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Dennis Brown: The Complete A&M Years

Dennis Brown

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Album Review

Between 1981 and 1983, Dennis Brown recorded three albums of wildly uneven quality for the American A&M label: Foul Play, Love Has Found Its Way, and Prophet Rides Again. All of them were produced by Joe Gibbs, with whom Brown had recorded some of the finest roots reggae of the 1970s. But the 1970s were over, and on these three albums (collected here in their entirety on two CDs) Gibbs and Brown sound like they're not quite sure what direction to go — the syrupy disco of "Love Has Found Its Way"? the clumsy post-ska of "Come On Baby"? the throwaway vapidity of "Jammin' My Way to Fame"? Not surprisingly, Brown sounds most comfortable, and the musicians are most convincing, on the songs that let him do what he does best: sing songs of romantic longing and spiritual ecstasy over old-school heavyweight reggae grooves: the nyahbinghi-accented rockers anthem "I Need Your Love (Rasta Children)," the deeply dread "Blood, Sweat & Tears," the down-to-earth "Country Living," the nicely swinging "If I Had the World." Skip the misbegotten disco and funk experiments and you've got a good solid two albums' worth of top-notch material here — and since this two-disc set sells for the price of one, that's a mighty good deal.

Biography

Born: 01 February 1957 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

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

One of Jamaica's most beloved and prolific artists, the late Dennis Brown has left behind a slew of classic songs and myriad hits, a rich musical legacy born of a career that spanned over 30 years. Born Dennis Emmanuel Brown in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1957, his childhood home virtually destined him to a future in the music industry. He grew up on Orange Street, the heart of the island's music scene, with most of the major recording studios a mere stone's throw away. As the stars and future hitmakers...
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Dennis Brown: The Complete A&M Years, Dennis Brown
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