Burning Spear Hail H.I.M.
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- Released: March 16, 2015
- Originally Released: 2002
- Label: Capitol
Q - 10/94, p.1343 Stars - Good - "...An album of hypnotic, accumulative pleasures..."
Option - 10/94, p.94"...can rightfully be called a lost reggae classic..."
- 1.Hail H.I.M.
- 3.Road Foggy
- 4.Follow Marcus Garvey
- 5.Jah See And Know
- 6.African Teacher
- 7.African Postman
- 8.Cry Blood Africans
- 9.Jah A Guh Raid
Burning Spear: Winston Rodney (vocals, congas, percussion); Junior Marvin (guitar); Bobby Ellis, Herman Marquis, Egbert Evans (horns); Tyrone Downie, Earl "Wire" Lindo (keyboards); Aston "Family Man" Barrett (bass, percussion); Nelson Miller (drums).
Producers: Winston Rodney, Aston "Family Man" Barrett.
Recorded at Tuff Gong Studio, Kingston, Jamaica in 1980. Originally released on Tammi Records. Includes liner notes by Roger Steffens.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Recorded at a time when Bob Marley was crossing reggae over into the mainstream, HAIL H.I.M. qualifies as a lost Burning Spear classic. At the time of its 1980 release, HAIL had no American distribution and it was only briefly available as an import shortly after that. Thankfully, Heartbeat reissued this seminal album in 1994, at a time when Spear (a.k.a. Winston Rodney) was in the midst of a bountifully creative upswing.
When Rodney entered Tuff Gong Studios to cut HAIL H.I.M., not only did he borrow St. Ann's Parish native Bob Marley's recording digs, but brought Marley's band the Wailers in as a backup band. The result is a warm-sounding record in which Spear continues delivering his message of Jah and Rastafari, starting with a picture of Emperor Haile Selsassie I on horseback that graces the album cover. When Spear isn't paying homage to the unifying concept of Pan-Africanism ("African Teacher," "African Postman," "Cry Blood Africans"), he's providing a musical history lesson by singing of both heroes ("Follow Marcus Garvey") and heels ("Columbus") buttressed by the Wailer's rich sound. This powerful collection deserves a place on the shelf next to anything by Marley or Peter Tosh.
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