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Various - The Kings of Reggae - David Rodigan and Sting International

the kings of reggae
Various - The Kings of Reggae - David Rodigan and Sting International
(2xCD/2x12") Barely Breaking Even Records/Rapster Records RR0066CD, 2007-02-05

Review :
The "Kings Of" series of BBE are not compilations for the record collectors out there, they're selections FROM the record collectors out there. This 8th volume focuses on reggae, roots reggae and dancehall, and tries to offer a coherent and comprehensive view on Jamaican reggae music.

THE number one specialist in all England is one David Rodigan - thankfully he's there, cooking the first platter... It's an "only huge roots reggae hits" selection so you'll have to go somewhere else for some rare unearthed old school gems, but if you need to educate a friend to reggae music, it's a good introduction. If you need some reggae that won't annoy the pop/rock-abused ears you've invited for "dinner and a blunt", it's a well-fitted choice too. They shall all enjoy their afterdinner rolled one on a peaceful Jamaican chillout time with classics like "Satta Massa Gana" (The Abyssinians), Marcus Garvey" (Burning Spear"), "Police & Thieves" (Junior Murvin) or "Fisherman" (The Congos).... The rest of the first CD is elegantly selected too, globally, it's quite a cool summer thing. By the pool/sea and no cloud in the sky...

The second CD is more of a jamaican soundsystem mix, focused on the end of the 70s rub-a-dub and early 80s dancehall, flowing from a song to its toasted version with ease [with a big up to our main men The Lone Ranger and Echo Minott, featured here with their famous "M-16" and "Lazy Body" respective classics!].

While newcomers will discover a box of delights, reggae connoisseurs will surely welcome the well-paced story of jamaican music. Can't say much about the booklet too from the promo CDs I got but I'll try to update these comments when I'll get my hands on the final product.

Tracklisting CD1 :
01. The Abyssinians - Satta Massa Gana
02. Dennis Brown - To The Foundation
03. Aswad - Back To Africa
04. Burning Spear - Marcus Garvey
05. Marcia Griffiths - Dreamland
06. Richie Spice & Chuck Fender - Freedom
07. Gentleman feat. Barrington Levy & Daddy Rings - Caan Hold Us Down
08. Luciano - Messenger
09. Junior Murvin - Police & Thieves
10. Jimmy Cliff - The Harder They Come
11. John Holt - Police In Helicopter
12. Freddie McGregor - Big Ship
13. Beres Hammond - Come Down Father
14. Garnett Silk - Splashing, Dashing
15. Culture - Two Sevens Clash
16. Bunny Wailer - Blackheart Man
17. The Congos - Fisherman

Tracklisting CD2 :
01. Dennis Brown - Caress Me Girl
02. John Holt - Love I Can Feel (80's Version)
03. Josey Wales - Mi Have Fi Get You
04. Coco Tea - Informer
05. Little John - Work Us So Hard
06. Yellowman - Over Me
07. Tenor Saw - Roll Call
08. Anthony Red Rose - Tempa
09. Echo Minott - Lazy Body
10. Dennis Brown - Here I Come
11. Ranking Dread - Fattie Boom Boom
12. Sammy Dread - Rude Boy
13. Lone Ranger - M16
14. Ini Kamoze - Trouble You A Trouble Me
15. General Echo - Arleen
16. Toyan - Stylee
17. Shaggy feat. Rayvon - The Shaggy and Rayvon Show

Links : (DJ Sting International)

Press Release :
Hot on the heels of the incredible “Kings of Techno” release, BBE and Rapster once more join forces to bring you their 7th instalment in the series, cunningly titled: “The Kings of Reggae”. This time the double CD set is carefully constructed by David Rodigan and Sting International to cover each aspect of this unique and indigenous music that has affected their lives.

Widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading figureheads in the genre, David Rodigan has been championing reggae for over 30 years. His contribution to radio - a career that began in 1978 on Radio London, and went via Capital to finally rest on Kiss FM - has recently earned him a position in the Radio Academy Hall of Fame. The key to Rodigan's success has been an unsinkable passion for reggae music, one that has developed into an obsession that has generated an encyclopaedic knowledge of the island's every artist, song and rhythm track. He continues to play weekly in Brixton with his trusty sidekick, Donald "Papa Face" Facey, one of two London based residencies he frequents alongside a host of dates around the globe.

If you haven’t heard of Sting International you’ll no doubt have heard some of the music he’s been responsible for in recent years. He made a multi-platinum artist out of Shaggy by producing hit singles such as “Boombastic”, “Oh Carolina” and “It Wasn’t Me”, as well as working with reggae legends like Maxi Priest, Barrington Levy, Shabba Ranks, Sean Paul and Elephant Man. He regularly hosts the immensely popular Hip House Reggae show with Dahved Levi on 98.7 Kiss FM, and can be seen DJing at clubs across all 5 New York boroughs including his weekly appearance alongside the legend Timmy Regisford at Club Shelter, NYC. The combined knowledge of these two dignitaries makes for a who’s who of reggae. From the influential early sound of The Abyssinians (arguably one of the first bands to invent the 1970’s roots vocal style), Dennis Brown’s ever popular “Here I Come” (a firm favourite with selectors to this day), through to the inimitably dubby, King Tubby produced “Tempa” (by Anthony Red Rose), and John Holt’s seminal “Police in Helicopter” with it’s simple yet iconic political message, there’s never been a more comprehensive and personal attempt at a reggae compilation.

So put on your baggiest trousers, grab a can of Red Stripe and prepare to sway with the Kings of Reggae.


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