Marcus Garvey / Garvey’s Ghost
Released: Jan 1990
Label: Hip-O Select
A prototype for political reggae, Marcus Garvey pushed the boundaries of how pointed and political a reggae album could get. The release was seen as profoundly revolutionary -- despite having been toned down by Burning Spear's record company. Spear's work, with its historical bent, typifies both the intense politics and intense philosophical atmosphere that pervaded Jamaican music at the time. But what makes this album so amazing is how Winston Rodney sounds like he's singing love songs, his insanely sweet tenor speaking hard truths like they're sweet nothings. How could people not listen?
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