Skipping across years, genres, and producers, Dennis Brown [Dressed to Kill] showcases the beloved singer across a stream of cultural classics and romantic masterpieces. The set kicks off with one of Brown's cultural masterpieces, "Wolves & Leopards," one of a flood of hits the singer recorded in the roots age under the aegis of Niney the Observer. The equally masterful "Whip Them Jah Jah" dates from the same period, but was cut for the Mighty Two -- producer Joe Gibbs and producer/engineer Errol Thompson -- the pair who would lead the young Brown to international fame. "Money in My Pocket" (not included here) would be the first of Brown's singles to jangle into the British charts, but it was the stream of excellent cultural cuts like "Whip Them Jah Jah" and "Created by the Father" that further buttressed Brown's reputation as one of Jamaica's greatest cultural artists. Simultaneously, the singer was also unleashing equally stellar self-productions, including such masterpieces as "Emmanuel," "Children of Israel," "Lately Girl" (aka "Promised Land"), and "Party Time." Meanwhile, the success of the Mighty Two's work would bring Brown a deal with A&M, which released several of his albums in the '80s; some of those tracks appear here, including the title song to his Love Has Found Its Way set. Five tracks are also drawn from Brown's final Jamaican album with the Mighty Two, 1984's Love's Got a Hold on You. With equal weight given to both Brown's fabulous cultural numbers as well as to his wonderful romantic ones, this compilation showcases both the dread master and the soulful lover, the roots hero of the '70s, and the champion of the '80s, the musical genius and, in lesser light, a man desperate to make his mark in the U.S. as well.
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AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene