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Arise Black Man

Alton Ellis

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Album Review

Although his reputation will probably rest on his classic early Treasure Isle sides ("Cry Tough," "Dance Crasher," "The Preacher"), the soulful Alton Ellis didn't slacken the quality level when he moved on from working with producer Duke Reid, as this fine collection of rarities and later tracks shows. Drawing from material recorded between 1968 and 1978, most of which was done after he moved to England in 1972, Arise Black Man includes stunning originals like the edgy "Blackish White," the beautiful and haunting "Rhodesia" (a Keith Hudson production), and "African Descendants," along with well-chosen pop covers of the Crew Cuts' "Sh-Boom" and the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing," and intriguing do-overs like the version here of "Better Get Your Heads Together" that is called "I'll Take Your Hand." The end result is a solid collection of some rare Ellis sides, a perfect complement to the earlier Treasure Isle work.


Born: 01 September 1938 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the first vocalists to enter the Jamaican music business, Alton Ellis was generally revered as the greatest and most soulful singer the country ever produced — that is, until Bob Marley came along. Ellis had his first hit during the ska craze, but made his true lasting mark as the definitive solo singer of the rocksteady era. Sweet, smooth, and deeply emotive, Ellis was equally at home on Jamaican originals or reggae-fied covers of American R&B hits. He cut a series of ska singles...
Full bio
Arise Black Man, Alton Ellis
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  • £8.99
  • Genres: Reggae, Music, Ska
  • Released: 24 August 1999

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