Various Artists

Dis One a Scorcher!: Absolutely the Best of Roo

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Burning Bush, the reggae subsidiary of reissue label Fuel 2000 shows everything that is right and wrong about their operation on the 20-song collection Dis One a Scorcher! First, what they are doing right: the music. They have a roster of artists as strong as any reggae label has ever had. From the hardcore dub of Lee Perry and King Tubby (represented by three tracks, including the crashing outer-space sounds of "Marcus Dub (Version)"), to the righteous roots reggae of Sugar Minott and Max Romeo, to the sweet lover's rock of Gregory Isaacs (also represented by three songs) and Horace Andy, to the rowdy toasting of U-Roy, there is history here. Good rocking history. The tracks all seem to be drawn from high points in the artists' careers, and there is not a weak track on the collection. Now you may have noticed the word "seem" in that last sentence. That brings up the main problem with the label. Their shoddy packaging, miniscule liner notes, and complete lack of discographical information lead listeners to have to guess at exactly what they are listening to. This collection actually has no liner notes at all, not to mention the fact that anyone who wants to buy their records has no way of knowing what is inside from looking at the outside cover. Luckily for reggae fans most of what Burning Bush has released, like Dis One a Scorcher!, is first-class reggae music. Still, to serve up such great, historically important music wrapped in such an inferior package is akin to eating filet mignon on a stale piece of Wonder bread. Let's hope they get their act together soon and make this label the top quality reissue label the music deserves.

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