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Only Love Can Conquer

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Album Review

This collection of singles by the relatively obscure roots-reggae singer Prince Alla (backed by the Soul Syndicate, the preeminent reggae studio band of the seventies) is a revelation. Imagine someone with the tone of a young Johnnie Clarke and the expressiveness of Sugar Minott at his best, and then take away the lover's rock and you've got Prince Alla: an angel's voice with an apocalyptic edge. If you want a good distillation of the Rastafarian message, look no further. It's all here, from the condemnation of materialism ("They Never Love," complete with a dub version) to the unapologetic sexism ("Lot's Wife," "Lady Deceiver") and the political rabble-rousing ("Youthman in the Ghetto"). Through it all, the Soul Syndicate burns with a thick, slow one-drop groove that never lets up the pressure. If you don't own this disc, repent now.


Born: May 10, 1950 in Denham Town, Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '70s

b. Keith Blake, 10 May 1950, Denham Town, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Blake began his recording career with producer Joe Gibbs as part of the Leaders vocal group during 1967/8. Gibbs licensed three releases from the group through B&C Music in the UK before the Leaders disbanded. Blake remained with Gibbs, who produced his first solo recording, ‘Woo Oh Oh’, which, like the early Leaders recordings, was relegated to a b-side. In 1969, he became strongly involved in the Rastafarian movement, living...
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Only Love Can Conquer, Prince Alla
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