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Forces of Victory

Linton Kwesi Johnson

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Album Review

If Dread Beat An' Blood brought Johnson and initial flush of notoriety, then Forces of Victory was the record that cemented his growing reputation as a major talent. Bovell and the Dub Band swing hard on this set, especially on the album's opening track "Want Fi Goh Rave." This contains some of Johnson's most memorable songs/poems, such as the heartfelt prison saga "Sonny's Lettah" and the confrontational "Fite Dem Back," which he delivers in his trademark sing-song Jamaican patois. Dramatic and intense to the point of claustrophobia, Forces of Victory is not simply one of the most important reggae records of its time, it's one of the most important reggae records ever recorded.

Biography

Born: 24 August 1952 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

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

Although he has only released one album of new material in the last ten years, and virtually retired from the live stage after his 1985 tour, Linton Kwesi Johnson remains a towering figure in reggae music. Born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in the Brixton section of London, Johnson invented dub poetry, a type of toasting descended from the DJ stylings of U-Roy and I-Roy. But whereas toasting tended to be hyperkinetic and given to fits of braggadocio, Johnson's poetry (which is what it was —...
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Forces of Victory, Linton Kwesi Johnson
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