Inner Circle

Forward Jah Jah Children

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A hard-working band with a gifted, charismatic lead singer -- that's the best way to describe Inner Circle and Jacob Miller as they appear on Forward Jah Jah Children. The hard-working part is covered on the first disc of this double-CD set. It begins with singles from early in 1974, only a few months before their association with Miller would begin. "Cool Operator," "Picture on the Wall," and "Book of Rules" all feature vocalists other than Miller, and they are competent but dull takes on hits of the day. It's a formula that the Lewis brothers had been doggedly pursuing with a rotating cast of musicians since starting Inner Circle in the late '60s. When Miller does show up, it's on a cover as well; this time it's Bob Marley's "Natty Dread," and the synergy between singer and band is palpable. They weren't alone, either; within a few years Inner Circle was the most popular band in Jamaica and Jacob Miller its most popular singer, no small feat considering that at the same time the rest of the world was in a Bob Marley & the Wailers-induced eclipse. To understand why the formula suddenly started to work, it's important to know just a little about the exuberant singer who was now at the helm. Miller was just as hungry and diligent as Inner Circle, but where they could often be found in the resorts and tourist haunts of Jamaica churning out hard-hitting but ultimately blasé covers, the younger Miller was shadowing his childhood friend Augustus Pablo and traveling with him to recording sessions and soaking himself in Rastafarian culture -- collectively they had the secular and spiritual communities of Jamaica covered. Pablo and Miller both feature prominently here, a deadly tag team duo with Pablo providing his signature melodica to the scathing dubs that graced the flip sides of Miller's vocal cuts. The second disc of Forward Jah Jah Children is almost entirely original material, and most of it deserves the classic status that these tunes regularly receive from fans and critics alike. "Tired Fe Lick Weed in a Bush," "Killer Miller," "Forward Ever," "Tenement Yard," "Standing Firm," and so on -- it's easily the best collection of Inner Circle's work with Jacob Miller to date.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:04
2 2:43
3
feat: Jacob Miller
2:59
4
feat: Jacob Miller
3:34
5 3:47
6
feat: Jacob Miller
3:57
7
feat: Jacob Miller
2:55
8 3:12
9
feat: Jacob Miller
4:29
10 3:07
11
feat: Jacob Miller
3:58
12 3:34
13 3:53
14
feat: Jacob Miller
2:56
15
feat: Jody Miller
3:55
16 3:31
17 3:25
18
3:12
19
feat: Jacob Miller
4:02
20
feat: Jacob Miller
3:37
21 3:22
22
2:30

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Jacob Miller
3:45
2
feat: Jacob Miller
2:12
3
feat: Jacob Miller
2:20
4
feat: Jacob Miller
2:58
5
feat: Jacob Miller
2:38
6
feat: Jacob Miller
3:26
7 2:34
8
feat: Jacob Miller
3:10
9
feat: Jacob Miller
2:22
10
feat: Jacob Miller
3:18
11
feat: Jacob Miller
2:51
12
feat: Jacob Miller
3:10
13
feat: Jacob Miller
3:50
14
feat: Jacob Miller
3:04
15
feat: Jacob Miller
3:26
16
feat: Jacob Miller
4:08
17
feat: Jacob Miller
3:10
18
feat: Jacob Miller
4:26
19
feat: Jacob Miller
4:46
20
feat: Jacob Miller
4:11
21
feat: Jacob Miller
3:22
22
feat: Jacob Miller
3:00
23
feat: Jacob Miller
3:19
blue highlight denotes track pick