Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Dreader Dread 1976-78
Genres: World Music, Pop
What a joy to have this singing legend so judiciously and respectfully presented. Clarke may not have received his due back at the time, but thanks to U.K. reissue-compilation label Blood and Fire, he's finally receiving t... more »
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What a joy to have this singing legend so judiciously and respectfully presented. Clarke may not have received his due back at the time, but thanks to U.K. reissue-compilation label Blood and Fire, he's finally receiving the quality presentation he merits. Along with Gregory Isaacs and Dennis Brown, Clarke held down the '70s Jamaican scene while Bob Marley was busy taking reggae to the world, and his gutsy yet refined vibrato in the tenor "youthman" style helped set the standard for the music's fabled "roots" vocalists. As a songwriter, Clarke was one of those who defined that exalted, yearning voice so peculiar to reggae with instantly recognizable anthems like "Live Up Jah Man," "Every Knee Shall Bow," and "Love Up Your Brothers and Sisters"--urgent calls for justice and spiritual grace that are the music's specialty. Yet the producers provide a marker of Clarke's glowing talent by leading this set not with an original, but with an interpretation of a classic Peter Tosh rude bwoy anthem, "Top Ranking (I'm The Toughest)," and closing with Bob Marley's "Time Will Tell." That's because both tunes gain from being filtered through the bittersweet soul of this lesser-known artist. --Elena Oumano
Sean M. Kelly | Portland, Oregon United States | 09/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While he has had a long and prolific career, the mid 70's were a time of great musical triumph for Johnny Clarke, possessor of one of the great voices in reggae. His collaboration with the great Bunny Lee allowed clarke to relax and use great musicians to create songs that could both charm and provoke.Clarke was obvious adept at using both the emerging dancehall style and with it the roots consciousness and pervasive rude boy/militant style to create instantaneous classics. Listen to the urgency of Clarke's original tunes, such as "African People," "Every Knee Shall Bow," and the almost religious fervor of "Fire and Brimstone A Go Burn the Wicked," one of my all time favorite reggae tracks. There is no doubt that Clarke's in charge of both his beliefs but the music, as well.. Amazing.Not surprisingly, a well made cover of Peter Tosh's rude boy anthem "I'm the Toughest" is also on this album, as well as Bob Marley's wonderful "Time Will Tell." Each song helps to further define Clarke's niche in reggae.This lp is a classic collection and worth having in your collection."
Simply Amazing... Praise Jah!
Patrick Jones | Milwaukee, WI | 02/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you love the reggae riddim, buy this album. Johnny Clarke has one of the sweetest voices in the musical world, one that has been overlooked for too long. This album contains Clarke's versions of some classic tunes. Simply put, Dreader Than Dread is "Top Ranking.""
Dread, dreader than dread
E. K. Arnold | yay area, usa | 08/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this is perhaps THE johnny clarke album to have. somehow sweet and militant at the same time. every song is great, especially "dreader dread," "african people," and "every knee shall bow." clarke's phrasing is a bit low-key, in contrast to his aggressive subject matter, which revolves around rastafarianism, afrocentricity, sufferation, righteousness, and biblical warnings. Clarke is one of the purest, yet roughest roots singers ever, and he's at his peak over Bunny Lee's production. The music is classic rockers, with A-list players like robbie shakespeare, sly dunbar, santa davis, members of the skatalites, chinna smith, wya lindo and ansel collins. recorded at king tubby's studio. for dub fans there are four extended versions. simply put, reggae doesnt get a whole lot better or more classic than this, folks."