Album review
Ghetto-ology + Dub
Sugar Minott
Easy Star Records

Tracking list

  1. Man Hungry
  2. The People Got To Know
  3. Walking Through The Ghetto
  4. Dreader Than Dread
  5. So Many Things
  6. Never Gonna Give Jah Up
  7. Ghetto-ology
  8. Africa Is The Black Man's Home
  9. Strange Things
  10. Free Jah Jah Children
  11. Hungry Dub
  12. The People Got To Dub
  13. Walking Dub
  14. Dreader Dub
  15. So Many Things Dub
  16. Never Gonna Give Dub Up
  17. Ghetto-ology Dub
  18. Africa Dub
  19. Strange Dub
  20. Free Jah Jah Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 4

For the past two years the New York based label Easy Star Records has been drawing attention with it's quality releases on several 7" singles and three excellent albums. Their first release was a more than excellent compilation set "Easy Star Volume 1", containing 15 tracks, and three dub versions included as bonus tracks. At the beginning of 1999 they surprised the reggae community with an outstanding set by reggae veterans The Meditations.
Their third release, Hidden Treasures collected 20 tunes, drawn from the vaults Sugar Minott's extensive 'Black Roots' label. The collaboration between Easy Star and Sugar Minott started with the track 'Born In The Ghetto', from 'Easy Star Volume 1'.
Sugar Minott's 1979 roots album 'Ghetto-ology' is the the second of four releases of vintage material from Sugar Minott's vaults. The company combines two albums onto one compact disc -both the vocal and the complete dub versions are included. 'Ghetto-ology' was Sugar's first self produced set after his departure from Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label. For Coxsone he recorded several singles such as 'Wrong Doers' and 'Is It True', and two classic albums. The 1978 album 'Live Loving' is still regarded as Sugar's most consistent Studio One set. The follow up, 'Showcase' , contained some long-time crowd pleasers like 'Mr. DC' and 'Vanity', but as a whole the 'Showcase' album wasn't as strong as 'Live Loving'.
After leaving Coxsone Dodd he draw attention with some quality singles. In that period he worked mainly with Earl Chinna Smith's Soul Syndicate band, all the while struggling to scrape together the money needed to finish the recording, ending up making one of the all-time great Jamaican records. The album is a pure and undiluted roots album with Sugar's sufferers vocals voicing over tough riddims. Over the years reggae fans all over the world have nourished the album and one has to admit that the album's solid as a rock. The lyrics, the backing and the voice of Sugar Minott provide the right vibes for keeping you involved from beginning to end. It's impossible to point out particular strong tracks as the sheer quality of the tunes found here is overwhelming - from the wailing song Man Hungry to the freedom song Free Jah Jah Children. The dub versions (probably dubbed from disc) feature masters of the genre King Tubby and Prince Jammy.
All tracks were recorded at Channel One Studios. The voicing and mixing was done at King Tubby's Studio. Musicians on board include such highly gifted artists like Santa Davis, Freddie McGregor, Barnabas, George Fullwood, Bagga Walker, Chinna Smith, Tony Chin, Steely, Gladdy Anderson and Pablove Black. Harmonies are provided by superb vocalists such as Little Roy, Tony Tuff, Triston Palma and Ashanti Waugh.
With the reissue of Sugar Minott's 'Ghetto-ology + Dub' Easy Star Records adds one more gem to its catalogue.

Teacher & Mr. T.