The world's finest reggae reissue label strikes again, bringing to the market yet another buried treasure of dub from that genre's heyday in the mid-'70s. As always, the packaging is a labor of love that features rare photos of the artists and liner notes that are detailed and thorough. And as always, the sound is spectacular; Blood and Fire has gained international recognition for its ability to take deteriorated master tapes and dusty vinyl singles and LPs and render them almost pristine without imposing any of the sonic astringency so often associated with digital remastering. This time out the featured album is a rare gem from the Yabby You catalog originally released under the title Yabby You Meets Mad Professor & Black Steel in Ariwa Studio. Here its original ten-track program is expanded by another eight, most of them B-side dub versions of singles produced under Yabby You's direction. The dub mixes were all overseen by the legendary King Tubby, and as usual, the combination of Yabby You's dark, dread musical vision and Tubby's otherworldly approach to remixing results in many moments of absolute brilliance; in this case, those include a deeply twisted dub of the Yabby You composition "Blood a Go Run Down King Street" ("Heads a Roll Dub") and "Achieving in Dub," on which Tony Tuff chats over a cut of his own vocal performance on "I Must Achieve What Is Mine." But really, there are no weak spots to speak of anywhere on this album. This is a unique and beautiful document of two of roots reggae's greatest talents working together at the height of their powers.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson
feat: Tommy McCook