Various Artists

The King Kong Compilation: The Historic Reggae Recordings

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One of several successful Chinese-Jamaican producers, Leslie Kong cut important sides during the ska, rocksteady, and early-reggae years up until his premature death in 1971. Working out of Beverley's, the restaurant/record shop he and his brothers owned, Kong came to prominence in the early and mid-'60s cutting hits for Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, and the Maytals, among many others. His early-reggae output circa 1970, though, represents some of his best work, and this Mango compilation brings together 16 highlights from that stretch. Besides such U.S. and U.K. hits as Dekker's "Israelites" and the Maytals' "Monkey Man," the disc includes equally stunning work by the Pioneers, the Melodians, Ken Boothe, and Ansel Collins. An essential collection for any reggae fan.

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