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Roots Reggae label 'Virgin Front Line' - Sounds Of Reality 5xCD box set collection | FESTIVALPHOTO
 

Roots Reggae label 'Virgin Front Line' - Sounds Of Reality 5xCD box set collection

Review3640_rootsreggae

On 10th March 1978 Virgin Records launched a label that, throughout the remainder of the decade, would set the benchmark for Roots Reggae: Front Line.

In the space of just under two years, some 46 albums and 26 singles saw issue on the iconic imprint, with its releases consistently of the highest calibre, and rating among the very best music Jamaica had to offer.

Front Line’s brief but glorious existence as the world’s greatest Roots Reggae label is celebrated with this deluxe box set, which across its 5 discs features many of Jamaica’s greatest talents, performing 92 of the most enduring Roots, Dub, Lovers Rock and DJ sounds of the seventies, with over 31 tracks new to CD, of which a third are previously unissued.

Also included in the package is a 52 page booklet, which opens with a typically captivating foreword from John Lydon, whose talent scouting trip to Jamaica with Richard Branson early in 1978 was key to Virgin’s acquisition of some of the finest Reggae recordings of the era.

Peppered with fascinating imagery, including numerous previously unseen shots from the trip taken by world renowned photographer Dennis Morris, every key episode during Front Line’s brief yet glorious history is disclosed, courtesy of fascinating anecdotes from Don Letts, the label’s original manager Jumbo Vanrenen and its designer Brian Cooke, whose original drafts for the iconic imprint are revealed for the first time ever.

As an added bonus, the set also contains four high quality reproductions of classic posters from the seventies, as well as a car sticker, based on the now impossibly rare Front Line Rockers badge from 1976.

This, the most comprehensive collection of Front Line tracks ever to see issue, pays due homage to the legendary label and flawlessly illustrates just why continues to be widely revered by Reggae fans around the world, more than 36 years after its launch.

DISC 1: FRONT LINE I

Right Time THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS
Natty Rebel U ROY
Declaration Of Rights JOHNNY CLARKE
Don't Touch I Man Locks I ROY
Looks Is Deceiving THE GLADIATORS
Freedom Fighters DELROY WASHINGTON
The Great Psalms U ROY
Civilisation KEITH HUDSON
Know Yourself Mankind THE GLADIATORS
Africa THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS

BONUS TRACKS

Runaway Girl U ROY
Killer Dub THE REVOLUTIONARIES
Have Mercy THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS
Musical Shark Attack I ROY
Thank You Baby KEITH HUDSON
I Wish It Would Go On Forever JOHNNY CLARKE
Shame And Pride THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS
Chatty Chatty Mouth THE GLADIATORS
Roots Natty Roots, Natty Congo JOHNNY CLARKE
Give All The Praise To Jah DELROY WASHINGTON
It Dread Inna Inglan’ POET & THE ROOTS
Planet Called Earth THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS

DISC 2: FRONT LINE II

Jah Works THE GLADIATORS
Natty Dread On Mountain Top U BROWN
I Love You So THE TWINKLE BROTHERS
Foggy Road PRINCE FAR I
Mr. Bassie SLY DUNBAR
Sister Bella PRINCE HAMMER
Make A Truce ALTHEA & DONNA
Dread Beat An' Blood POET & THE ROOTS
Rub A Dub Style RANKING TREVOR
Holy Mount Zion CULTURE
Tribute To Steve Biko TAPPER ZUKIE
Love We A Deal With BIG YOUTH
Jordan River I ROY
Cocaine JAH LLOYD THE BLACK LION

BONUS TRACKS

Dreadlocks The Time Is Now THE GLADIATORS
Free Africa THE TWINKLE BROTHERS
No More War PRINCE FAR I
Cairo JOYELLA BLADE
Bible PRINCE HAMMER
Fire Stick I ROY
Dis Ya Sounds JAH LLOYD THE BLACK LION
She Want A Phensic TAPPER ZUKI

DISC 3: FRONT LINE III

Lonely Girl GREGORY ISAACS
Mr. Music SLY DUNBAR
Four Thousand Years THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS
Fire In A Wire I ROY
Jahoviah THE TWINKLE BROTHERS
Get Ready THE GLADIATORS
I Got To Tell You Goodbye U ROY
I Tried CULTURE
Borno Dub PRINCE FAR I & THE ARABS
South African Enlistment THE ABYSSINIANS

BONUS TRACKS

Oh Lord TAPPER ZUKIE
Rasta Fiesta SLY DUNBAR
Distant Drums TWINKLE BROTHERS
Weather Balloon U BROWN
Holiday Ride THE GLADIATORS
Natty Never Get Weary CULTURE
Hey You THE ABYSSINIANS
Let's Dance GREGORY ISAACS
The Upful One BIG YOUTH
Keep On Trying THE TWINKLE BROTHERS
Green Bay Incident JAH LLOYD THE BLACK LION

DISC 4: THE DISCOMIXES

Small Axe U ROY
Africa THE TWINKLE BROTHERS
Slavery Let it Go DOCTOR ALIMANTADO
Pocket Money THE GLADIATORS
Black Star Liner U BROWN
Going To Negril ALTHEA & DONNA
Hill And Gully I ROY
Bodyguard THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS
Soon Forward GREGORY ISAACS
A Who Say SLY DUNBAR
Jah Kingdom Come THE TWINKLE BROTHERS
Chalice In The Palace / Wear You To The Ball (live) U ROY

DISC 5: FROM THE VAULTS

In This Time THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS
Tune In (12” mix) GREGORY ISAACS
Can’t Study The Rastaman CULTURE
Throw Away Your Gun (12” mix) PRINCE FAR I
Bone Dub JAH LLOYD THE BLACK LION
I Don’t Want To Be Lonely Anymore (12” mix) THE TWINKLE
BROTHERS
Jah Loves (alt. take) THE ABYSSINIANS
Selassie I DELROY WASHINGTON
Hip Hug (12” mix) VIVIAN WEATHERS
It Mek ALTHEA & DONNA
All Wi Doin’ Is Defendin’ (12” mix) POET & THE ROOTS
I Need A Roof (12” mix) THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS
Mr. Brown (12” mix) GREGORY ISAACS
Black Rose CULTURE
Virgin Rock KEITH HUDSON

Writer: Anthony May
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