on 31 December 2000
This 2 CD set is a sprawling roller coaster ride through vocal reggae, dub & toasting. It's probably the most complete snapshot of mid 70's Jamaica ever produced, managing to pack the production talents of King Tubby & Lee Scratch Perry alongside great DJs such as Tapper Zukie, Dillinger & Big Youth. Many of the songs on this collection appear in several formats, vocal, dub, toast & instrumental. It's also unusual as a rare example of Christian reggae, dealing with Jah through Christ rather than the more usual Rastafari route - hence the Jesus Dread title. All lovingly repackaged & remastered by Blood & Fire.
on 11 April 2010
Vivian Jackson aka Yabby You wrote the deepest and most hypnotic songs in the entire 70's Jamaican Roots Reggae scene. "Made everything else sound like The Osmonds", the liner notes quote! The atmosphere is made that much more apocalyptic when one considers his chief conceptual inspiration was The Book Of Revelation by St. John. Themes of Judgement and armageddon would be no stranger to reggae in the years following Yabby You's work, but they originated with him. He released a triumvirate of astounding LPs in the mid 70's, with "Conquering Lion" especially being particularly faultless.
This sprawling double-CD set testifies to the genius of the man's work. It is obsessively compiled, with the majority of vocal tracks followed by their dub or deejay counterpart. With up to three versions of the same rhythm back-to-back, the listening experience can be overwhelming. This is no problem if you want to listen to just the vocal tracks, or just the dubs - just remember to program your CD player first! Personally, I would have preferred a tracklist that separated the vocal tracks and dubs/deejay versions onto separate discs. The original release of "Walls Of Jerusalem" (aka "Chant Down Babylon Kingdom") had the six vocal tracks first, followed by their thunderous King Tubby dubs, yet here each vocal track segues into the dub comprising one single track! Annoying! Great for collectors, though. Pleasingly, this album does contain the entire "Conquering Lion" LP scattered throughout the first disc; which is excellent news considering the seemingly terminally out-of-print nature of that LP.