Album review
Collectors Series Vol. 1
Tony Rebel

Tracking list

  1. Know Jah
  2. Tribal War (Featuring Buju Banton, Terry Ganzie & Brian & Tony Gold)
  3. Guns & Arminition
  4. Chatty Chatty
  5. One Day
  6. Fresh Vegetable
  7. Fire Burning (Featuring Marcia Griffiths)
  8. Armour
  9. Fresh D.J.
  10. A So (Featuring Buju Banton)
  11. The Herb
  12. It Can Work
  13. Life Is No Joyride
  14. Creator
  15. Rise (Featuring Jack Radics)
  16. Christian Soldiers (Featuring Garnett Silk)
  17. Rebel A Come Down
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

With his debut in 1988 - a tune called "Casino" for the MGM label - Tony Rebel (real name Patrick Barrett) immediately set the pace for his smooth chanting style of dancehall consciousness. After this first single he started recording for producer Delroy "Callo" Collins and Shocking Vibes. However, it was Donovan Germain who gave Tony Rebel the opportunity to establish his style with singles like "Mandela Story" and the hits "The Armour" and "Instant Death", which are both featured on this compilation set. Curiously enough the cultural-oriented deejay Tony Rebel could hold his ground at a time that gun lyrics and slackness, themes he eschewed, had become very dominant and popular in the dancehalls. By consistently tackling cultural themes on record Rebel built a reputation as the deejay/singer whose work has spearheaded the cultural revival since its inception in the early nineties.
This solid compilation album provides a good impression of Tony Rebel's successful association with Penthouse producer Donovan Germain as it includes tunes from the very first beginning through one of his latest efforts, the excellent "Life Is No Joyride" across a new lick of the Mighty Diamonds' Channel One classic 'Right time'. Tony Rebel singjays his conscious lyrics along the mostly ratchet-sharp Penthouse riddims in fairly melodic fashion, sometimes joining forces with artists like Buju Banton, Marcia Griffiths and his friend the late great Garnett Silk. Within such a solid album as this one, it's almost impossible to point out the highlights. However favourite tracks are Know Jah, Tribal War, The Herb, Life Is No Joyride and the combination song with Garnett Silk Christian Soldiers.

Teacher & Mr. T.