Dennis Brown

Song Review by Jo-Ann Greene

Listening to Dennis Brown's biggest roots hits post-1973, it's virtually impossible to believe that the singer had began his career as a teenaged pop star, as comfortable knocking out love songs as lightweight covers. Even as Brown joined forces with producer Niney Holness and began unleashing a stream of sharp,roots-styled megahits, his themes continued revolving around relationships. That began to change in 1974, when the singer began to record more culturally themed numbers.

"Africa" was actually an updated version of an old Gaylads song, cut for Studio One back in the rocksteady era. With its repatriation theme, the original foreshadowed roots, and here Brown and Holness give it the sound it cried out for. A sizzling roots rhythm underpins the song, as insistent as Brown's own adamant, "Africa, we want to go." The Soul Syndicate are inspired, Brown's performance is awesome, and the production is immaculate, further aided by King Tubby's superb mix. A huge hit, and a roots masterpiece.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Just Dennis 1975 Gestrichen
Money in My Pocket 1983 Sanctuary 3:37
Slow Down 1987 Greensleeves Records 3:11
Greatest Hits [JA] 1988 Peter Pan (ISP) 3:36
Bob Marley and the Story of Reggae 1992
Various Artists
Trojan 3:17
Some Like It Hot 1992 Heartbeat 5:37
Dennis 1996 Burning Sounds 3:43
Sunshine Reggae from Jamaica, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
Riviere International Records 3:40
Tracks of Life 1998 Recall (UK) 3:41
Reggae's Best 1998
Various Artists
M.I.L. Multimedia 3:37
The Prime of Dennis Brown [1998 Music Club] 1998 Music Club Records 3:34
Jamaican Roots 1998
Various Artists
Best Music International 3:14
I Love Jamaica: Reggae Gold, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Drive (import) 3:27
Trojan Box Set: Roots 1999
Various Artists
Import 3:36
Very Best of Reggae Super Stars 1999
Various Artists
Here I Come Again 2000 Culture Press 3:34
The Golden Years, 1974-1976 2000 Cleopatra 3:32
Works of Jah: The Best of Reggae 2001
Various Artists
Orange Street 3:36
Trojan Box Set: A Jamaican Story 2001
Various Artists
Trojan 3:36
The Best of Reggae Superstars 2001
Various Artists
Park South Records / Town Sound 3:36
Absolutely the Best: 1957-1999 2001 Varese 3:34
Cassandra 2001 Starburst Records (UK) / Starburst Recordings 3:36
Money in My Pocket: Anthology 1970 to 1995 2002 Sanctuary 3:41
Essential Reggae [BMG] 2002
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 3:35
Conqueror: An Essential Collection 2004 Fuel 2000 / Burning Bush 3:34
The Best of Dennis Brown: The Niney Years 2008 Heartbeat / VP Records 3:15