Jacob Miller

Collector's Classics

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This generous 20-track collection of Jacob Miller's solo work is not only a sumptuous entry into the late star's oeuvre, but is arguably the best roundup of his work available. Collector's Classics bundles up the entirety of the artist's 1978 solo Jacob "Killer" Miller album, itself a masterpiece of roots rockers, chock-full of seminal numbers. The high point was the classic "Forward Ever," but of equal note are other such superlative dread numbers as "Lamb's Bread Collie" and "80,000 Careless Ethiopians." The phenomenal "Shaky Girl" and the rocksteady soul of "Mrs. Brown" are of the same caliber, as is the sizzling autobiographical title track; then again, nearly every track is just that. Some, but not all, of Miller's follow-up album, 1979's Wanted (not to be confused with the Wanted More album), is also rounded up. The criminal omission is "Peace Treaty Style," but you do get the superb "Healing of the Nation" and "Standing Firm," another pair of crucial dread offerings. The rest of the set helpfully duplicates a clutch of songs from the long-deleted Dread Dread album, which itself rounded up another batch of hits, and thus listeners are treated to such classics as "Tenement Yard," "Tired Fe Lick Weed in a Bush," and "Roman Soldiers of Babylon," while in Miller's hands even a lightweight love song like "Suzie Wong" sounds fantastic. Still, this is not all the Miller one needs; the RAS label's Who Say Jah No Dread, which compiles all the songs the singer cut for Augustus Pablo with their equally seminal King Tubby dub versions, is also a must-have. Between the two sets, most fans will be more than satisfied. However, so powerful is this collection, many fans will be encouraged to search out the few remaining greats to be had.

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