Search - Ras Michael & Sons of Negus, Lee "Scratch" Perry :: Love Thy Neighbor

Love Thy Neighbor
Ras Michael & Sons of Negus, Lee "Scratch" Perry
Love Thy Neighbor
Genres: World Music, Pop
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Ras Michael & Sons of Negus, Lee "Scratch" Perry
Title: Love Thy Neighbor
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Live & Learn / Sanct
Release Date: 12/12/1995
Genres: World Music, Pop
Style: Reggae
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 028977000120, 028977000113, 028977000144

CD Reviews

Jasper | New England | 09/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"We've seen a lot of classic Jamaican music being released over the last few years. Great labels like Heartbeat, Blood & Fire, Pressure Sounds, Trojan (since it's been owned by Sanctuary), and many others have put out some wonderful stuff. We've come to expect at least decent remastering, if not excellent remastering and great extras and packaging. Many rare and wonderful works have been dug up, particularly from the great era of the 1970s. So what about "Love Thy Neighbour?"

Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus were at a 1978 Bob Marley recording session at Lee "Scratch" Perry's legendary Black Ark studio when Scratch proposed that they record an album there, to which Ras Michael agreed. Scratch recorded a number of tracks and gave them the full blown Black Ark treatment, piling on loads of reverb and delay, guiding the musicians to create a brilliant mind-expanding stew of percolating Niyabinghi rhythms and spaced-out textures, and mixing the album himself. Perry's biographer, David Katz, described the results of these sessions as "a definite high point in (Ras Michael's) career," "among the most powerful works Ras Michael has ever recorded." and one of the "last great recordings to emerge from the Ark..," boasting "an awesome sound," and "one of the more succesful blends of Niyabingi drums and electric studio instruments." Sidney Wolfe, member of The Suns Of Negus confirmed "That album was done by Lee Perry. It's a funny thing, an adventure." For more, check out Katz's great Perry biography, "People Funny Boy."

So why is a definitive version of "Love Thy Neighbour" impossible to get? Well, first we need to figure out just what a definitive version would be. Every major issue, from vinyl to cd, has been at least slightly different:

THE FIRST LP, released in 1979 on the "Jah Life" label had all of the songs listed for this CD issue, except "Perfect Love" and "London Bridge Has Fallen." In place of those tracks, the 1979 LP featured three unlisted tracks, "Long Time Ago," "Do You Know," and "Jesus Christus Is The King" (all from the same Perry sessions). This issue was mono.

THE SECOND LP was released in 1982 on "Live And Learn." This version of "Love Thy Neighbour" featured the exact track listing that you see for the CD advertised on this page, adding two songs to the original LP, and removing three. This release was a stereo mix.

THE FIRST CD release, the one advertised here, features the same track listing as the 1982 LP issue. The sound quality is lacking, and we are missing songs from the first LP issue.

Finally, TWO MORE SONGS from the Black Ark sessions, "Stop Pay For The Price Of Sin" and "Unity," finally came out on the 1982 Ras Michael LP "Disarmament," on Trojan Records.

SO, the track listing for a definitive "Love Thy Neighbour" would look something like this:

01. Don't Sell Daddy No Whiskey
02. Long Time Ago
03. Times Is Drawing Nigh
04. Do You Know
05. Hear River Jordan Roll
06. Wicked Got To Go
07. Little David
08. Jesus Christus Is The King
09. Perfect Love
10. London Bridge Has Fallen
11. Stop Pay For The Price Of Sin
12. Unity

All in all we have TWELVE songs out there from the Black Ark sessions, and they are all essentially impossible to get. Why should this be so? We all know that publishing/ownership/royalty payment issues with regards to just about any music recorded in Jamaica in the 60s and 70s are a major mess. However, the aforementioned issues have not prevented many exceptional recordings from seeing the light of day as contemporary reissues. Look at the great treatment that Blood & Fire records gave to another (admittedly superior) Lee "Scratch" Perry production, "The Heart Of The Congos." Trojan recdords, if you own this stuff, then release it properly with (at least) the twelve tracks mentioned above. This is a project whose time is nigh."
Tragically defaced masterpiece
Jasper | 05/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is/was a masterpiece. Nyahbhingi, African ecstasies, and the perfectly suited outerspace sonic treatment by Scratch Perry add up to a revolution which went unnoticed. There should be a whole genre based on this album.Having said that, this CD issue of the album, besides suffering from a miserable transcription from tape, is MISSING several of the best tracks from the original LP, and substitutes inferior ones. Stupid record labels cannot seem to ever match the original LP's...."
Enno | The Netherlands | 09/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Partially recorded and mixed at Lee Perry's legendary Black Ark, this is the crucial meeting between the deep roots of nyabinghimaster Ras Michael, and the weirdest, most profound and psychedelic dub around. It is so far out there, it's not even reggae anymore, but some new kind of spacemusic that evades description. Held down by the steady and hypnotic handdrums of the Sons of Negus, the sounds fly everywhere. Absolutely not fot the weakhearted."