Dennis Brown – Crown Prince of Reggae: Singles 1972-1985

As with most of us who are avid music listeners we tend to gravitate towards listening to different genre’s and styles at random and with no particular reason.  Perhaps we are working on a project in our garage, creating some artwork, washing the dishes, or simply looking for some auditory inspiration for cooking a great dish, music tends to help us create that zen for which we thirst.  I’ve got a rather large personal music collection on compact disc, vinyl, and digital media, so at times I randomly choose to re-listen to an artist of genre and find myself addicted for a few weeks on nothing more than just that artist or genre.

Reggae has been my recent lust, and it’s been a month long rekindling of my rediscovering just how much fun this genre is and how vast the assortment of artists can be.  I’ve been working on linoleum prints and illustrating a childrens book for the past year, Reggae has been a constant companion on keeping my motivated and creative.  Of course Bob Marley is a fun artist to listen to and is always a reliable Reggae sound, but other artists such as Horace Andy, Marcia Griffiths, King Tubby, and Dennis Brown have been far more interesting lately.

I’ve always held Dennis Brown as a special Reggae artist and always remembered listening to him in Boston when I was a college student at Boston University.  Emerson College had a radio show called “Rockers” which would play a culmination of well known and obscure Reggae artists; Dennis Brown was always on regular rotation.  Although Dennis Brown may not be a household name for the beginner or novice Reggae listener, he was a heavy hitter in the world of Reggae music recording an astounding 75 albums during his lifetime and career!

A friend recently hooked me up with the 40 song collection of singles he released from 1975 – 1985 called “Crown Prince of Reggae”; it’s a gem for any reggae fan.  Compared to the 3-disc set  released last year entitled “Reggae Royalty” which is more grainy and earthy in its production and sound quality. “Crown Prince of Reggae” is a collection with a more refined sound and a better variety of Brown’s songs.

Reggae is a fun genre to explore, rarely do you find albums you do not like.  For example, I was in a coffee shop in Chelsea (NYC) and heard the Barrington Levy song “Here I Come”, basically his most famous, but I decided to download the album and have not regretted the purchase.  Although reggae has not evolved much in it’s root beats and rhythms, and it really doesn’t have to,  it continues to survive in its own unique style and  genre appealing to new listeners generation after generation.

Dennis Brown is a cornerstone in reggae and should be a required part of any true reggae fans collection, almost every song he put out is amazing and timeless.  Do yourself a favor and pick this one up, or ANY collection of Dennis Brown’s!

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