Acclaimed as one of Jamaica’s finest producers, Lloyd James aka King Jammy is revered as a titan of Reggae music. Under supervision from the legendary King Tubby, Jammy became a top producer and released a series of popular recordings towards the end of the ’70s. In 1968, Jammy signed a deal with Trojan Records and the two featured albums making up this collection were released. Dennis Brown’s album is 40 years since release and this is the first time on CD and most of the featured tracks and the album have not been released until now. Al Campbell’s album has been previously unreleased until now in any form. This collection includes 19 tracks new to CD.
DENNIS BROWN – THE EXIT
1. TOO LATE. Starting off this album’s tracks we have a version of the Carol King song on which Dennis shows off his vocal talents to the fore. It comes with a straight Reggae rhythm track and is mid-tempo. Released on the Ashanti label in the UK in 1973. 2. WE SHOULD MAKE LOVE Slower than the previous track, it floats along with another top-notch vocal from Mr Brown. The backing is laid-back and comes with a chorus, 4mins 03secs of quality Reggae. 3. HISTORY. This time around the track comes with a heavy rhythm that is pure Reggae. Dennis’s vocal is clear and full-on as one comes to expect from this legendary artist. Released in US on the Live Hard Love label as an album track in 1986. 4 UP FULL ONE. Coming with a spoken intro it moves into a fast-moving number with a full-on rhythm track. Dennis shows off his vocal talents and is helped-out by backing vocalists from time-to-time. Top-notch track this one. Released on the Live And Love label. 5. TRACK OF LIFE. This is a mid-tempo number on which Dennis is joined by backing vocalists at various stages throughout. The backing is classic Reggae, more of the same quality vocal from a great artist. Released on the Recall label in Europe as an album track in 1998. 6. MATERIAL GIRL. Not the Madonna hit but a fast-moving classic Reggae track on which Dennis is joined by a backing vocalist at various times. The backing floats-along and again this is Reggae at its best. Released on Jammy’s Records label (7″) in Jamaica. 7. THE EXIT. This has a chug-along rhythm track and is the title of the original vinyl album. This is a mid-tempo sound and as on previous tracks Dennis is joined by a backing vocalist at various times. Released on Trojan Records LP in the UK in 1986. 8. DANCE ALL NIGHT. This comes as a slower number that does not have the usual Reggae rhythm but a laid-back rhythm along with a cool vocal from Dennis, along with a backing vocalist. This comes as a class recording and a change from previous tracks. 9. I’LL BE WAITING THERE. We return to a full-on Reggae track with a classic Dennis Brown vocal. The backing comes with a straight Reggae rhythm. This track concluded the original vinyl album that was released in Jamaica on the Live And Love label in 1985.
AL CAMPBELL – HOLD YOUR CORNER
10. BUSS THEM SHUT. This begins the original album tracks and starts slowly before the Reggae rhythm comes in and we end up with a mid-tempo sound. The vocal is cool and if you have Al Campbell in your collection you will know what to expect. On the original 12″ release it was titled ‘Buss Him Shutt’. Released in the US on the Digital B label. 11. STOP YOUR FUSSING AND FIGHTING. This comes as a Roots Reggae number on which we hear Al Campbell’s vocal that is double-tracked. The vocal is classic and this song was also recorded by Dennis Brown. 12. EQUALISE IT. This is a faster number on which we hear Ali Campbell’s vocal double-tracked. The backing track is full-on and this song was written by the vocalist along with Lloyd James who is actually King Jammy. 13. HOT LOVE. Another fast number, not unlike the previous track in make-up. The vocal is clear and it comes with a full-on Reggae rhythm. 14. BIG WHEEL. This comes as a fast number again with a full-on Reggae rhythm and double-track vocal. Nothing special about this, just a quality Reggae recording. 15. CAN’T TEST WE AGAIN. This is a more laid-back sound with another quality vocal from Mr Campbell. Plenty of heavy drumming on the rhythm track and overall it is a good slice of Reggae. Released in Jamaica (7″) on the Skengton label in 1987. 16. KISS ME, KILL ME. This mid-tempo sound starts off with a ‘Lego Skanga’ riff from the Rupie Edwards recording. Ali is joined by a backing vocalist from time-to-time and here we have one of the best tracks on the original album. Released in Jamaica on New Musik label (7″) in 1992. 17. POWER STRUGGLE. Here we have another mid-tempo number on which Al shows-off his vocal talents to the fore. Again it comes with a backing vocalist and has quality musicianship on the backing track. 18. HOLD YOUR CORNER. Mid-tempo number with yet another backing vocalist. The rhythm track floats-along and is laid-back from the vocal. This happens to be the title song from the original album. Released in Jamaica on the Jammy’s label (12″). 19. CARBON COPY. This is mid-tempo and comes with a heavy Reggae rhythm along with a classic vocal from Al. This is a semi talk-over sound and overall is one of the top tracks, this is the final track from the original album.
20. SHE DONE WITH IT – The Mighty Rudo. This artist is one that has not popped up their head previously as far as one knows. This is a fast number and The Mighty Rudo is joined by backing singers on what one could call another semi talk-over number from time-to-time throughout. The genre for this is Reggae and the style is Dancehall. Released in the US on the Jammy’s Records label. 21. CRUCIAL LOVER – Leroy Smart. Here we have one of Jamaica’s well remembered artists on a mid-tempo sound written by the vocalist and King Jammy as Lloyd James. The rhythm track comes straight and Leroy Smart gives the listener a full-on quality vocal. Released in the US on the Live And Love label (12″) in 1987. 22. I LOVE YOU – The Mighty Rudo. Starting-off slowly it then moves into a sound on which the vocalist is joined by backing vocalists. The backing track is pulsating and the overall recording is very catchy. The genre for this is Reggae but the style is as on the previous track, Dancehall. Released in the US on the Jammy’s Records label. 23. SHE ONLY WANT SOMETHING – Leroy Smart. Finishing the tracks on this CD we once again have the vocalist on a mid-tempo number on which the vocal floats-along in front of a classic Reggae rhythm. This track along with Leroy’s previous track shows the listener how talented this Jamaican artist is and a fitting way to conclude this release.
As always Cherry Red Records have come up with another classic collection, with 19 tracks new to CD and including Al Campbell’s previously unissued album. The production work on both albums comes via King Jammy (Lloyd James) and is excellent. On this collection we hear two of Jamaica’s top vocal talents, Dennis Brown (The Crown Prince Of Reggae) and Al Campbell, who maybe needs to be further investigated further by Jamaican music fans. This collection is more than worthy of its release and as always comes with the eight-page booklet, containing top information and pictures. At £11 49p this could find its way into any Jamaican music collection.