lover’s tunes and some evocative sufferer’s roots vocals.

CD 1 features the hooligan bass of “Dance Inna Greenwich Farm” later versioned by the great Dr. Alimantado. Another high point is Campbell’s version of Johnny Clarke’s “None Shall Escape” — here entitled “Gun Court.”

“Stay Down In Babylon” is a hymnal chant. “Jah A Go Beat Them” is a thunderous cut to Coxsone’s “Freedom Blues” — later also versioned by Tappa Zukie as “MPLA.”

Another cut from Tappa’s “MPLA” album surfaces here — the impassioned “Please Be True”, with its shifting Tubby’s/Bunny Lee rhythm track burning red hot under the emotive vocal.

“Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” moves on from the Bunny Lee flying cymbal style, which can wax repetitive and begin to grate — so it is a relief when the style shifts to a militant Rockers snare and rim shot heat.

CD 2 steps up the pressure with a later Sly and Robbie Rockers style, including some Radics tunes — “Malicious World” is a dark and pessimistic realism lyric, inclining towards misanthropy and a bleak view of humanity. “Fight against Corruption” is Cornell’s version of Junior Byles “Beat Down Babylon” with a swirling Scientist mix.

CD 2 also features an original contribution to the history of roots music, “Jah Jah Me No Born Yah”, in which Cornell sounds more like the Afro Cuban vocalist Celia Cruz, or a vocalist from the Fania All Stars than a JA roots singer. Besides a very strong Afro Cuban influence in the vocals here, the melody and inflection sounds similar to prevalent female vocal styles from Southern and Central Africa in the early 60’s.

The high point of the album is the moving “Hypocrites/aka Blessed Are They Who Keep The Commandments” which is a beautiful version to the “Tribute To Steve Biko” from Tappa Zukie’s “Peace in the Ghetto” album.

“Blessed are they who keep the commandments, for they have the right to the Tree of Life. Downpressers cannot enter. Hypocrites too, cannot enter. No liars and thieves cannot enter into Jah Kingdom– it’s only by the works that you do. No false teacher and false prophet cannot enter.”


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