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LINTON KWESI JOHNSON
Reggae Greats, Spectrum Music
Reviewed by Cardinal Cox

Reggae Greats available at Amazon.co.uk


Write Dope on Pnuk part 39

This compilation first came out in 1997 on Island and is drawn from three albums Linton Kwesi Johnson recorded for that label. Backed by a full-on rocking band, the poet spins his words across the rhythms.

From his 1979 album 'Forces of Victory' there came tracks including the blistering anti-fascist 'Fite Dem Back', and the ingenious 'Sonny's Lettah' - about a young man on the wrong end of the Sus laws.

1980's 'Bass Culture' offers the songs including 'Reggae Sounds' and 'Street 66', the second a harsh warning to the police of the time.

The 'Making History' album of 1984 lends 'Di Great Insohreckshan' about the summer of riots and 'Reggae Fi Radni', which celebrated the life and mourned the death of Guyanan union leader Walter Rodney.

While Penguin hve released a fine collection of Mr. Johnson's poems 'Mi Revalueshanary Fren', this CD (I picked it up for a fiver in my local Virgin) shows how the premier dub poet mixes his words and music.

In one word, essential.

 

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