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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Black Uhuru

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Album Review

A reasonable if abbreviated summation of one of the most popular reggae bands of the '80s, this bargain-priced, 11-track collection is nonetheless a compelling listening. It covers the highlights of their four studio Island albums, adding the "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" B-side of the "Sinsemilla" 12". Uhuru was helmed on these tracks by the producer/rhythm section of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. Their crisp rhythms, rugged playing, memorable riffs, and intricate studio touches like the chiming glockenspiel on the chorus of "Sponji Reggae" nearly burst out of the speakers. Although backing vocalists Puma Jones and Duckie Simpson provide minor supporting roles next to Michael Rose's distinctive leads, the music's gripping melodies, vocal harmonies, and cracking backbeat gave Black Uhuru a unique identity. They never duplicated the formula after winning the first Grammy for Best Reggae Album in 1985 and subsequently left Island. The remastered audio on this collection is stunning. It reveals subtle sounds that had been previously hidden and adds a confident presence. The song's shorter versions are used, resulting in a more dynamic listening experience as opposed to the double-disc Liberation, which featured extended mixes. The absence of "Shine Eye Gal" from the Tear It Up live album makes this only slightly less comprehensive than it could have been as a compilation of Black Uhuru's most important years.

Customer Reviews


my favorite of all time!!! a must have for the up and coming reggae fan...

20th century masters.

This is an awesome album. There are a lot of really good songs here. Top songs include: Chill out; Guess who's coming to dinner; spongi reggae; happiness and what is life.

Great album

Sinsemilla 👍🏼 PEACE & LOVE ✌🏽


Formed: 1974 in Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The most successful of the second-generation reggae bands, Black Uhuru maintained their high quality despite numerous personnel changes in their 40-plus-year history. The first reggae band to win a Grammy award, for their 1983 album Anthem, Black Uhuru was called "The most dynamic and progressive reggae act of the 1970s and early '80s." The band, whose name comes from the Swahili word meaning "freedom," was formed in the Waterhouse district of Kingston by Don Carlos, Rudolph "Garth" Dennis, and...
Full Bio
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Black Uhuru, Black Uhuru
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