Search - Junior Murvin :: Police & Thieves

Police & Thieves
Junior Murvin
Police & Thieves
Genres: Blues, World Music, Pop
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Digitally remastered and expanded deluxe two CD edition of this classic 1977 Reggae album includes a plethora of bonus tracks. Originally released to widespread acclaim in the spring of 1977, the Police And Thieves album h...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Junior Murvin
Title: Police & Thieves
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Mango
Release Date: 11/19/1991
Genres: Blues, World Music, Pop
Style: Reggae
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 016253949928


Album Description
Digitally remastered and expanded deluxe two CD edition of this classic 1977 Reggae album includes a plethora of bonus tracks. Originally released to widespread acclaim in the spring of 1977, the Police And Thieves album has since become regarded as one of the finest and most important Reggae collections of all-time. Recorded at Lee `Scratch' Perry's famed Black Ark studio in Kingston at a time when both singer and producer were at the peak of their creative powers, the LP caught the mood of the times, its themes of civil unrest and social injustice striking a chord on both sides of the Atlantic. Its significance in the history of Jamaican music is reflected in this deluxe edition, on which 21 pertinent vocal, Dub and instrumental Black Ark recordings from the period augment the original album's 10 tracks. Universal. 2009.

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Member CD Reviews

Bill C. from BAYSIDE, CA
Reviewed on 5/13/2007...
An indisputable classic.

CD Reviews

Stuart Jefferson | San Diego,Ca | 02/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Two discs-60,76 minutes each approximately. The sound is very good-the instruments are clean and well defined,with the vocals out front slightly in the mix. The booklet is very informative-setting the scene both in Britain and Jamaica in the 70's,when hard times hit both countries. Woven into this is Junior Murvin's story,with the accent on his musical beginnings,and how he came to record for Lee Perry at Perry's Black Ark studio. All the tracks on this 2 CD set were produced by Lee "Scratch" Perry.

Taking the fine American soul singer Curtis Mayfield as a role model,Junior Murvin sang in a high voice (at times not quite falsetto),much like Mayfield. The tracks here (especially the title track) were written by Murvin in response to the political unrest he witnessed in Jamaica,and the attendant violence from rival gangs supporting various movements in the country. Using a hand-held tape machine,Murvin would sing his thoughts and ideas into it,and then decided that the only producer who could shape the songs into the powerful roots music he envisioned,was Lee Perry.

The title track,"Police and Thieves",was banned in Jamaica at the time (mid-late 70's)because of the unrest throughout the country. Perry new this track would be popular/powerful,just as another song Perry released,Max Romeo's "Sipple Out Deh"-known as "War In A Babylon",which addressed the same concerns as Murvin's. The musicians on Murvin's track were Boris Gardiner-bass,the great Ernest Ranglin-guitar,Sly Dunbar-drums,and a couple of different people on keyboards,along with backing vocals from another great group,THE HEPTONES. While the single was banned on Jamaican radio,in Britain it was widely played and sold well. Eventually an entire record was released and was critically acclaimed in Britain. So popular and powerful was the single,that THE CLASH reworked the single and released it on their first album.

The original album had a number of tracks that were limited to Jamaican release. On this great 2 CD set we get to hear these tracks and much more. The first disc has the original album along with dub versions,on which THE UPSETTERS are the band laying down some deep dub sounds. The combination of Murvin's voice and THE UPSETTERS,along with Perry's production is hard to beat. The versions range from upbeat ("Version Train") to deeper sounds ("Grumblin' Dub"),and are a real addition to the album.

The second disc consists of singles,more dubs,and extended versions. "Childhood Sweetheart" was not issued originally,and languished in the vaults for 25 years or so until finally showing up (with several other tracks in this set) on an expanded release of the album a few years ago (some were released on the "Arkology" set),and is heard here in all it's glory. "Roots Train" is an extended version which features DJ Dillinger toasting over the track. There are also several Curtis Mayfield songs ("People Get Ready"here as "Rasta Get Ready"),"Grow Closer" and Gypsy Woman",which are some of the highlights on this disc. Combined with some alternate tracks and the extended mix of "Bad Weed",this disc is crammed full of great music,and it's nice to have it all in one well put together package.

This is another instance of having to purchase something over again. But in this case,the extra tracks are not throw-aways,but are all good music,which only deepens the importance of this album. But putting importance aside,this music is just plain great Jamaican roots music from the era of roots music. If you liked the original release (or the expanded version),bite the bullet,for this 2CD set is even weightier with good music. If you haven't heard this roots classic,do yourself a favor and purchase this soon-you won't regret it."
Don't Even Bother With Marley
Philippe Landry | Louisiana | 12/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Junior is the real deal. If you want real reggae/dub skip all the One Love junk and just go to Police & Thieves. The melodies couldn't be sweeter, the grooves couldn't be more infectious or the atmosphere more haunting. I would even suggest this over Lee Perry's Super Ape or Black Board Jungle work, but then I'd have to think on that. Do yourself a favour and get this lickity split -- you won't be disappointed."