Dennis Brown's endearing trio of albums for A&M – Four Play, Love Has Found Its Way and The Prophet Rides Again – nicely anthologized on this great 2CD set! By the time the 80s came around, Dennis was, deservedly, a huge star in both Jamaica and the UK, but hadn't reached that level of fame in the US. It couldn't have made more sense for a major label in the States to sweep in and try to change that situation – and if the fame didn't quite come on our side of the pond, it wasn't for a lack of great music. The Professionals lay down the instrumentation and each of the 3 A&M records feature excellent production by Joe Gibbs, along with Willie Lindo, Dennis Brown and Errol Thompson. Titles include "On The Rocks", "I Need Your Love", "Come On Baby", "The Existence Of Jah", "The Cheapter", "Your Man", "Love Has Found Its Way", "Get High On Your Love", "Blood, Sweat And Tears", "Any Day Now", "Why Baby Why", "Get Up", "Out Of The Funk", "Jammin' My Way To Fame", "Too Hot", "The Prophet Rides Again", "Historical Places (Ethiopia)", "This Love Of Mine", "Storms Are Raging".
Dennis Brown has to be considered one of the most prolific and popular reggae artists ever. He was born in 1956 and started recording for producer Coxsone Dodd, while still in his childhood. In the 70s and early 80s he established himself as a major force in reggae music with numerous roots and lovers cuts for several leading producers. Throughout his three decades spanning career he has delivered about 65 albums, compilation sets included - he has always continued to win new fans and please old ones with his music. So, it's no wonder Dennis Brown has been called one of the most dependable performers in reggae. In fact, the late great Bob Marley referred to him as his favorite singer, which is quite a compliment. In the nineties he remained a name always worth watching out for. He passed away on July 1st, 1999. A whole generation of Jamaican’s and reggae fans literally grew up with his music. A devout Rastafarian and a member of the Twelve Tribes of Israel Organization, Dennis Brown was a musical genius and he will be dearly missed. No doubt Dennis Brown (also known as the Crown Prince of Reggae Music) was one of Jamaica's sweet- voiced singers, who has never limited himself to one style. Whether it is lovers rock, roots & culture or dancehall music, he truly can handle it all and this anthology proves it once again.
Here you will found most of his enduring tunes he recorded for an array of producers, except for the recordings he cut for Coxsone Dodd and Sly & Robbie. After leaving Coxsone Dodd he recorded three immensely popular sides for Lloyd 'The Matador' Daley : What About The Half, Things In Life and Baby Don't Do It. From the singer's highly acclaimed 'Super Reggae & Soul Hits' album comes Changing Times, He Can't Spell, Silhouettes and Concentration. In 1974 Dennis started working with Winston 'Niney' Holness and scored with Westbound Train, Cassandra and I Am The Conqueror. With producer Joe Gibbs he maintained a succesful relatioship that lasted througout the eighties when Dennis signed with A&M Records.
I guess it's just impossible to compile a definitive anthology of Dennis Brown, because the man has laid down such an enormous amount of quality tunes for a variety of producers. This double cd is a truly decent effort.
The majority of hit dancehall rhythms originate from Studio One. Before Studio One there was no dancehall music in Jamaica. Producers such as Germain, Sly & Robbie and Xterminator plunder the vaults of Studio One to find rhythms for their latest hits. (In fact, there is not a single reggae producer who doesn't version Studio One.) Studio One is still pumping out its own share of new hits. Veteran artists (such as Dennis Brown and Sugar Minott) and current stars (Glenn Washington, Alpheus) have teamed up with legendary producer Clement Dodd for a new series of Studio One chart toppers. From Tippa Lee to Dennis Brown, this is a dancehall selection without exception from the originator: Studio One – the dancehall connection.