Burning Spear

Original Living Dub, Vol. 1

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Reggae fans who are paying attention will notice that this is the second time Living Dub Volume 1, the dubwise version of Burning Spear's Marcus Garvey album, has been reissued on CD (the first time being the Heartbeat label's 1992 reissue). However, the reality is not that simple. In fact, Heartbeat's version featured a completely different mix, one newly dubbed up by Barry O'Hare for the 1992 issue. This one constitutes the first issue on CD of the album's original dub mixes -- hence the slightly altered title. Whether these mixes are better or worse is largely a matter of personal taste; both versions feature tastefully adventurous dubs that are true to the spirit of the original vocal versions. On this one the sound is sharper and more detailed than on the Heartbeat issue; however, it suffers from sloppy remastering, and the right channel sputters out briefly and distractingly at several points in the program. Hardcore fans will probably want to own both versions, and this one certainly gets the nod as a historical document, but those who simply love classic, old-school dub will probably find either one satisfactory.

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