See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, March 3, 1999

Staple Soul Foods

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 1999 at 12:00 AM

While Island Records has been churning out popular music for four decades, there was a time when the Island imprint was synonymous with great reggae music. In no uncertain terms, this compilation displays some of the best reggae Island Records had to offer during the ’70s – which is the same as saying it contains some of the best reggae music, period. Consider the power and the glory of a record label that housed Bob Marley and the Wailers, Toots and the Maytals, Steel Pulse and Third World, not to mention dub producers Lee "Scratch" Perry and Augustus Pablo. While there are a few scattered cuts from subsequent decades on this disc, the slick Caribbean pop of Luciano and the dancehall rap of Buju Banton cannot come close to the classic reggae fare represented by the likes of Junior Murvin’s "Police & Thieves" or Max Romeo’s "War Ina Babylon."

While only scratching the surface of Island’s spectacular catalogue, this retrospective contains timeless tracks such as Jimmy Cliff’s rudeboy hit "The Harder They Come," Black Uhuru’s seminal herb chant "Sensemilla" and the seductive lover’s rock of Gregory Issacs’ "Night Nurse." Interested in some early dub prototypes? Check out Lee Perry’s "Roast Fish & Cornbread." Primal Rastafarian philosophy disguised as roots-rock-reggae? Try "Marcus Garvey" by the immortal Burning Spear. With crucial versions of Marley’s "Exodus," Steel Pulse’s "Ku Klux Klan" and Third World’s "Now That We Found Love," Volume 5 should have you scurrying back to the Island in no time.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Mitch Myers

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit