Chant Down Babylon: The Island Anthology

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jo-Ann Greene
Major label rivalry makes it unlikely that Burning Spear will ever receive a proper career retrospective set. Burning Spear signed to Island Records in 1976, debuting with the legendary Marcus Garvey album, accompanied by its dub companion Garvey's Ghost. Four new albums followed before Spear departing Island for the U.K. EMI label in 1980. A decade later, Burning Spear returned to Island for two new albums before their relationship again soured. The situation is even more complex in the U.S., where Spear releases have been split among the Island, Heartbeat, and Slash labels. The result of all these label relocations makes for a rather odd anthology indeed, which ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jo-Ann Greene
Major label rivalry makes it unlikely that Burning Spear will ever receive a proper career retrospective set. Burning Spear signed to Island Records in 1976, debuting with the legendary Marcus Garvey album, accompanied by its dub companion Garvey's Ghost. Four new albums followed before Spear departing Island for the U.K. EMI label in 1980. A decade later, Burning Spear returned to Island for two new albums before their relationship again soured. The situation is even more complex in the U.S., where Spear releases have been split among the Island, Heartbeat, and Slash labels. The result of all these label relocations makes for a rather odd anthology indeed, which inevitably omits Spears' entire 1980s output, five albums in all, including the Grammy-nominated trio of Resistance, People of the World, and Mistress Music. Obviously, post-1992 material is also missing, including anything from the Grammy-winning Calling Rastafari. That's what you don't get. What you do get is a double album of some of Spear's most seminal work. The five albums released between 1975 and 1980 are all considered masterpieces, comprising a roots series that remains unparalleled. Of course, the fifth, Hail H.I.M., was not an Island release, but you do get selections from the other four. Of Babylon's 35 tracks, 20 are culled from Marcus Garvey, Man in the Hills, Dry & Heavy, and Social Living, the first four albums in this seminal set. Others also date from this period: a track from Garvey's Ghost; "Man in the Hill"'s B-side, "Cultivation"; "Jah No Dead," Spear's contribution to the Rockers soundtrack; "The Lion," taken from 1977's Live album; a previously unreleased "Jordan River," recorded live around the same time; and a non-album track culled from 1979's Harder Than the Rest compilation. The remainder are pulled from Spear's early-'90s albums, the Grammy-nominated Mek We Dweet and Jah Kingdom. The latter album included Spear's contribution to the Grateful Dead tribute album, Dedicated, a simmering "Estimated Prophet," which also appears here. Only the most persnickety fan could complain about Babylon's selections, which boast all of these albums' strongest songs. However, the musical leap between tracks five and six on disc two, which chronologically jumps a decade, remains disconcerting, but there's no avoiding it, bar squeezing the early material onto disc one. So, while not a definitive career compilation, this anthology is probably the best fans can hope for.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/18/1996
  • Label: Polygram Uk
  • UPC: 731452419026
  • Catalog Number: 524190

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Marcus Garvey (3:23)
  2. 2 Slavery Days (3:30)
  3. 3 I and I Survive (3:50)
  4. 4 Old Marcus Garvey (3:59)
  5. 5 Tradition (3:28)
  6. 6 Invasion (5:33)
  7. 7 Door Peep (2:38)
  8. 8 No More War (3:19)
  9. 9 Black Soul (3:24)
  10. 10 Man in the Hills (4:00)
  11. 11 Cultivation (4:07)
  12. 12 The Sun (3:43)
  13. 13 It's a Long Way Around (3:07)
  14. 14 Throw Down Your Arms (4:06)
  15. 15 Dry and Heavy (3:30)
  16. 16 Black Disciples (4:27)
  17. 17 Lion (6:05)
  18. 18 Jordan River (4:50)
  19. 19 Jah No Dead (2:08)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Marcus Children Suffer (4:38)
  2. 2 Social Living (7:43)
  3. 3 Marcus Say Jah No Dead (3:51)
  4. 4 Nyah Keith (4:02)
  5. 5 Civilize Reggae (5:44)
  6. 6 Mek We Dweet (4:19)
  7. 7 My Roots (4:20)
  8. 8 Recall Some Great Men (4:09)
  9. 9 Great Men's Dub (4:11)
  10. 10 One People (4:08)
  11. 11 African Woman (4:16)
  12. 12 Jah Kingdom (3:58)
  13. 13 Praise Him (4:04)
  14. 14 Should I (4:13)
  15. 15 Estimated Prophet (6:48)
  16. 16 Thank You (4:24)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Burning Spear Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist
Aston Barrett Bass
Paul Beckford Bass
Chico Chin Trumpet
Tony Chin Rhythm Guitar
Dick Cuthell Trumpet
Charles Dickey Trombone
Tyrone Downie Keyboards
Sly Dunbar Drums
Bobby Ellis Trumpet
Dean Fraser Saxophone
Brinsley Forde Rhythm Guitar
Philip Fullwood Conga
Angus Gaye Drums
Donald Griffiths Guitar
Dirty Harry Hall Tenor Saxophone
Bernard Touter Harvey Keyboards
Alvin Haughton Percussion
Courtney Hemmings Keyboards
Delroy Hines Background Vocals
Linvall Jarrett Rhythm Guitar
Donald Kinsey Guitar
George Lee Saxophone
Earl Lindo Keyboards
Robert Lyn Synthesizer, Piano
Nelson Miller Drums
Herman Marquis Alto Saxophone
Jay Noel Keyboards
George Oban Bass
Lenford Richards Guitar, Keyboards
Nambo Robinson Trombone
Carlton Samuels Flute
Robbie Shakespeare Bass
Earl "Chinna" Smith Guitar
Uziah "Sticky" Thompson Percussion
Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace Drums
Rupert Willington Background Vocals
Mark Wilson Saxophone
James Smith Trumpet
Rico Rodriguez Trombone
Vincent "Trommie" Gordon Trombone
Bertram "Ranchie" McLean Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Technical Credits
Benji Armbrister Engineer
Terry Barham Engineer
Tony Kelly Engineer
Bill Levenson Executive Producer
Godwin Logie Engineer
Nelson Miller Producer
Sylvan Morris Engineer
Barry O'Hare Engineer
Karl Pitterson Producer, Engineer
George Philpott Engineer
Matt Robinson Remixing
Gary Sutherland Engineer
Dennis Thompson Engineer
Errol Thompson Engineer
Mervyn Williams Engineer
Trevor Wyatt Executive Producer
Lloyd Coxone Contributor
Suha Gur Mastering
Amy Wachtel Contributor, Essay
Lawrence "Jack Ruby" Lindo Producer
Denise Mills Contributor
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