1-2 Weeks
Tribulation Times


2021 repress. Dennis Brown has always been cited as Jamaica's favorite singer. While Bob Marley set out to conquer the world, Dennis' popularity on the island grew with each passing year. Overseas success also came Brown's way, with crossover hits like the massive "Money in My Pocket." He will always be fondly remembered on the sound systems across the Caribbean as the Crown Prince of Reggae. Dennis Brown (b. Dennis Emanuel Brown, 1957, Kingston, Jamaica) began his illustrious career at the grand age of 11, like many of the other child singers in Coxsonne Dodd's Studio One stable. His first hit in 1969, a cover of Van Dyke's "No Man Is an Island," still stands the test of time, in addition to its follow-up cut "If I Follow My Heart," as reggae classics. The 1970s saw Dennis build on his reputation by working with all the top Jamaican producers and studios perfecting his sound. Lloyd Daley, Impact, Joe Gibbs, Aquarius and Derrick Harriott, to name but a few. But it was his work with producer Winston "Niney" Holness that he enjoyed the most success and many say is where he recorded his best work. Where many of the other producers stayed with the tried-and-tested Lovers Rock formula that did prove so popular with Dennis' voice, producer Niney The Observer as he is fondly called, pushed him into a more roots-led direction, over stark rhythms created by Niney's studio band Soul Syndicate. Two outstanding albums were put together -- Just Dennis (1975) built on a collection of singles they had recorded together, "Cassandra," "Westbound Train," "No More Will I Roam" and "Conqueror." The second 1977 set Wolf and Leopards, made up again of singles, featured the cut "Here I Come" (a live favorite that Dennis always liked to start his set with) and "Children of Israel," which made these both strong roots-era albums. Kingston Sounds have stayed with this period for this Dennis Brown album. Some of the above-mentioned cuts are present alongside the timeless crossover hit "Money in My Pocket" (1979), produced by Niney, but often credited as a Joe Gibbs production, as it was released (and sweetened by adding orchestration for the foreign market place) on his label. This is the original Jamaican version (unsweetened) that you will find on this album -- perhaps, a more truthful version, in the label's opinion. His voice reigns supreme across these Niney-produced cuts "Smile Like an Angel," "Silver Words," "Play Girl," and the fantastic "Poor Side of Town," (helped along by the great harmonies of the Heptones group), "Tribulation" and "We Will Be Free." Dennis Brown's prolific catalog of tunes, which also found an outlet on his own DEB imprint, stands to show what a great artist he was and what a fine team he and Niney made when in the studio creating these magical moments. So sit back and enjoy a killer set of tunes compiled by Niney himself.