Various artists album review
Reggae Pulse 5 ~ Protest Songs
Trojan Records-Sanctuary
March 25, 2005

Tracking list

  1. Luciano - Eve Of Destruction
  2. Junior Reid - One Blood
  3. Beres Hammond - Putting Up Resistance
  4. Peter Tosh - Get Up, Stand Up
  5. Freddie Mcgregor - For What It's Worth
  6. Black Uhuru - Solidarity
  7. Bushman - Working Class Hero
  8. Tenor Saw - Ring The Alarm
  9. Yvad - The Universal Soldier
  10. Third World - 1865 (96 Degrees In The Shade)
  11. Dennis Brown - Revolution
  12. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Soul Rebel
  13. Don Carlos - Blowin' In The Wind
  14. Hugh Mundell - Africa Must Be Free By 1983
  15. Israel Vibration - The Same Song
  16. Delroy Wilson - Better Must Come
  17. Half Pint - Greetings
  18. Steel Pulse - No More Weapons
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3

The fifth installment of the "Reggae Pulse" series focuses on 'Protest Songs', an obvious theme for a reggae compilation as reggae - more specific roots reggae - can be regarded as one of the most significant and ubiquitous music of resistance. Compiling this 18 track album must have been daunting, since for every song selected, a dozen equally deserving ones had to be passed over. But anyway, featured here are some of the finest reggae anthems in the history of Jamaican music, combined with five new recordings of classic protest songs from the 1960s. This set mixes decades and styles and artists, which makes it a well varied collection of tunes. Except for the recently recorded reggae-fied versions of Barry McGuire's "Eve Of Destruction", Buffalo Springfield’s "For What It's Worth", John Lennon's "Working Class Hero", Donovan's "Universal Soldier" and Bob Dylan's "Blowin'In The Wind", the majority of the songs included here probably will be part of any reggae collection. The inclusion of Peter Tosh's version of "Get Up, Stand Up", a song he co-wrote with Bob Marley while in the Wailers, Marley's own haunting declaration of intent, "Soul Rebel" and Third World's late 1970s history lesson, "1865 (96 Degrees in the Shade)", are obvious choices from the compilers. But there are also some more or less unexpected, beautiful songs featured here like for example Hugh Mundell's excellent "Africa Must Be Free By 1983", Delroy Wilson's "Better Must Come" and Israel Vibration's "The Same Song". When it comes to the 21st century interpretations of classic protest songs it's Luciano's rendition of "Eve Of Destruction" and Bushman's interpretation of "Working Class Hero" that impress most.
"Reggae Pulse 5 ~ Protest Songs" is a decent compilation set, worthwhile checking out!

Teacher & Mr. T.