Dennis Brown

Africa

Composed by Dennis Brown

Song Review by

Listening to Dennis Brown's biggest roots hits post-1973, it's virtually impossible to believe that the singer had began his career as a teenaged pop star, as comfortable knocking out love songs as lightweight covers. Even as Brown joined forces with producer Niney Holness and began unleashing a stream of sharp,roots-styled megahits, his themes continued revolving around relationships. That began to change in 1974, when the singer began to record more culturally themed numbers.

"Africa" was actually an updated version of an old Gaylads song, cut for Studio One back in the rocksteady era. With its repatriation theme, the original foreshadowed roots, and here Brown and Holness give it the sound it cried out for. A sizzling roots rhythm underpins the song, as insistent as Brown's own adamant, "Africa, we want to go." The Soul Syndicate are inspired, Brown's performance is awesome, and the production is immaculate, further aided by King Tubby's superb mix. A huge hit, and a roots masterpiece.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1975 Sanctuary
Money in My Pocket 1983 Trojan
Greatest Hits [JA] 1988 Peter Pan (ISP) 3:36
Some Like It Hot 1992 Heartbeat 5:37
The Best of Dennis Brown, Vol. 1: Africa 1995 Lagoon Reggae 3:34
Dennis 1996 Burning Sounds
Sunshine Reggae from Jamaica, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
Riviere International Records 3:40
Tracks of Life 1998 Recall (UK) 3:41
Reggae's Best 1998
Various Artists
M.I.L. Multimedia 3:37
The Prime of Dennis Brown [1998 Music Club] 1998 Music Club Records 3:34
Jamaican Roots 1998
Various Artists
Best Music International 3:14
I Love Jamaica: Reggae Gold, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Drive (import) 3:27
Trojan Box Set: Roots 1999
Various Artists
Import / Sanctuary 3:35
The  Crown Prince of Reggae Singles 1972-1985 1999 Charly Records
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Planet
Here I Come Again 2000 Culture Press 3:34
The Golden Years, 1974-1976 2000 Cleopatra 3:32
Works of Jah: The Best of Reggae 2001
Various Artists
Orange Street 3:36
Trojan Box Set: A Jamaican Story 2001
Various Artists
Trojan 3:36
The Best of Reggae Superstars 2001
Various Artists
Park South Records / Town Sound 3:36
Absolutely the Best: 1957-1999 2001 Varese 3:34
Cassandra 2001 Starburst Records (UK) / Starburst Recordings 3:36
Works of Jah Reggae 2001
Various Artists
Park South Records / Town Sound 3:36
Money in My Pocket: Anthology 1970 to 1995 2002 Sanctuary 3:41
Essential Reggae [BMG] 2002
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 3:35
Forever Gold: Gold Collection: The Best of Reggae 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:39
Conqueror: An Essential Collection 2004 Fuel 2000 / Burning Bush 3:34
This Is Ska and Reggae Roots 2005
Various Artists
Goldenlane 3:37
Reggae [Musicpro] 2005
Various Artists
Musicpro
Africa 2006 Brook 3:27
Reggae Superstars [Fuel 2000] 2007
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 3:34
Reggae Revival 2008
Various Artists
Legacy 3:36
The Best of Dennis Brown: The Niney Years 2008 Heartbeat / VP Records / Heartbeat 3:15
The Trojan Roots Collection 2009
Various Artists
BMG / Trojan 3:35
Dubbing at King Tubby's 2016 Jamaican Recordings
Reggae Roots Juke Box Hits
Various Artists
AAO Music / United Audio Entertainment 3:34
Reggae Sunshine Explosion
Various Artists
Motif Records 3:34
blue highlight denotes editor's pick