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Island Presents: Roots [Double CD]

Various Artists Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £6.13 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Island Presents: Roots + Island Presents: Dub + Island Presents: Lovers Rock
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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Jan 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Spectrum
  • ASIN: B00DOU0O9U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,031 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Marcus Garvey - Burning Spear
2. Tired Fe Lick Weed In A Bush - Inner Circle
3. Freedom Song - Third World
4. None A Jah Jah Children (No Cry) - Ras Michael, The Sons Of Negus
5. Old Marcus Garvey - Burning Spear
6. Going Back To Ethiopia - Righteous Foundation
7. One Step Forward - Max Romeo
8. Police & Thieves - Junior Murvin
9. Soldier And Police War - Jah Lion
10. Three In One - Lee ""Scratch"" Perry
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. At The Feast Of Passover - The Congos
2. Soul Fire - Lee ""Scratch"" Perry
3. Forward Ever - Jacob Miller
4. Prodigal Son - Steel Pulse
5. Gold Spoon - Hosbah Lawrence
6. One Bird In The Hand - Justin Hines And The Dominoes
7. Dubbing Is A Must - Pablo Moses
8. Cool Meditation - Third World
9. In These Times - Errol Walker
10. Life Is Not Easy - The Meditations
See all 16 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Island Presents Roots collects 37 of the best-loved and most sought-after Roots sides of the mid-to-late seventies, all of which first saw issue outside Jamaica on Blackwell’s famed imprint. Aside from major hits are ten tracks making their CD debut, including the long lost original version of Althea & Donna’s, ‘Uptown Top Ranking’!

Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
I wonder if this 2CD compilation will be the swansong of Universal Records excellent series of reggae compilations on their Spectrum off-shoot now that they have sold the Trojan catalogue to BMG? I certainly hope not but if it is then it is a great way to go out with a generous 37-track selection in superb sound quality mixing both the familiar and rare in a heady mix combining solo vocalists, harmony groups and DJs. Some of the tracks are perhaps over-familiar ('One Step Forward' by Max Romeo & 'Marcus Garvey' by Burning Spear & 'Police & Thieves' by Junior Murvin being the prime suspects) but the generous 2-and-a-half running time more than compensates for this.

The rare tracks include the original version of 'Uptown Top Ranking' by Althea & Donna where they harmonise beautifully the familiar lyrics over a dread minor key rhythm to startling effect and it is then immediately followed by an excellent Trinity toast over the same rhythm - these two tracks are worth the absurd £5.99 price tag on their own. The nyahbingi/funk hybrid 'None A Jah Jah Children (No Cry)' by Ras Michael is similarly brilliant as is the almost 9 minute [presumably 12" mix?] of the awesome Black Ark recorded 'Life Is Not Easy' by the Meditations (my favourite track by this perennially underrated harmony trio).

There are a couple of rocksteady flavoured roots tracks by the great Justin Hinds ('Fire (Is My Desire)' & 'One Bird In The Hand') exhibiting Hind's ultra-soulful pipes in full effect.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incorrect track 4 Feb 2014
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I totally agree with the previous review-this is an excellent mixture of the well known and obscure. However, one of the reasons I bought this album was for disc1, track 13, Kude a bamba by Ras Midas. I bought this track on Black Swan 45 when it came out in the 70's, and was looking forward to having it on CD. However my CD plays Tedious by Junior Murvin instead! Disapointed! Apart from that an excellent compilation.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 15 Aug 2014
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bargain at 10 bucks 7 Feb 2014
By Comment Man - Published on Amazon.com
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Island has been packaging and repackaging the same basic roots reggae songs from those brief years (1974 to 1979 or so) when Chris Blackwell tried to market his native Jamaica's music to rock fans. Except for Bob Marley, Blackwell did not manage to introduce this music to the mainstream. However, for some people, (of whom I am one) Blackwell's Island releases were the introduction to a fascinating and non-rock (unrock?) contemporary music.

Island's library has apparently been migrating between different large conglomerations and now someone has decided to release a number of extremely good roots reggae songs. Such familiar songs (to the intense reggae fan at least) as Burning Spear's Marcus Garvey, Junior Murvin's Police and Thieves, Inner Circle's Tired Fe Lick Weed in a Bush, Congo's At the Feast of the Passover are here. Also present are songs which are less familiar, plus one or two absolute rarities.

The songs have an extremely high quality. These are some of the finest songs of the 1970s in any genre of music. I looked up the track listing online before I purchased it (and I would suggest a reggae collector to do so) and made the decision that at about 6 bucks for the CD and 4 bucks for shipping the set would be a nice addition to my collection. I am pleased to have it, even though I already owned about 75% of the cuts.

If on the other hand your only exposure to reggae is Bob Marley, this would be a fantastic purchase. Even after almost 40 years, these songs sound fresh and original. I honestly feel a person can not hear enough new music. IF all you know of reggae is Bob Marley, order this set. You will be satisfied.
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