CD The Bristol Reggae Explosion, Vol. 2: The 1980s (CD 15994981),
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The Bristol Reggae Explosion, Vol. 2: The 1980s

  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): ARC228CD

  • Credits
    Producer
    Engineer

    Following the positive critical and commercial reception of The Bristol Reggae Explosion (1978-1983), the Bristol Archives label followed up with a second volume, this one focusing on the early- to mid-'80s and including more extended mixes and dub versions. This volume is the result of pretty serious crate-digging and musical detective work on the part of label staff: Cool Runnings' "Robin Hoods of the Ghetto" was apparently originally released in a pressing of only 200 copies, for example, and Bunny Marrett's "Times Are Getting Harder" was hardly less scarce; Alfred McIntosh's spare and spacy "Wicked Dub" was never issued commercially at all. While there is nothing on this album that could fairly be categorized as filler, compared to the first volume there is more that will appeal primarily to specialist listeners than to the casual reggae fan. "Times Are Getting Harder," for example, is quite frankly not that great a song -- those with a serious interest in the history of U.K. reggae will definitely want to hear it, but few will be likely to put it on a playlist of favorite tracks from the period; and McIntosh's other dub contribution, "Ah It [Dub]," is also rather lackluster. On the other hand, there are brilliant tracks by Black Roots ("The Father"), Joshua Moses (the minor-key "Rise Up"), and Zion Band (the very Steel Pulse-y "Twelve Tribes"). Anyone with a serious interest in learning more about U.K. reggae will want to own both this collection and its predecessor. ~ Rick Anderson

  • Critic Reviews
    Record Collector (magazine) (p.104) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his excellent album contains a fair amount of music which we've never heard before: always a bonus, especially when it's up to such a high standard."
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