This originally ran in Reggae Report in 1996.
Almost 20 years ago, in 1977, Bob Marley released one of his most
popular albums entitled “Exodus.” Side one contained one of his best tracks -
and one of my favorites - called “The Heathen.”
This past summer saw that song’s rhythm once again brought to life in
Marley’s native Jamaica. The “Heathen” was the hottest thing going, as
numerous artists took their turns singing or deejaying over that classic
I personally spent quite a bit of cash compiling over 20 “Heathen”
singles, but now VP has made it extremely easy (and cheap!) by releasing one
CD containing 16 back-to-back offerings which will surely grab your
attention. This is an outstanding disc of just under one hour of classic modern
The mix of DJs and Singers bring plenty of conscious, uplifting lyrics
to an incredibly captivating rhythm, modernized by the sole musicianship of
Barry O’hare (who also co-produces with Bobby Digital). A few of the artists
you’ll be completely knocked out by include Cocoa Tea, Shabba Ranks,
Tony Rebel, Yami Bolo, Ninja Man, Admiral Tibett, Morgans Heritage,
Prezident Brown, Carlton Coffie (of Inner Circle fame) and the team of Edi
Fitzroy and Cutty Ranks.
There are a few songs which could have been left off, yet they still
work thanks to the mesmerizing and powerful beat. Some other “Heathen”
singles which could have improved this disc, though, involve such artists as
Bobby Blue, Sugar Black, Gary Minott, Lebanculah and Buju Banton (with
so many superb versions, maybe there will be a Volume 2 somewhere down
Until then, check out “Heathen” and give it a listen. I assure you that if
you pick it up you will not be able to put it down (if you have trouble finding
it, call VP at 1-800-441-4041).
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