Sunday, 25 November 2018

War Ina Babylon: An Island Reggae Anthology


   

This is a superb compilation covering the offerings from Chris Blackwell's Island Records, which along with Trojan, did so much to bring reggae skanking from Jamaica to the UK and US mainstreams. The elephant in the room on this set, of course, is the non-appearance of Bob Marley & The Wailers. He was Island's multi-million selling artist. it is not clear why he doesn't appear, but personally, it is not a problem. I am familiar with all his work and own it all. This set gives me a chance to play it on "random" and listen all sorts of reggae sub-genres - ska, bluebeat, mod ska, rock steady,  skinhead reggae, classic pop reggae, roots, dub, DJ toasting, lovers rock, dancehall and ragga.  They are all represented here and the remastered sound is exceptionally good, considering quite a lot of reggae was pretty rudimentarily recorded. I love listening to this every now and again. it is thoroughly uplifting. It is slightly light on the early seventies commercial, string orchestrated Young, Gifted And Black/Suzanne Beware Of The Devil style material, as most of that type of material was released on the Trojan label.

Here are some of my highlights:-

Boogie In My Bones - Laurel Aitken
Bonanza Ska - Carlos Malcolm & His Afro-Jamaican Rhythms
My Boy Lollipop - Millie Small
Rock Steady - Alton Ellis & The Flames
Stop That Train - Keith & Tex
The Harder They Come - Jimmy Cliff
Breakfast In Bed - Lorna Bennett
This Is Reggae Music - Zap Pow
Book Of Rules - The Heptones
Marcus Garvey - The Heptones
King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown - Augustus Pablo
Reggae Got Soul - Toots & The Maytals"
Party Time - The Heptones
Police & Thieves - Junior Murvin
Soldier & Police War - Jah Lion
War Ina Babylon - Max Romeo
Roast Fish & Cornbread - Lee "Scratch" Perry & The Upsetters
96 Degrees In The Shade - Third World
Prodigal Son - Steel Pulse
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner - Black Uhuru
Warrior Charge - Aswad
This Bed's Too Big Without You - Stella Hylton
Night Nurse - Gregory Isaacs
Pass The Kouchie - The Mighty Diamonds
Back To Africa - Aswad
Don't Turn Around - Aswad
Revolution - Dennis Brown
Boom Shack A Lack - Apache Indian



B+

The Deezer sample below does not contain all the material. it is merely a sampler.

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