Barrington Levy – Love Your Brother Man: The Early Years (2005)

“Since acquiring Trojan’s deep catalog, Sanctuary has done a very good to excellent job with the seminal reggae label when it comes to single-artist collections. With vibrant and informative packaging, a crucial track list, and some 12” mixes that are truly stunning, Love Your Brother Man falls into the ‘excellent’ category. Covering Barrington Levy’s early years, what you have here is the blueprint for dancehall singing that held on strong up until the gruff badmen made things much more frantic in the mid-’80s. Levy took the standard roots croon and added a bouncy hiccup to it that emphasizes emotion and allowed singers a totally new, less mannered way to show off their skills. Levy made delivery much more important than pitch control; here, you can listen to how it happened. Slang-filled, feel-good numbers intermingle with righteous spiritual tracks with Levy’s effervescence holding it all together. Familiar riddims from Henry Lawes and Alvin Ranglin fill the disc with one cut from producer Whitfield Henry hinting at Levy’s digital future. Later, a confident and more cultural Levy would have bigger hits than the ones here, but Love Your Brother Man is hungry and anxious Levy. Listening to him change dancehall music is fascinating.”

“This album showcases The Radics at their peak — sparse, dark and aggresive and it showcases Barrington’s distinctive vocal style which was so strong and influential as to go on to influence many up and coming ragga artists a few years later. Scientist, King Tubby’s and Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes are behind these stripped down primal rhythms and conscious vocal styles. It is at the heart of it, a re-issue of Levy’s earlier ‘Bounty Hunter’ album with a few extras thrown in. ‘Collie Weed’ versions Slim Smith’s ‘My Conversation’ with its hypnotic piano hook. ‘Looking My Love’ versions Cocoa T’s excellent ‘Rocking Dolly’ and is chanted over the same Studio One rhythm. ‘Bounty Hunter’ is another high point, with its monolithic linear dub and enigmatic chant about being hunted for over 2,000 years — as Style Scott’s thunderous snares collapse, tense and reform in the echo chamber. This is good music — but Trojan do not dig up any deep vault rarities here, or obscure discomix 12’s here — which is a shame, because there are a number of rarities from Barrington Levy which do need re-issue.”
Reggae Vibes

YouTube: Love Your Brother Man – The Early Years

soundcloud: Love Your Brother Man: The Early Years Mix
01. Shaolin Temple (aka Pretty Looks) (0:00) 02. I’m Not In Love (1:50) 03. Run Come Ya (4:34) 04. Black Heart Man (7:44) 05. Full Understanding (9:50) 06. Wedding Ring (12:04) 07. Whom Shall I Be Afraid Of (12:43) 08. Skylarking (16:31) 09. Love of Jah (21:17) 10. Time is So Hard (24:18) 11. Jah Life (27:17) 12. Looking My Love (30:10) 13. A Yah We Deh (34:35) 14. Ragga Muffin (37:04) 15. Under Mi Sensi (40:45) 16. Jah is With Me (44:57) 17. Many Changes in Life (48:17) 18. Poor Man Style (50:44) 19. Mary Long Tongue (53:47) 20. Lost and Found (56:21) 21. Murderer (58:27) 22. Mind You Hurt My Mom (1:02:00) 23. Now-A-Days (1:02:29) 24. Revelation (1:02:58) 25. Captivity (1:06:32) 26. Collie Weed (1:07:15) 27. Look Youthman (1:08:16) 28. 21 Girls Salute (1:11:14)


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