The Promised Land

It’s hard to appraise the work of Dennis Emmanuel Brown (1957-1999), in that his importance in the world of reggae is far greater than what the rest of the world ever knew—even to this day. For 30 years he was the Jamaican people’s choice, the “Crown Prince of Reggae,” the island’s most consistently popular and beloved singer. He was the voice of reggae, but for so many outside Jamaica he is yet to be truly heard.

This reissue set includes the Joseph’s Coat of Many Colours LP (produced by Joe Gibbs, 1979) plus tracks released as 45s on Dennis’ DEB imprint from 1977 to 1979. The material ranks with some of his best output.

In "Three Meals a Day" and "Home Sweet Home," Brown is his own man, having absorbed the influences of Delroy Wilson and Alton Ellis. Marley’s classic "Slave Driver" is reworked into a brilliant, uptempo rocker’s version. Brown’s commentary on ghetto warfare in "Don’t Want to Be No General" is echoed if not equaled by deejay Ranking Dread’s "General." Strictly roots lyrics and all-star singers and players throughout—including full brass and the mighty U-Roy. As with all Blood and Fire releases, sound quality is excellent. Highly recommended.