Singerman! - Blood And Fire Allstars

Fire Fe The Vatican - Max Romeo
Storm - Gregory Isaacs
Children Of Jah - The Chantells
Problems - Horace Andy
Rent Man - Black Uhuru
Chant Down Babylon - Sylford Walker
Go Down In Silence - Prince Alla
Man Next Door - Dennis Brown
Fight It To The Top - Michael Prophet
Every Knee Shall Bow - Johnny Clarke
At The Feast - The Congos
Yes Yes Yes - Errol Holt
Jah Jah The Conqueror - Linval Thompson
Give Jah Praise - Willi Williams
Deliver Me From My Enemies - Yabby You
Judgement Time - Junior Ross and The Spear
Bandulu - Cornel Campbell
Remember Me - Junior Byles and Rupert Reid
 
Blood and Fire is in many peoples’ eyes primarily a dub label, but this latest addition to their budget-price sampler series showcases the incredible breadth and diversity of the vocal styles of the tiny island of Jamaica.

These can range from the sheer full-throated power of Dennis Brown on “Man Next Door” to the understated, intimate delivery of Willi Williams with “Give Jah Praise”. Or what about the epic “Every Knee Shall Bow” by Johnny Clarke, the so-called “original dancehall singer” because of the way he interjected idiosyncratic vocal mannerisms into his performances, sparking a trend which was soon picked up by the likes of Michael Rose and Yami Bolo and which continues to the present day. Or again, it might be the velvet smooth tones of the Cool Ruler himself, Gregory Isaacs, on “Storm”, or perhaps the close harmony style of the trio The Chantells on the haunting “Children Of Jah”. Then again, it could be Horace Andy singing “Problems”, featuring his unique exaggerated vibrato, now so familiar to many thousands of listeners around the world courtesy of his work with Massive Attack. At the other end of the spectrum we also find the Curtis Mayfield-inspired falsetto of Cedric Myton of The Congos on the stomping “At The Feast”. And the list goes on and on; Prince Alla, Linval Thompson, Yabby You, Max Romeo, Junior Byles, Cornel Campbell et al, all bringing their own individual flavour to the mix.

Interestingly the album includes three tracks by singers who have never had full album releases on Blood and Fire, but which were included on other artists’ sets as bonus tracks. First up is Black Uhuru’s “Rent Man”, produced by Dennis Brown and included on the Ranking Joe album “Zion High” (BAFCD 043). Next comes Michael Prophet with “Fight It To The Top” which featured on Trinity’s “Shanty Town Determination” (BAFCD 031), and last but not least “Yes Yes Yes” by Errol Holt, a Rasta-themed take on Dawn Penn’s smash hit “No No No”, which was included on the Prince Far I album “Silver & Gold” (BAFCD 049).

What a bargain - Eighteen track of pure vocal niceness at an unbeatable price!
 
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