This is an anthology of Culture's music which has some great music on it needless to say, although as ever with a favourite group in any genre you could argue for weeks over whether this or that hot track should have been included or not. But the main reason for giving this compilation five stars, even before I have listened to all of its two CD discs, or indeed watched the bonus Culture live DVD, is the inclusion of the monumental "Africa Stand Alone" album, quite rightly a reggae legend, for the first time on CD. The nine tracks that make up this album are all excellent but it features two of my favourite songs of all time in probably their best and original versions, namely "Garvey Rock" and "Innocent Blood". After listening to the powerful sincerity of Joe Hill and his singing partners' voices on these two songs if you still stand on the side of evil-doers then hang your head in shame. True and mighty roots rebel music and words which still bring a tear to my eye so many years after I first heard them. Joseph Hill(rest in peace) was a great talent and a much-mourned loss. The amazing thing about "Africa Stand Alone" is that it still retains its power even after many, many repeat listens and "Behold The Land" is such a great conclusion (love the little dub fade out!). The stripped-down production, which gives the album a real pure feel, may surprise Culture fans more used to bells and whistles production jobs of Joe Gibbs or Sonia Pottinger. Most of the songs were re-recorded for later Culture albums and singles but this album has a charm and simplicity all of its own which if you have never sampled before, I envy you the experience. And don't worry, the music quality is excellent.
What more can I say? Other Culture classics included on this set include "Two Sevens Clash", "Baldhead Bridge", "Stop This Fussing and Fighting", "Natty Never Get Weary", "The International Herb", "Addis Ababa" and "Why Am I A Rastaman?", too much to list or describe here. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy, and a big pat on the back for whoever is putting together thise excellent Culture compilations and getting so much great material that deserves to be heard out there and available to music fans. Already a fan? Then I don't need to convince you and you probably have most of this stuff already! New to Culture's music - your musical eduction starts here. Oh yes.
Yes yes yes! Great to hear the rarer stuff such as Garvey Rock and tracks such as More Vacancy done better in their original form Culture should have been bigger than Marley in my book And those who claim them to be Burning Spear copyists should hang the shoe on the other foot... Marvellous stuff with a few samey tracks One omission for me is One Stone, a later track with the sum of Culture's mission statement declared in one song- also an indicator that whereas Burning Spear just got blander and blander, Mr Hill wasn't over it - he still wrote the occasional great tune Culture- love it!!!!!