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Heart Of The Congos


Price: £8.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
Does not apply to gift orders. See Terms and Conditions for important information about costs that may apply for the MP3 version in case of returns and cancellations.
Only 9 left in stock (more on the way).
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Exclusive Songlines Music Awards 2014 CD for £3.99
Buy anything from the World Music or Folk Music stores and you can get the official CD from the Songlines Music Awards 2014 for just £3.99. Offer ends at 23:59 on Tuesday 9, December. Learn more.
£8.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Heart Of The Congos + Two Sevens Clash + Marcus Garvey / Garvey's Ghost
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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 July 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: VP Records
  • ASIN: B000025RHI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,238 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Fisherman
2. Congoman
3. Open Up the Gate
4. Children Crying
5. La La Bam Bam
6. Can't Come In
7. Sodom & Gomorrow
8. The Wrong Thing
9. Ark of Covenant
10. Solid Foundation

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Rudy on 23 Jun 2004
Format: Audio CD
This album is faultless. The harmonising is sublime with some backing vocals by Gregory Isaacs and The Heptones. For this album alone The Congos rate alongside The Wailers, Mighty Diamonds, Wailing Souls, The Abyssinians and Israel Vibration as one of the great Jamaican vocal groups. The production by Lee Perry is hard to describe, you literally need to hear it to understand what he achieved using equipment that wasn't exactly state of the art. Lee Perry is a genius, and this album is his Pet Sounds. The Black Ark studio produced some great albums like War Inna Babylon and Police and Thieves but this is the one true defining statement of Lee Perry's awesome talent. The only music that Perry produced that really compares is the African Herbsman and Soul Rebels albums by The Wailers.
Heart Of The Congos is the closest that roots reggae and dub ever came to combining cohesively on one album. The whole album is classic but if I had to pick a favourite it would be Open Up The Gate. Blood and Fire have a tremendous record in regards to their remasters and this certainly doesn't buck the trend. I can also recommend Heartbeat and Pressure Sounds record labels if you want some more reggae to add to the collection, just don't blame me when you end up spending all your money!
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By R L BEBBINGTON on 30 Oct 2002
Format: Audio CD
This album, quite simply, is one of the most powerful musical statements ever committed to record. Beyond reggae it says something universal and entirely human about the desire for spiritual and social fufillment that lies within us all. Each and every song seems to come from a place of immense pain but with the promise of enlightment. As a complete fan of all Jamaican music I believe this to be the most complete version of all roots/Rastafarian beliefs -and I defy anyone to listen to 'Open up the Gate' without it turning to heart to stone with its pure and utter vocal beauty. An absolute classic. A must!!!!
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Gibby's Ghost on 7 Jun 2006
Format: Audio CD
This isn't just one of the best reggae albums ever. It's one of the best albums ever in any genre.

The sound is revolutionary and seems to drip with the sweat of the jungle. The harmonies are beautiful, The arrangements are imaginative and the packaging on the Blood & Fire release is so full of love for this album that it almost makes you weep.

Lee Perry once was the top record producer in the world, bar none. This is the evidence.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Papa Wilberforce on 8 May 2007
Format: Audio CD
Pardon my being repetitive, but it would be a cardinal sin not to share my opinion.

The praise can't be shouted loud enough. Please believe all the hype you have heard about this one!

'Open (your heart) up (to) the gates of Zion', because the genius that is Mr Lee S. Perry is DEFINITELY in full effect here with The Congos, the Upsetters, and his celestial ensemble of back up singers.

Don't do 'The wrong thing'! Build yourself a 'Solid Foundation'. 'Bring the Mackaback', and revel with brother ants inna 'Noah Sugar Pan'.

If the 'Ark of the Covenant' were music, this CD would definitely be it.

Beg, borrow, steal (or preferably) BUY this Album.

Redeem your soul, justify your existence, and lose yourself in the musical, visionary and artistic FEAST that is the 'Heart of the Congos'

The extra disc of mixes/versions is the cherry on top of a pie so sweet that you risk contracting diabetes.

Big up to 'Blood and Fire Limited' for getting this rarity re-released to one and all.

Papa Wilberforce
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Murray Smith (Murrayjsmith@lycos.co.uk) on 22 Nov 2001
Format: Audio CD
In my opinion, there can be no argument. It is impossible to listen to this album more than once without being forced to sing along. You cannot fail to be captivated by its haunting beauty. (ooh yeah, what a la la bam bam bam) This is Lee 'Scratch' Perry's finest hour. If you think you may have ANY sort of interest in Reggae music then you MUST own this album.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By john bretherton on 12 April 2011
Format: Audio CD
First off, if you're even remotely curious about the sounds of Jamaica in the '70s, this is an absolute must-have album. As the other reviews say, the vocal harmonising is sublime and Lee Perry's production is mind-meltingly good. Although I'm no authority on reggae (I have only 50 or so albums of ska, dub, reggae), I reckon this is a contender for best ever in the genre. Totally mesmerising.

Now, a word of caution. Last year (2010) I bought a version of this CD with the original cover art (two guys hitting congos). It turned out to be a shoddy, badly packaged, poorly mastered version. The sound quality was worse than a 128 kbps MP3 version I'd heard previously, and the insert front cover was printed on one side only, with no liner notes. Given what a landmark album this is, it really is a travesty.

On Amazon UK you can find a listing for Blood & Fire's (now out of print?) reissue of the album. This version has a black cover and includes a second disk of outtakes, which are well worth hearing. I'm guessing it might also have some decent liner notes, as B&F is a reputable label.

Until Blood & Fire re-release their re-issue, I would recommend buying the MP3 download rather than the cruddy CD version.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jazz wallah on 23 Sep 2008
Format: Audio CD
I bought this hoping it had some different mixes of the Congos best album, but it seems to have been mastered at a slightly faster speed than the edition on Blood & Fire [which has more & longer tracks]. VP should pay attention to details like that if they want to match the other B&F edition [which also has bonbus tracks included]
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