Alpha Blondy – The Best Off Alpha Blondy

‘Nathan Bush’ Alpha Blondy’s position in the history of reggae music is a direct reflection of his physical distance from the island of Jamaica. Born in the Ivory Coast, his music is the product of a wider cultural scope than his Jamaican counterparts, a fact evident in the music itself. Before discovering reggae in college, Blondy had absorbed the rock music popular in the United States during the ’60s and ’70s. Eventually choosing music as his calling and reggae as his medium, the singer proceeded to develop a highly idiosyncratic style that incorporated Rasta phrases, as well as lyrics in Dioula (his first language), French, and English. Perhaps not surprisingly, Blondy’s output has earned him larger audiences in Europe and the United States than in Jamaica. The Best of Alpha Blondy focuses on the period from 1985-1987, a particularly prolific one for the singer that saw the release of the most popular albums of his career. Anchored around the bass-and-drum combo of Aston and Carlton Barrett, their fellow Wailer Earl Lindo (keyboards) and guitar great Earl “Chinna” Smith, the cuts from 1986’s Jerusalem are the standouts. Blondy serves up a message of religious unity on the title track over a relaxed, sparse beat served well by the slicker production. On “Boulevard de la Mort,” he rides a percussion enhanced slice of funky roots. Also included is Blondy’s first successful single, “Brigadier Sabari,” perhaps the closest he came to a Jamaican sound. Add the title tracks for both Cocody Rock!!! and Apartheid Is Nazism and you have the most satisfying single-disc introduction to Alpha Blondy.

 

The Best Off Alpha Blondy Tracklist

1. Cocody Rock
2. Apartheid Is Nazism
3. Come Back Jesus
4. Jerusalem
5. Politiqui
6. Sweet Fanta Diallo
7. Banana
8. Cafe Cacao
9. Masada
10. Rendez-Vous
11. Yeye
12. Fulgence Kassy
13. Amour Papier Longueur
14. Rendez-Vous (Cool Summer Mix)

Alpha Blondy - The Best Off Alpha Blondy

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Best Of, Reggae

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