Natty Dread Rise Again [Bonus CD]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jo-Ann Greene
Sadly, the Congos' fate was already sealed two decades before this album's release. In 1977-1978 they recorded one of the most seminal sets of the roots era, Heart of the Congos, arguably Lee "Scratch" Perry's most awe-inspiring production. Unfortunately, Island label head Chris Blackwell remained oblivious to the set's power, and it took three years before the small U.K. independent Go Feet picked Heart of the Congos up for release. By then the Congos had fallen out with Perry and moved on, only to see their new efforts fall flat in comparison to their earlier material. The group soon disintegrated, although Cedric Myton continued to work under the band name. Since that ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jo-Ann Greene
Sadly, the Congos' fate was already sealed two decades before this album's release. In 1977-1978 they recorded one of the most seminal sets of the roots era, Heart of the Congos, arguably Lee "Scratch" Perry's most awe-inspiring production. Unfortunately, Island label head Chris Blackwell remained oblivious to the set's power, and it took three years before the small U.K. independent Go Feet picked Heart of the Congos up for release. By then the Congos had fallen out with Perry and moved on, only to see their new efforts fall flat in comparison to their earlier material. The group soon disintegrated, although Cedric Myton continued to work under the band name. Since that time, the Congos have been saddled with the most unpalatable of legacies, purveyors of an acknowledged masterpiece that most people have never heard, but still remain in thrall of. Then in 1997 the original trio re-formed, and, backed by a host of distinguished island sessionmen -- the Barrett Brothers, Boris Gardiner, Mikey Chung, Tyrone Downie, Rolando Alphonso, and more -- and with additional backing vocals by the Meditations, recorded Natty Dread Rise Again. The set kicks off powerfully with the evocative stepper's stealth of "Rock of Gibraltar" and the vehement "Step Aside," filled with Myton's spine-tingling falsetto harmonies. But then the album seems to drift back into the past, emerging not in the Congos' roots heyday, but in the mid-'80s, the nadir of reggae. The fault lies at the Mytons' Cedric and frequent co-writer and backing vocalist Yvonne door -- they oversaw the arrangements and productions, and thus must have approved the lush synths and faux strings that permeate so many of the numbers. And so Natty Dread Rise Again finds itself caught in a time warp, rising into an urban disco where the mirror ball is still spinning. Even the gorgeous title track is undone by the simpering synths, with only the rousing "Judgement Day" and more militant "Apartheid" fully spared. The two latter numbers feature smoldering solos by Alphonso, and throughout the set the musicianship is superb, but the Mytons' arrangements bring the players' work to naught. Natty may not be pushing up daisies anymore, but he's not quite arisen either, and too much of this album is merely a postscript on their early epitaph.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/14/1997
  • Label: Ras
  • UPC: 021823323824
  • Catalog Number: 3238

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Congos Primary Artist
Ras Michael Percussion
Cedric Myton Vocals
Roland Alphonso Horn
Boris Gardiner Bass
Aston Barrett Bass
Carlton "Carly" Barrett Drums
Andy Bassford Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Harold Butler Organ, Piano
Mikey Chung Rhythm Guitar
Fabian Cook Organ, Bass, Piano, Drums
Val Douglas Bass
Tyrone Downie Piano
Harry T. Percussion
Errol Moore Rhythm Guitar
Carl Wright Drums
Alafia Myton Background Vocals
Isheba Myton Background Vocals
Ashante Roy Conga
Roydel Johnson Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Cedric Myton Arranger, Producer, Executive Producer
Errol Brown Engineer
Errol Moore Engineer
Phillip Smart Engineer
Chris Stanley Engineer
Yvonne Myton Arranger, Producer, Executive Producer
Cedric Mynton Producer
Yvonne Mynton Producer
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