The Ultimate Collection

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In 1996, Shanachie looked back on Mutabaruka's Shanachie output with The Ultimate Collection. The title is an exaggeration, and the CD is hardly the last word on Muta's work at Shanachie. In fact, some essential gems are missing -- including "Blacks in America," "Angola Invasion" and Outcry's title song -- so when these absences are taken into consideration, you realize just how lofty a title The Ultimate Collection is. All that said, this collection has a lot going for it. Drawing on Melanin Man, Any Which Way Freedom, The Mystery Unfolds and other albums, The Ultimate Collection contains such familiar gems as "Bun Dung Babylon," "Walkin' on Gravel" and "Witeman Country." But instead of offering the well-known studio version of "Witeman Country," Shanachie provides an exciting live version from 1989. The Ultimate Collection doesn't tell the whole story where Muta is concerned, but even so, it paints a compelling picture of the angrily sociopolitical dub poet.

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