I have been playing a lot of reggae these last few days. It's funny, I don't listen to reggae regularly but when I do I sort of binge on it and then wonder why I don't play it more often. After this latest episode I think I may be really hooked all over again - as I evidently was around 1979-80 from whence many of my reggae vinyls seem to date. A time when Jamaica and the UK seemed to be attached by a musical umbilical cord.
To mark my latest reawakening here is one of the records that got some plays this weekend just gone. Thirty years ago to this very day this record was number 10 in the Joe Gibbs Record City (Lewisham Way, SE23) Pre 45's chart (as compiled by Cassius). I know this because I read it here (a great site for Reggae heads). Actually by March 1980 it could hardly be described as a "Pre" as it had been selling well in the specialist UK reggae outlets for some months by then.
What do I love abut this record:
1. Dennis Brown (of course) - he had such a sweet and natural voice. When the debate comes around to the best singers of all time his hat should be thrown into the ring every time.
2. The ethereal-like piano.
3. The label (D.E.B - Dennis Emmanuel Brown) - no matrix or release numbers, just the essential information - crude and vital.
and of course the dub:
Buy The Promised Land: Dennis Brown 1977-1979