Various Artists

Can't Stop Us Now: Linval Thompson Productions

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As the roots and culture period of the 1970s was slowly giving way to the dancehall juggernaut that would dominate reggae music for the next two decades, there were few producers quite as influential as Linval Thompson. In a real sense, he presided over the roots-to- dancehall transition, overseeing crucial recordings of the period by such artists as Gregory Isaacs, Johnny Osbourne, Sugar Minott, and the young Barrington Levy. Can't Stop Us Now is a handy document of that phase in reggae history, presenting 20 tracks by all the artists mentioned as well as many more; more than half of these songs have not been previously available on CD. Unfortunately, a few of them (notably Levy's "Sensimilla" and a Don Carlos tune called "Sweet Africa") suffer from sound quality that is awful even by reggae standards. But for the most part, this is truly great stuff -- the extended mix of Freddie McGregor's "Jah Help the People" benefits from the mixing genius of Scientist, Isaacs' "Tenement Yard" is an excellent pre-dancehall sufferer's anthem, and Johnny Clarke is at his sweet-voiced best on "They Can't Stop Me." Through it all, the Roots Radics and Revolutionaries bands provide grooves that are solid but supple. Highly recommended.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:55
2 5:54
3 3:36
4 3:36
5 3:58
6 2:23
7 6:25
8 3:09
9 3:13
10 3:44
11 3:13
12 3:02
13 3:11
14 2:50
15 3:28
16 3:08
17 3:33
18 3:30
19 3:28
20 5:25
blue highlight denotes track pick