Personnel: Tony Chin (guitar); Jimmy Becker (harmonica); Keith Sterling (keyboards); Max Edwards, Sly Dunbar (drums); Noel "Scully" Simms (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Steve Barrow.
Recording information: Channel One Studio, Kingston, Jamaica.
Photographer: Bob Harding.
This collection of singles by the relatively obscure roots-reggae singer Prince Alla (backed by the Soul Syndicate, the preeminent reggae studio band of the seventies) is a revelation. Imagine someone with the tone of a young Johnnie Clarke and the expressiveness of Sugar Minott at his best, and then take away the lover's rock and you've got Prince Alla: an angel's voice with an apocalyptic edge. If you want a good distillation of the Rastafarian message, look no further. It's all here, from the condemnation of materialism ("They Never Love," complete with a dub version) to the unapologetic sexism ("Lot's Wife," "Lady Deceiver") and the political rabble-rousing ("Youthman in the Ghetto"). Through it all, the Soul Syndicate burns with a thick, slow one-drop groove that never lets up the pressure. If you don't own this disc, repent now. ~ Rick Anderson