Various artists album review
Dancehall Gold Vol. 1 - Kings Of Kings Tenth Anniversary
Kings Of Kings
January 6, 2005
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4||Production : 4||Sound quality : 4||Sleeve : 3/4|
Since releasing their first tunes 10 years ago, Kings Of Kings have become a big
household name with both conscious/roots and hardcore dancehall listeners. They now
celebrate their 10th anniversary with a double-CD compilation featuring both the
roots tunes they produced on CD1, as well as some of the hardcore dancehall riddims
(almost exclusively released as albums in the Greensleeves Rhythm Album series, with
the exception of (here absent) "Riddim Driven ~ Dancehall
Rock" and the 2nd 'Coolie'-riddim album "Riddim Driven ~ Coolie
Skank"). When I first discovered their productions on the compilation "Show Us The Way" I
expected them to become a household name if they could maintain that level of
quality. And so they did, becoming one of the biggest labels these days. This
compilation is split into one CD focusing on their roots output, and a second
livicated to their hardcore dancehall releases. The roots CD opens with a tune by
Buju Banton "Be My Love Tonight", on what to me technically is a bashment
riddim, the 'Latino' featured on the second disc. Sanchez delivers the beautiful
"For You" followed by another great lovers tune "Don't Wanna Lose You"
by Ian Sweetness, both tunes that were featured on their "Kings Of Kings Vol.1"
album, alongside Everton Blender's conscious "Fire A Go Burn", a tune also
appearing on "Show Us The Way". Capleton's "See No Evil" from "Gibraltar"
is another wicked tune, followed by Anthony B's "Crime Stop" from "Show Us The
Way", and label owner Colin 'Iley Dread' Levy's own "Nobody" using The
Archies "Sugar Sugar" melody. Jah Mason and Sizzla ride the 'Gibraltar'-riddim as
well for their strong conscious tunes "The Most High" and "Juvenile".
Then Luciano rides the strong 'Trod On'-riddim featured on "Kings Of Kings Vol.4"
using parts of Men At Work's "Down Under" for his "I Come" (From A Land Of
Yonder). This same riddim is also used for Morgan Heritage & LMS superb "Dem
Try Everything" and Bushman's "Set Dem Free" from the same album.
Prezident Brown's "One Two" is a very nice nyahbinghi-flavored tune also
featured on that album. Norris Man's "Bad Road" takes us back to the
'Gibraltar'-riddim, the kind of roots riddim that would upon re-release now probably
gain much more recognition in this heydat of 'Hard Times' and 'Drop Leaf'-riddims,
as would Mikey General's "Only You Jah" over a different riddim also featured
on the "Gibraltar"-compilation, and known also for Iley Dread's "World Crisis"
following here. Closing this entertaining roots-showcase is a very fine "Fire Bun
(Live Medley)" showcasing Bushman strength on the 'Hypocrites'-riddim.