Ranking Joe / Dennis Brown / Black Uhuru Zion High

Blood and Fire picks up where they left off with their excellent reissue of Dennis Brown's The Promised Land. This comp features definitive early dancehall DJ Ranking Joe bubbling over some very aggressive mixes of Brown's well crafted rhythms. Joe's style was perfectly suited to the militant rhythm of the emerging dancehall scene that hit its stride during these years. Dancehall DJs from this time forward returned more to the roots of the original, mostly unrecorded deejays of the ’50s and ’60s who rocked the crowd with rapid-fire chatter, rather than the conscious storytelling of Big Youth and I Roy Hence, you'll hear a lot of Joe's rapid fire "bong diddely" hooks simply cruising atop the rhythms as opposed to reinventing them. In lesser hands, this could quickly become boring, but with Scientist and a late-career King Tubby mixing up Joe's appealing vocal characteristics along with the Crown Prince peeking through on vocals, these were enormously crowd-pleasing tracks. Of special note is the inclusion of two rare Black Uhuru tracks recorded during the three-year gap following their initial album and their better known LPs for Island — Uhuru fans are advised to pick this up for these tunes alone. (Blood and Fire)