Blood & Fire
May 25, 2007

Track list
  1. Max Romeo - Fire Fe The Vatican
  2. Gregory Isaacs - Storm
  3. The Chantells - Children Of Jah
  4. Horace Andy - Problems
  5. Black Uhuru - Rent Man
  6. Sylford Walker - Chant Down Babylon
  7. Prince Alla - Go Down In Silence
  8. Dennis Brown - Man Next Door
  9. Michael Prophet - Fight It To The Top
  10. Johnny Clarke - Every Knee Shall Bow
  11. The Congos - At The Feast
  12. Errol Holt - Yes Yes Yes
  13. Linval Thompson - Jah Jah The Conqueror
  14. Willi Williams - Give Jah Praise
  15. Yabby You - Deliver Me From My Enemies
  16. Junior Ross & The Spear - Judgement Time
  17. Cornell Campbell - Bandulu
  18. Junior Byles & Rupert Reid - Remember Me
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
This is a near perfect introduction to some of the strongest reggae vocal tracks laid on vinyl from the mid to late 70's -- classic Roots Rockers militancy from start to finish.

And at the staggeringly low price -- how could you refuse it?

The album opens confidently, with a paradoxically languid, feverish swagger -- Max Romeo striding into "Fire Fe The Vatican", a further cut to "War In A Babylon", Black Ark style.

Everything is here for the serious reggae listener -- from the hard, hard dubwise Shaka workouts like Johnny Clarke's "Every Knee Shall Bow", Black Uhuru's "Rent Man" and Linvall Thompson's "Jah Jah The Conqueror" to spiritual lyrics of deep insight such as Junior Byles "Remember Me", dealing as it does with Gnostic themes of reaching to the other shore, attaining the deathless and deliverance.

Dennis Brown weighs in heavily with his version of "Man Next Door" with its lyric of inner city isolation and frustration, stuck in substandard dwellings, trying to bring up a family with some sense of dignity. Horace Andy matches that sense of frustration with "Problems", replete with an icy keyboard sweep from Augustus Pablo.

Blood and Fire music is a thing of beauty we should still feel privileged to hear, and one shouldn't forget -- prior to re release, these tracks were extremely difficult and costly to get hold of, mostly only available as long deleted, hard to find 12" vinyl discs out of JA.

Without any concessions to trite cliche or sentimentality -- the vocalists and lyrics here reflect a deep yearning for peace of mind and body, and in places act as a set of meditations on rejection of worldly snares and attachments, the insights inviting the listener to deeper self knowledge.