Alton Ellis

Arise Black Man 1968-1978

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Although his reputation will probably rest on his classic early Treasure Isle sides ("Cry Tough," "Dance Crasher," "The Preacher"), the soulful Alton Ellis didn't slacken the quality level when he moved on from working with producer Duke Reid, as this fine collection of rarities and later tracks shows. Drawing from material recorded between 1968 and 1978, most of which was done after he moved to England in 1972, Arise Black Man includes stunning originals like the edgy "Blackish White," the beautiful and haunting "Rhodesia" (a Keith Hudson production), and "African Descendants," along with well-chosen pop covers of the Crew Cuts' "Sh-Boom" and the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing," and intriguing do-overs like the version here of "Better Get Your Heads Together" that is called "I'll Take Your Hand." The end result is a solid collection of some rare Ellis sides, a perfect complement to the earlier Treasure Isle work.

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