Big Youth – Natty Universal Dread, 1973-1979 (2000)

“It should come as no surprise that the first collection to do full justice to the career of reggae DJ Big Youth was released by the Blood & Fire label, which has already distinguished itself with an exquisite catalog of reissues and collections designed to bring the music of reggae’s classical period (the early to mid-’70s) back into the marketplace. This three-disc box set includes 51 tracks from Big Youth’s most productive period, beginning with the early singles recorded for Joe Gibbs and on his own Negusa Nagast label (which included the charming ‘Hot Cross Bun’ and ‘Hot Stock,’ a collaboration with Gregory Isaacs and Leroy Smart), and ending with the topical “Can’t Take Wah Happen on a West” (written in the wake of the disastrous Westmoreland Flood of 1979) and the blistering ‘Political Confusion,’ which name-checks Margaret Thatcher and Jimmy Carter. This is also the period that found him releasing his bizarre and wonderful cover versions — ‘Hit the Road Jack,’ ‘Proud Mary’ (titled ‘River Boat’ here), and, best of all, ‘Sugar Sugar.’ As always, the digitally restored sound is exquisite, but this set does mark the first time that Blood & Fire has messed up on packaging. It’s beautiful and the booklet is jam-packed with rare photos and extensive liner notes, but the individual disc sleeves are equipped with annoying and self-destructing styrofoam spindles. Don’t let that fact dissuade you from buying this marvelous collection, but be forewarned.”

Natty Universal Dread 1973–1979 is a 3-CD-Box-set by Big Youth, released in 2001.”

YouTube: Mosiah Garvey (extended), Can’t Take Wah Happen On A West + Dub, Political Confusion, Downtown Kingston Pollution / Give Praises / Hot Cross Bun, Children Children / Mr Buddy, Battle Of The Giants Part 1&2, The Wise Sheep, Jah Jah Love Them (Extended)


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