The Congos

Lion Treasure

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Roots reggae fans everywhere know and love the Congos' classic album Heart of the Congos, which was produced by Lee "Scratch" Perry and recorded in his legendary Black Ark studio; that album remains not only the Congos' masterpiece, but arguably Perry's as well. Lion Treasure offers some of the same songs -- notably the gorgeous "Feast of the Passover" and "Solid Foundation" -- but in radically different versions. "Feast of the Passover," for example, is presented here in a cleaner, faster, and more aggressively rhythmic rendition than that produced by Perry for Heart of the Congos. The balance of this generous collection features tracks apparently taken from other albums, though background information is not provided; of these songs, highlights include the sad but lovely "Sinking Ship," the militant "Thief Is in the Vineyard," and a minor gem called "Music Maker," which is featured in both vocal and dub versions. Not everything on this album is essential, but there's more than enough great material to please the band's many fans.

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