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2nd Only To Bob Marley In My List Of All Time Reggae Greats
on 20 August 2003
"Chant Down Babylon" is the biggest and best Winston Rodney, AKA Burning Spear, collection ever which charts all of his finest work under the famous Island record label. Spear is a serious artist who's music is deep and soulfull, which this collection shows.
It has to be said though that to me the 1st CD here is streets ahead of the second. Although the second would be classed as an extremely good Reggae album, Burning Spears pre-1980 recordings on the first disc are what makes him a reggae legend. Songs such as "Marcus Garvey", "Black Soul", "Black Wa-da-da" and "Door Peep" define Spear's unique style of roots reggae. "The Sun" also shines due to it's poppier melody while the disc finishes brilliantly with two great live songs.
As the songs on the second disc go deeper into the 1980's and 90's the sound changes. Although there are still great songs like "My Roots", the sound does not seem to carry Burning Spears messages quite as intensely and eerily as the first disc.
In writing that, "Hail H.I.M" (an album not recorded on Island so none of it's songs feature on "Chant Down Babylon") and this fantastic 2 disc set are all you need if you don't want to buy every single Spear album. In my opinion there are by far more than enough great songs on this to make it worthy of 5 stars and everyone must hear the unique sound of Winston Rodney.