Released in 1977, the Congos' Heart of the Congos is generally considered one of the best and under heard albums of the roots era, and more arguably the finest and most sympathetic Lee Perry produced effort. Despite its dub wise sound and biblical themes the album is, in many ways, a throwback to rocksteady's Impressions-styled trios. Roy Johnson's tenor, Watty Burnett's baritone and Cedric Myton's lilting falsetto make up a classic Jamaican harmony trio. However, the singers are given a musicality and democracy within Perry's quietly audacious production, sharing the swirling dynamics of Perry's finest dubs minus some of his more abrupt tendencies. Perry's radicalism never overwhelms the musical whole. For instance, in "Children Crying" listen to the groaning sounds behind the lyrics, Jah Jah/the children crying in the wilderness, sounding out like some soulful beast of burden. Allegedly due to Perry's conflicts with Island Records the album failed to receive international release, thus robbing us of many a regrettable Joe Strummer cover.

Download here

No comments: